July 19, 2011 (Whistler, BC) – With only one run to make his mark, Sam Blenkinsop (Nzl) made an incredible recovery after hitting a tree to take the Pro Men’s win in the Garbanzo Downhill with a time of 13:44.52.
“That was hard. I hit a tree and it knocked all the wind out of me,” said an out of breath Blenkinsop at the bottom of the course. “It took me awhile to breath again after I got back on my bike. Compared to this race, the World Cup Downhills feel pretty easy. This is much longer than usual DH races, you can’t ride it 100 per cent the while way down.”
Another racer putting on the power, and linking together a good run, was Whistler local Claire Buchar who won the Pro Women’s category with a time of 16:06.68.
The Garbanzo DH is an epic course when the conditions are ideal so the variable conditions the racers had to deal with today made the course extra challenging. Cold and wet conditions up top transitioned to extremely slippery roots and rocks on the mid-mountain and then merged with dry conditions on the bottom. The racers had to constantly adapt to the ever-changing conditions but the weather stayed consistent for the entire race, giving the athletes a level playing field from the first to the last rider.
The Garbanzo Downhill is a 3,400 ft arm-pumping, finger-cramping, unrelenting descent from the top of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park to the valley bottom. The course snakes through some of the most challenging and aggressive terrain available in Whistler.
The same course as 2010 was used – riders start behind the Garbanzo lift hut -> Original Sin (including the uphill section) -> exit Original Sin at the step down/step up tree island on the Dave Murray flats -> proceed down Blue Velvet -> traverse and proceed into In Deep -> after rock face turn left towards Container (FatCrobbat would require a right turn at this point) -> from Container into No Joke/ Duffman -> remain on Duffman until it merges with Golden Triangle -> continue on World Cup Singletrack -> Ho Chi Min -> Longhorn -> Monkey Hands -> GLC drops to finish.
Tomorrow the action takes air with the legendary Jeep® Air Downhill taking place for the Ams starting at 11:30-3:30pm and the Pros hitting the course 3:30-5:30pm with a live webcast. The village-wide expo and demo zone will be hopping and the sold out Deep Summer Photo Challenge will take place at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Download the Official Kokanee Crankworx App to stay in the know as all the action goes down.
1. Sam Blenkinsop13:44.52
2. Marcelo Gutierrez Villega 13:57.23
3. Jack Reading 13:58.44
1. Claire Buchar 16:06.68
2. Manon Carpenter 16:13.82
3. Miranda Miller 16:55.00