VANCOUVER ISLANDâ€™S STEVE SMITH WINS CANADIAN OPEN DOWNHILL AT KOKANEE CRANKWORX
WHISTLER, BC July 17, 2011 â€“ Today Vancouver Islandâ€™s Steve Smith kept the Canadian Open Downhill title on home soil by dominating the notoriously technical course to take first place with a time of 3:00.01. Rachel Atherton (GBR) had the fastest time for the women with a time of 3:34.45.
â€œThe Canadian Open DH is my favourite event at Kokanee Crankworx. After getting a flat on the course last year I was ready to go hard this year,â€ says Smith. â€œThis track suits my style; it is rough and technical, and one of my favourite trails to ride in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.â€
Many thought defending champion Gee Atherton (GBR) would hold onto the title and he felt good in practice but a spill near Hecklerâ€™s Rock kept him off the podium. The Canadian Open track was described by many racers as greasy due to rain at the top end of the race, and everyone had something to say about the sea of flesh at Hecklerâ€™s Rock where no shirts are the rule and the crowd gets loud and rowdy.
â€œI went over the bars and I knew it was game over. In a course like this, as soon as you make a mistake, the race is over,â€ says Gee Atherton.
His sibling Rachel Atherton had better luck and took first. â€œI am happy to get the race over with,â€ she said. â€œIt is a gnarly track.â€
In the Pro Men category Steve Smith (CAD) took first place with 3:00.01, Andrew Neethling (RSA) with a time of 3:01.52 came in second and Troy Brosnan (AUS) took third with 3:02.68.
In the Pro Women category Rachel Atherton (GBR) took first with 3:34.45; Whistler local Claire Buchar (CAD) came in second with 3:38.75; and Squamish resident Miranda Miller (CAD) got third with 3:38.75.
Full event results: http://www.crankworx.com/index.php/results/kokanee-crankworx/2011-results
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Tomorrow the athletes of Kokanee Crankworx will take a breather with a freeride day but the village-wide expo and demo zone will be hopping. Download the Official Kokanee Crankworx App to stay in the know as all the action goes down.
The next live webcast powered by Freecaster.tv will be the Garbanzo DH from 3pm-6pm PDT here: http://www.crankworx.com/index.php/schedule/kokanee-crankworx/live-webcasts. Keep up to date on all things Kokanee Crankworx through crankworx.com, Facebook.com/crankworx and make to follow @crankworx on Twitter.
The eighth annual Kokanee Crankworx is presented by Whistler Blackcomb and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Kokanee Crankworx is the biggest annual event held in Whistler and is also the largest freeride mountain bike festival in the world. Each year the best amateur and professional freeride, downhill and slopestyle mountain bike athletes gather for a ten-day, non-stop barrage of competition and celebration. Whistler has the worldâ€™s most diverse offering of mountain biking terrain, including 150 miles of single-track trails, 5,000 vertical feet of lift-accessed downhill runs in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, jump parks and 20+ miles of paved Valley Trail.
Media Note: Please credit Blake Jorgenson Photography