Under threatening skies the 2017 Crankworx round from Les Gets, France, kicked off with riders flying through the air sideways in the Official European Whip Off Championships Presented by Spank . As is often the case in the Alps during the summer months, afternoon thunderstorms had been predicted but organizers did not want to cancel the event unless things became unsafe for the riders. The schedule at Crankworx is grueling enough as it is with all the practice and events, and moving things around only adds to the madness. So as they say... The show must go on.
Unfortunately, though, things would get cut short, and at the worst possible time. Riders had really just warmed up and were starting to push their limits ahead of the final judged round, going bigger and bigger each time they dropped in. Mother Nature, however, had other plans and decided to rain on everyone's parade just as the excitement was building. Some riders got caught out a bit and hadn't thrown down their best hand, while others who had set the bar early were not fully challenged. That doesn't mean anyone was robbed or unfairly scored, it just means we didn't get to see the kind of one-upmanship that often comes later in the contest, with riders using each round to outdo one another. As the lightning snaked through the sky and torrential rain began to make things slick and dangerous, the judges had the difficult task of calling the winner early.
For the women, it was an easy decision as Casey Brown was once again in a league of her own. But for the men, there was quite a bit of debate as to whether Allan Cooke's past ninety degrees style topped Anthony Rocci's insane amplitude. In the end, it was size that mattered most, and Rocci would land himself his first Crankworx podium by going straight to the top step.