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Crankworx: Dual Slalom


The look of concentration required to win.

“Technical difficulties with the official computerized timing system”. That’s the word from the Crankworx camp on what caused the troubles of today’s Dual Slalom competition, but other rumours ranged from “lack of light” (dubious) to cock-ups with the rider seedings. Whatever the reason, the end result was the same – a total collapse of the contest, and a re-scheduling of the finals for Saturday morning.

It all started well, though. Practice was fairly uneventful, save for a crumbling course that hadn’t fully recovered from the deluge earlier in the week. Hard work from the course builders soon fixed that, though, and the race was on for the evening. I returned at 6pm to a scene of confusion – no one really had much of an idea what was going on, or who was meant to be doing what, but proceedings went underway regardless. The first round of heats were noticeably slow between runs, and the waiting only got longer as the race progressed. Shortly after all the first runs were done, everything ground to a halt, and we were left wondering what was going on. Rumours circulated around the crowd, theories hypothesised and whispers mutated.

About an hour passed, we watched the sun dip below the mountains and all of a sudden there was movement, as all of the riders donned helmets and flooded down the trail. Ah, that’ll be the race cancelled then. The finals are on tomorrow instead, hopefully the gremlins will be ironed out by then.

Lopes pips Rennie in their practice run.

Moots? V-brakes? Someone’s lost.

Lots of these around, it was radio-triggered flash a go-go. I bucked the trend and shot available light. Eat that, conformity!

Big crowds made a ton of noise.

So many photographers, it was a struggle just to see the riders.

Whoops. That’s a bit wrong.

The longer they waited, the drunker they got.

SRAM saturated the crowd with those blow-up bam-bam things.

With the race officially cancelled, the riders stampeded.

All pics: Dan Barham


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