There was little doubt who the Crankworx king, queen and prince would be this weekend as Crankworx wound down.
After winning the Canadian Open Downhill (DH), the Air DH on Wednesday and the Garbonzo DH last Sunday Steve Smith was crowned the king of the festival. Casey Brown was named the queen based on her wins in the Canadian Open Women's DH and the Garbanzo DH.
Whistler's Jack Iles, 15, was named the Crankworx prince for his string of victories in the Whistler Bike Park.
For the second Sunday in a row, Smith thrilled fans along the course and assembled at the finish line. As was the case last Sunday at the Garbonzo DH, Smith was the last competitor down the course. He beat Mick Hannah of Australia, who finished second, and Andrew Neethling of South Africa in third place.
The more than 100 professionals who raced ahead of Smith and the amateurs who raced earlier in the day chewed up the course before Smith laid down the final run of the day. Interviewed at the finish he described the course as a "loose" track.
"I was quite nervous after winning the two I didn't expect to win," Smith said. "It put on a lot of pressure."
Smith set the Crankworx bar high by being the first rider to win all three of the festival's major DH events. He earned $10,000 for winning the Canadian Open DH and that paycheque followed earnings of $2,500 from the Garbanzo DH and another $2,500 for taking top spot at the Air DH.
Casey Brown of Revelstoke took her second major Crankworx win by racing faster than Whistler's Claire Buchar for the second Sunday in a row. Squamish's Lauren Rosser was the third fastest competitor in the Canadian Open Women's DH.
Thomas Genon takes Red Bull Joyride
Coming into the post-competition press conference, French rider Thomas Genon was covered with dirt, his eyes red and irritated, his front tooth chipped. Not because of a crash, although there were plenty of those — his fellow competitors just got a little carried away at the podium celebration.
Martin Soderstrom, who placed second in the Saturday event, blasted Genon in the eyes with champagne while Genon struggled with his own cork. He turned away only to get blasted by American Cam McCaul who, while shaking his champagne bottle, chipped Genon's front tooth. Then Soderstrom threw some dust in his face for good measure.
It was a hazing of sorts for an incredibly talented up-and-coming rider, who had just won $25,000 and the top title in freeride mountain biking — on a hard tail no less, with over 10,000 fans lining the course.
Genon's winning run, which he landed in the semi-final, included the biggest front flip of the day and a backflip onto the cabin, capped off by a huge tailwhip to the finish. The only run that came close was Soderstrom's last, which ended with a 360 double tailwhip that came up just short. Cam McCaul made some of the biggest, laziest backflips of the day off the 60-foot kicker, finished off with a 360 off the cabin to take third.
January 19, 2017, 1:03 AM
Whistler welcomes family of Syrian refugees More...
January 19, 2017, 1:02 AM
Long-awaited project could include six-pump station, offices and convenience store More...
January 19, 2017, 1:01 AM
Snowboard Canada editor tracks 'respectful' comments More...