Crankworx: Day Two
After the first night of Crankworx and navigating the late-night crowds I woke up today to a slow and lazy morning, a family walk by Alpha Lake, and an Americano at the best little coffee shop in Whistler, Fix Café at Nita Lake Lodge. From table-to-table, on the patio, and from behind the espresso machine the conversations kept referencing Crankworx and the must-get-to events. Whistler is buzzin’ with Crankworx.
Today Whistler saw the Canadian Open Enduro go down (and up) and probably down again (and up again) as it wound its way through some of Whistler’s finest bike trails. A four-stage race including multiple race disciplines, the standout athletes of this race know how to shred the downhills fast and they have the legs and lungs to power up the hills like you wouldn’t believe.
Some of the athletes competing in this race I see, for a brief few moments, as they pull away from the pack in the weekly WORCA toonie race here in Whistler. These guys are phenomenally fast, are class acts at the après afterwards, and I hope they represented Whistler well in today’s race! Congrats, by the way, to the men’s and women’s winners, Jerome Clementz of France and Whistler local Katrina Strand. High five Katrina!!
The showcase spectator event of today went down at Skiers Plaza in front of a sweaty and dusty crowd laced with a thousand photographers: the AVID Dual Speed & Style. A super fun made-for-TV style of event, I think organizers should consider renaming the event to the Duel of Speed & Style. Pitting dual-slalom speedsters against slopestyle hucksters, points are awarded for speed and how flowy, tricked out, and stylish the runs are.
In an event like this, I think I’d have a very difficult time awarding a single rider top honors. Based on pure riding, the most exciting heat went down in the opening round. Yet, when it came right down to it, the FINAL with Andreu Lacondegu and Brendan Fairclough had the crowd, start to finish. On the first hit Lacondegu actually passed Fairclough via backflip before finding himself rolling in a cloud of dust only a few feet from the finish. It’d have been a photo finish had it not been for the Lacondegu dust storm. Well done guys!
Anyways, it was a fun day; the riders put it on the line, the crowds had a blast, Jets Overhead and Said the Whale killed it tonight at Olympic Plaza, and we get to do it all over again tomorrow. Seeyathur.
PS – I bumped into Deep Summer photographer Scott Markewitz shooting the final kicker on the Speed & Style. With three days to shoot, edit, and throw together a slide show, Scott was pretty chilled out and relaxed about the whole thing. Welcome to Whistler Scott, and good luck!