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 second corner is pretty key (to this course)," he said. "If you were behind you could rail it and come down the straightaway with enough speed to pull ahead of the other person. I really liked this course."

Ropelato said he tried to focus on his own race and not to pay too much attention to the other rider, but it was impossible not to feel the pressure. "You could see them coming up on you, so that pushed you a little harder," he said.

Third place went to Cody Johnson, with Soderstrom in fourth.

Jill Kintner of Washington State took the women's pump track title for the third year running, besting Micayla Gatto of the North Shore in a tight final. Just 0.22 seconds separated the two riders after two rounds.

Unbelievably, Kintner wasn't even sure she was going to race. Just six weeks ago she broke her radius bone, and had surgery to put in a plate. No cast was required, which Kintner said was the only reason she had enough strength in her hand for something like the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge.

"I wasn't really cleared to race on it. My doctor said I could ride my bike, but he told me I couldn't crash — and I didn't," she said.

Normally Kintner would enter other events as well, but decided to draw the line at the pump track rather than risk a more serious injury.

Smith on a roll with Air Downhill win

Nanaimo's Steve Smith took his second downhill competition in less than a week by winning the Air DH on Wednesday.

Smith finished almost four seconds ahead of American Brian Lopes, who won this event five years in a row before Andrew Neethling unseated him in 2011. Lopes was followed by Australian Mick Hannah, Neethling (from South Africa) and Mitch Ropelato of the U.S. The fastest local rider in the group was Ian Morrison.

"It's fast and dusty, but I prefer it that way," said Smith. "It's pretty exciting to win both the Garbanzo Downhill and Air Downhill as I haven't won either of these events before."

It's not that the other riders were slow, either. Technically Lopes would have set a new course record for A-Line with his second place time, while Smith himself shattered the previous record by over five seconds.

In the women's event, French rider Emmeline Ragot took the win, with a couple of fast Canadians giving chase. The North Shore's Micayla Gatto was second while reigning champion Claire Buchar placed third. Casey Brown of Revelstoke and Whistler's Sarah Leishman rounded out the top five respectively.



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