Smith takes Crankworx Triple Crown 

Winning Sunday's Canadian Men's Open DH gives him third Whistler title

click to flip through (5) PHOTO BY BLAKE JORGENSON - Royal Rider Steve Smith was named Crankworx king at the end of the mountain bike festival following his three downhill event wins on Whistler Mountain.
  • Photo BY Blake Jorgenson
  • Royal Rider Steve Smith was named Crankworx king at the end of the mountain bike festival following his three downhill event wins on Whistler Mountain.

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The first hit was a straight air under the big screen. There were a lot of solid tricks and combinations — Sam Dueck's Double Tailwhip, Martin Soderstrom's 360 table and Yannick Granieri's flip whip stood out — but the one that got the biggest cheer from the crowd, and the most votes, was Jordie Lunn's very corked 720 spin.

"That's a trick that comes out different every time I train it, sometimes it's a 360 with a flip, sometimes I get it right and I land a corked 720," said 29-year-old Lunn. "It's a fun one to do, and I was definitely building up to it today."

Tom van Steenbergen, the winner of the second feature, is a young competitor at just 16 years of age.

The second feature was the porch trick off of the Kokanee Cabin at the base of the mountain. Van Steenbergen sewed up the votes with a front flip tuck no-hander, with his hands well out to the sides.

"It's a trick I first got in the Air Dome and then practiced it a lot, then a few weeks later I tried it out on a trick jump," he said. "It didn't go well at all. I pretty much ate it. But a couple of days after that I tried it out on a step jump and landed it the first time, and after that I just kept doing it."

Ropelato, Kintner three-peat on pump track

The second part of Thursday evening's double-header was a double three-peat at the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by Rock Shox.

The event was moved from the top of The Boneyard this year to Whistler Olympic Plaza, resulting in a crowd of thousands out to enjoy some head-to-head racing under the lights.

The racers were seeded according to their qualifying runs, and then paired off on parallel pump courses. They would race twice, switching sides between runs, with the rider posting the lowest combined time advancing.

For the third year running, Mitch Ropelato of the U.S. took the men's event, edging out Australia's Troy Brosnan in the final. While Ropelato was solid in every run, he also had a bit of luck — Brosnan crashed in his run and bent his bars out of shape. Cody Johnson, the biggest surprise of the night, had a bad start in an earlier heat. Martin Soderstrom — who added colour with a tailwhip, behind the back clap/no-hander and a bar spin off the last small jump - had a crash in the middle section.

That's not to say that Ropelato wouldn't have won anyway. No gap was too big for him to come back from.

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