Whistler riders shine through in Crankworx 

Semenuk on podium, three locals in top-12 at slopestyle

click to enlarge $10,000 Man North Vancouver's Ben Boyko pulls in his bike after a tailwhip over the big gap in Saturday's Kokanee Slopstyle contest at Crankworx. Boyko went on to win first place in the competition, boosted by a huge 260 drop off the gap-o-tron. Photo by David McColm.
  • $10,000 Man North Vancouver's Ben Boyko pulls in his bike after a tailwhip over the big gap in Saturday's Kokanee Slopstyle contest at Crankworx. Boyko went on to win first place in the competition, boosted by a huge 260 drop off the gap-o-tron. Photo by David McColm.

Local park riders held their own against the top riders in the world in the 2007 Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival, which wrapped up on Sunday with the Canadian Open Downhill.

While World Cup racers grabbed most of the podiums in the race events, the Kokanee Slopestyle on Saturday was very much a B.C. affair with North Vancouver’s Ben Boyko taking the top spot, and Whistler’s Brandon Semenuk in third place. Both Kyle McDonald and Alex Prochazka qualified for the super final by finishing in the top-12.

In the junior race categories, Whistler’s Tyler Allison placed first in every event he entered, and he entered every race except for the Volkswagen Biker Cross and Slopestyle. That’s despite a field that included more than 60 youth riders from across North America.

Jim Beam Air Downhill

The Air Downhill is one of the fastest and most popular downhill events in the world, and has now sold out for five years running. This year there were 340 riders in the race, which takes place on A-Line — a trail with more than 100 jumps, berms and other features, as well as speed sections where some riders were clocked at 64 km/h.

California’s Brian Lopes defended his title from 2006 with the fastest run of the day. He crossed the finish line in 4 minutes, 21.87 seconds. He was followed by Australia’s Nathan Rennie, in 4:22.58, and Greg Minnaar of South Africa in 4:23.47. Cedric Gracia of France, another World Cup racer, placed fourth in 4:25.03.

The top Canadian in the running was Whistler’s Jeff Beatty, who placed sixth in 4:29.55.

Thomas Vanderham of North Vancouver was the next fastest local, in ninth place, while Andrew Mitchell and Steve Smith of Vancouver Island were 11 th and 12 th respectively.

For the pro women, British racer Tracy Moseley took the top spot in 4:50.95, while West Vancouver’s Micayla Gatto stole second place from World Cup start Fionn Griffiths with times of 4:53.24 and 4:53.87 respectively.

Whistler’s Jen Ashton placed fourth in 4:55.96.

Other locals racing include Bethany Parson in eighth place and Miranda Miller was 11 th .

There were three starters in the four-wheel category this year, with Whistler’s Stacey Kohut placing first in 5:44.96, followed by Ellis Tull of Nanaimo in 6:32.08, and Gavin Williamson of California in 7:18.32.

In Junior Men 16 to 18, Edward Masters of the U.S. took the top spot in 4:36.73, followed by Nathan Vials of England and Tyler McCaul of California. Simon Garstin of Courtenay was the top Canadian in fourth.

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