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Kokanee Crankworx Slopestyle Qualifier & Jim Beam Air Downhil

July 28, 2006 — Brian Lopes of Mission, CA took first in the Jim Beam Air Downhill Pro category at the third annual Kokanee Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival yesterday. Lopes time, 4:19.05 was 2.38 seconds faster than last year’s title holder Cedric Gracia of Andorra with 4:21.43. Bryn Atkinson of Sydney, AUS came in with the third fastest time.

Jen Ashton of Whistler, BC secured the fastest time for the Women’s Pro category with a time of 4:44.32 beating Fionn Griffiths of Great Britain with a time of 4:47.13 and Danika Schroeter of Maple Ridge, BC with a time of 4:48.29.

“My race went really well even though I was battling strep throat,” says Ashton. “I’m coaching the DFX Program and Summer Gravity Camps so I’m riding in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park everyday. A-Line is a trail I am on a lot, I basically ride it home every night.”

Stacy Kohut of Whistler, BC took the 4 Wheelers category with a time of 5:35.62 with Johnny Therien of Pemberton, BC behind him by 25.85 seconds with a time of 6:01.47.

The qualifiers for the Kokanee Slopestyle took place today and the finals on Saturday are being eagerly anticipated by competitors and spectators alike. Historically the Kokanee Slopestyle has been invitational, but feedback from past competitors led organizers to open up the competition.

“There weren’t a lot of surprises on who qualified,” says Richie Schley, professional mountain biker and freeride pioneer. “Everything we built for the course was getting hit and the riders found the set-up challenging and diverse. There are mostly familiar names heading into the finals. Saturday’s show is going to be spectacular.”

Events remaining on the Kokanee Crankworx roster include the Nissan Biker X on Friday July 28, the Kokanee Slopestyle Finals on Saturday July 29, and the Kona Jump Jam and the Garbanzo Enduro Downhill wrapping the festival on Sunday, July 30.

The third annual Kokanee Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival has expanded to nine days of serious excitement both on and off the hill, showcasing Whistler as the ultimate biking playground by combining impressive stunt sessions and mind-blowing speed events with the world’s best mountain bikers competing for cash and prizing totaling over $30,000. The event line-up, which takes place in Whistler Blackcomb’s famed mountain bike park and throughout Whistler Village, also includes an outdoor expo, pro riding demonstrations, free music and entertainment.

Kokanee Crankworx is presented by Events Whistler – a partnership of Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. At centre stage of Kokanee Crankworx is the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. With over 200 km and 3,855 feet of lift-serviced gravity-fed, adrenaline-fueled descending trails, the Bike Park is the unequivocal leader of lift-accessed mountain bike parks in the world.

For more information about Kokanee Crankworx – Whistler’s premier freeride mountain bike festival – please visit www.crankworx.com.

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