Kokanee Crankworx 2010 is officially on with the Dual Slalom in the bag and the Block Party kicking off with the first bash of this nine-day celebration of all things mountain bike.
With big-time contender Brian Lopes out in the first heat of the Pro Men semi-finals due to a crash, Gee Atherton managed to fend off up and coming young guns Troy Brosnan and Mitch Ropelato to secure the Dual Slalom win.
It was Great Britain’s Atherton versus 18 year-old American Mitch Ropelato in the finals and things were looking to go Ropelato’s way with a holeshot in the first run. After gaining that short lead, they were side by side when Ropelato lost his head and crashed, letting Atherton gain the advantage going into the second run of the finals.
“I was playing calm, cool and collected,” says Atherton, after his win. “It is quite unexpected, but I am feeling really stoked. You have to stay calm and have fun. I really enjoyed that.”
For the Pro Women, Micayla Gatto from Vancouver’s North Shore kept the Dual Slalom title on Canadian soil. In each of the two runs in the final, France’s Emmeline Ragot got the holeshot but Gatto was able to consistently pull the advantage with power and quick turns to take the lead and stand at the top of the podium.
Now in its fourth season at Kokanee Crankworx, the Dual Slalom is a crowd favourite and despite cool weather and a few light showers, hundreds of fans lined the gated course and watched from the big screen in Whistler Village. The dual slalom head-to-head format featured 107 riders in the pro and amateur categories pumping through a course riddled with rhythm sections, a mogul field, tight berms, jumps and drops.
In the Pro Men category, Gee Atherton (GBR) took first place, Mitch Ropelato (USA) took second place, Mick Hannah (AUS) took third and Troy Brosnan (AUS) took fourth.
In the Pro Women category, Micayla Gatto (CAD) finished first, Emmeline Ragot (FRA) finished second, Jill Kintner (USA) finished third and Melissa Buhl (USA) finished fourth.
Full event results at www.crankworx.com/whistler/live-blog/2010-results