Jakob Jewett of Squamish dominated throughout the rounds to take home gold at Crankworx Innsbruck's 2023 dual slalom race. In fine form throughout the day on June 22, Jewett bested Sam Blenkinsop in the final and relegated the Kiwi to silver. Another New Zealander, George Brannigan, clocked in for bronze.
Tegan Cruz of Pemberton had to settle for fourth after a solid series of performances, while Bas van Steenbergen and Dane Jewett were the next-best Canadians at fifth and eighth respectively.
Whistler's Dylan Marino ended up fifth in the U19 event.
"I’ve never been so happy to be on a podium," said Jewett on his Instagram account. "When it comes to my racing, the last few years have been real difficult with injuries and etc., so it feels so good to finally get redemption on the event that started that hard road. Honestly, it’s been a long time since I’ve been proud of myself on a bike, so let’s keep the ball rolling."
"Congrats to all the boys out there for laying down heaters," Cruz added in his own post. "Few too many mistakes cost me a podium."
First place qualifier Martha Gill of Great Britain stayed consistent in the women's races to earn her second dual slalom victory, beating American downhiller Anna Newkirk in the final matchup. Luana Chereches wound up third for Romania.
Georgia Astle, fresh off a bronze medal in the Whip-off, crossed the line in 12th.
Dual slalom, downhill speed
Heavy heat on day two of Crankworx Innsbruck made for some exciting conditions on the dual slalom track. Loose, dry, and cut up with deep ruts, the course was proving to run rowdy and fast for the riders.
“I think this course suits the downhill guys,” said Jewett in a press release. “The top four today was all downhill racers, so I think it definitely suited us. I think mainly the speed of the track, we are used to just railing corners and those fast grass corners and being on the pedals a lot so it just worked out!”
“I think I was feeling pretty confident on the course,” offered Martha Gill on how she tackled the loose conditions. “I think a lot of people were struggling with the loose conditions, but I thought that it suited me a bit more maybe. I think that played to my strengths and I was quite mentally positive throughout the whole day more or less.”
“We were kind of all complaining about the track at the start because the conditions were so dry, but in the end we’re all racing the same track so it’s fun and it was blown out,” added Sam Blenkinsop. “It kind of suited us downhillers because we could just be aggressive on the loose stuff, and I feel like it was awesome. Probably one of the funnest tracks I’ve ridden because it was hard, not too technical, and it made for head-to-head very close racing. I’m happy as, can’t complain!”
“The course was good,” Anna Newkirk opined. “It was super difficult with the conditions and just how dry it was, but it was a lot of fun. It was tricky to figure out but it was a blast! I’m happy with how I rode, but Martha was super pinned and she absolutely deserved to win. I’m stoked for her!”
Full results are available online.