AN­OTHER LEVEL

Mountain Biking UK - - OUT FRONT -

Crankworx 2017 has been one for the record books, ex­pand­ing to four fes­ti­vals spread over three con­ti­nents and wrap­ping up with a nine-day ex­trav­a­ganza in the epi­cen­tre of moun­tain bik­ing that is Whistler, BC.

Ev­ery year we think slopestyle can’t get any cra­zier, but then it does! We’re talk­ing Ni­choli Ro­gatkin throw­ing 1,080-de­gree cash-roll spins and the likes of Brett Rheeder and Emil Jo­hans­son ca­su­ally chuck­ing 720 op­po­site tail­whips. This sum­mer, though, we saw the re­turn of the king – Bran­don Se­menuk – to the top step of the podium.

Af­ter be­ing ab­sent from Crankworx Les Gets and Crankworx Inns­bruck, the five­time Red Bull Joyride winner rocked up in Whistler, dropped in first and set the bar at an un­beat­ably high level with a half cab o the first drop (a first in MTB com­pe­ti­tion) fol­lowed by a ton of spin and tail­whip variations.

Else­where at the fes­ti­val, Colom­bian pow­er­house Marcelo Gu­tier­rez stormed his way to a fifth con­sec­u­tive win in the marathon-length Gar­banzo DH, while Troy Bros­nan con­tin­ued his Crankworx win­ning streak with a four-sec­ond lead in the Cana­dian Open DH. The course was dustier and rougher than ever, but def­i­nitely qui­eter, since the shut­down of ‘Heck­ler’s Rock’ af­ter last year’s top­less, beer-swill­ing an­tics got out of hand.

In the women’s events, Tracey Han­nah smashed both down­hill races, but the Air DH ti­tle was taken by Jill Kint­ner, who won the pump track and dual slalom chal­lenges too to re­tain her ‘Queen of Crankworx’ crown.

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