Dennis Langenstam initiated plenty of oohs and aahs from the crowd at the Whistler Dirt Jumps Park in his first run at the GO Fest's inaugural jump jam.
His run scoring 46.5 was so good, in fact, that no one topped it in any remaining attempts.
The quick start proved particularly helpful for the 21-year-old veteran of the local park, as he may not have been able to overcome any stiff competition in the final round.
In between runs, riding to keep warm, Langenstam suffered a wipeout near the end of the course.
With the benefit of being the last to ride in the second round as the initial leader, Langenstam could keep an eye on the competition to see how they fared. Calgary's Scott Thornhill got the closest, posting a 46 in his second go, and Langenstam took a victory lap instead of being forced to recover the lead with some bumps and bruises.
"I think the double truck on the second last jump was the most technical one, so I was stoked to get that in there," said Langenstam, who's originally from Sweden, but moved to Canada when he was 14.
Armed with confidence he could claim the first-ever pro men's gold from the Freeride Mountain Bike Association event here in town, Langenstam jetted out to the quick lead and forced the competition to play catch-up.
"It's the perfect spot for me to try to do my best," he said of the newly renovated track, which he helped repair with fellow competitor Justin Wyper and other friends. "It was nice to get (the first run) out of the way and watch everyone else do their stuff."
Acknowledging he felt "pretty sore" while sporting some fresh scrapes, Langenstam said the results of the crash could have left him in worse shape.
"I was practicing flowing through and just got a little off-axis on a whip and landed flat into my face," he said. "I'm happy it wasn't worse. I'm walking away."
Thornhill, a Calgarian visiting Whistler for the long weekend, was impressed with the jumps and how they could benefit his riding. He admitted he had some confusion about the format and hung back on his first attempt, but gave it everything he had on his second attempt.
"I was really impressed with myself on the oppo bar on the second jump and the double rip on the last one because my hands weren't really on that good," he said.
In the pro women's category, Trish Bromley was the only competitor, while Wyoming's Alan Mandel was the lone rider in the amateur men's division, with both ultimately taking gold.
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