August 18, 2013 (Whistler, BC) – Canadian downhill hero Steve Smith has taken his third consecutive win of the Canadian Open DH on the final day of mountain bike events for Crankworx Whistler’s 10th Anniversary. His run took place under mixed cloud and precipitation, which provided riders today with challenging and wet conditions on the notoriously rough Canadian DH track in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Australia’s Mick Hannah was second to Smith and Sam Blenkinsop of New Zealand was third. Emmeline Ragot of France won the women’s field against the consistent Claire Buchar of Whistler, BC, while Florian Pugin (FRA) rounded out the podium in third place.
“It’s gotta be the luckiest run of my life,” says Smith, who crashed on the track and had to get back on his bike to continue racing. “I had a crash in the woods and still managed to win. I had to hit the gas so hard it was almost dangerous. I’m so pumped. I did not expect this.”
Stevie Smith is no stranger to the top spot of the podium this week. Fresh off of a World Cup DH win in Mont-Sainte-Anne last week, he returned to Whistler earlier in the festival to win the Fox Air DH and was favoured to win today’s Canadian Open DH, which is also a sanctioned Canada Cup Downhill. Smith’s consistency and skill on the World Cup scene and at Crankworx has made him the most highly decorated downhill race athlete in Canada’s history.
“Racing today was pretty cool,” says Emmeline Ragot. The 2011 UCI Downhill World Champion won the Garbanzo DH earlier this week and put together a solid run to win against a strong field of women racers. “There were a lot of people all over the track and it pushes you to ride faster.”
The course for the Canadian Open DH has been both revered and respected by many of the top racers in the world since it began to evolve five years ago. The track has grown from including sections of trail throughout the Whistler Mountain Bike Park to showcasing pieces of terrain used exclusively for this event each year at Crankworx Whistler. To be a real contender to win the Canadian Open DH, riders must possess the perfect mix of technical skill, comfort with speed and risk and all out fitness.
Today was the final day of Crankworx Whistler’s ten-day epic festival to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Yesterday’s Freeride Mountian Bike World Tour Diamond event, Red Bull Joyride, drew over 25,00 fans to Whistler. Whistler’s Brandon Semenuk won the event for the second time and is only one of two people to have accomplished this feat. Sweden’s Martin Soderstrom was second and Sam Pilgrim of Great Britain completed the podium in third.
1. Emmeline Ragot – $5,000
2. Claire Buchar – $3,000
3. Florian Pugin – $2,000
1. Steve Smith – $10,000
2. Mick Hannah – $5,000
3. Sam Blenkinsop – $3,000
Crankworx Whistler gathered fans from August 9 through today by the tens of thousands to see the world’s best mountain bikers compete in events throughout Whistler and across a myriad of disciplines. To see highlights, results and more information about Crankworx Whistler, visit here.