Beat Down: Garbanzo DH - Crankworx Whistler 2016

Aug 17, 2016
by Dave Trumpore  





The first of the Crankworx gravity races kicked off today with the event that really needs no introduction. The Garbanzo DH, starting atop the peak of the same name and winding its way down some of Whistler Bike Park's most iconic trails, once again lived up to its reputation as a true punisher. While not the longest race run on the mountain these days thanks to the opening of Top of the World and the Enduro World Series, it is easily still the roughest and gnarliest race run in all of the park. Starting on Original Sin, there is no easing into things as the trail tips steeply downward through a series of rough chutes and switchbacks before spitting riders out into the open at full speed to battle with breaking bumps that could rival any World Cup. But the real fun starts when racers head back into the woods and through the three steep drops of In Deep, a two-minute thrasher of a trail that has come to define all things Garbanzo. Once upon a time In Deep was full of loamy dirt with a few rocks and roots scattered about, but over the years it has weathered a lot of abuse and those rocks have gotten much bigger and the roots more plentiful as the soft dirt has all but gone away. Some might say it's a bit old and tired, while others would argue that like a fine wine, age has brought out the trail's best. Either way, if you want to succeed in the Garbanzo DH it's a beast you need to slay.

As the track leaves the steeps of the Garbanzo zone, racers get a brief chance to rest their hands but not their legs. As the trail flattens out it's a full sprint across a few big traverses before dropping into the more rough and technical terrain on Duff Man, Monkey Hands and Ho Chi Min before finally sending battered bikes and bodies over the infamous GLC drop to the finish. With times averaging between 12-15 minutes and temperatures pushing 30 degrees Celsius, racers crossed the line nearing complete exhaustion, many of whom needed more than a few minutes to recover and conduct the obligatory post-race interview. All except Marcelo Gutierrez that is, who broke his chain coming out of the flat woods on the lower mountain and was forced to speed tuck for about two minutes to take his 4th consecutive Garbanzo win here in Whistler. Second would go to Sam Blenkinsop and third to Jack Moir who battled a head cold to grab the final spot on the podium. In the women's race Whistler local and former Canadian National Champion, Claire Buchar set the early fast time, only to be ousted by current Canadian Champ, Miranda Miller. Miller would sit through an onslaught of top World Cup talent in the form of Emile Siegenthaler, Manon Carpenter, and Tracey Hannah to take her first Garbanzo DH win since 2009.

A big crash ended Mitch Ropelato s shot at a top spot pushing him back to 16th. He did suffer a badly bruised hand but it shouldn t stop him from competing in whip off or Pump Track later in the week.
A big crash ended Mitch Ropelato's shot at a top spot, pushing him back to 16th. He did suffer a badly bruised hand but it shouldn't stop him from competing in Whip Off or Pump Track later in the week.

A pre-race favorite coming into Crankworx Marl Wallace would smash his way down for 7th.
A pre-race favorite coming into Crankworx, Mark Wallace would smash his way down for 7th.

Even during the first practice runs of the morning it was apparent to everyone that Marcelo was riding the track speed on a whole other level.
Even during the first practice runs of the morning it was apparent to everyone that Marcelo was riding the track on a whole other level.

Wyn Maters went for the masochistic approach and tackled Garbanzo on his enduro bike.
Wyn Masters went for the masochistic approach and tackled Garbanzo on his enduro bike.

Phil Atwill takes the high line and smashes one big rock instead of eleven.
Phil Atwill takes the high line and smashes one big rock instead of eleven.

George Gannicott dropping in on Original Sin.
George Gannicott dropping in on Original Sin.

Whistler local Georgia Astle had one of her best Garbanzo showings in 7th.
Whistler local Georgia Astle had one of her best Garbanzo showings in 7th.

Not so sweet a day for Whistler s DH Freerider Remy Metailler twenty sixth place on his home turf.
Not so sweet a day for Whistler's DH Freerider, Remy Metailler: twenty-sixth place on his home turf.

Josh Carlson swapped his enduro bike for a little extra DH bike muscle to tackle the super rough Garbo track.
Josh Carlson swapped his enduro bike for a little extra DH bike muscle to tackle the super rough Garbo track.

Harry Heath quite possibly racing his last Crankworx after announcing his retirement a few weeks back had a fantastic run to round out the top 5.
Harry Heath, quite possibly racing his last Crankworx after announcing his retirement a few weeks back had a fantastic run to round out the top 5.

Adam Brayton In Deep.
Adam Brayton continued his best ever season to snag 6th.

Casey Brown came close with a 4th but was still a long 6 seconds off the podium.
Casey Brown came close with a 4th but was still a long 6 seconds off the podium.

Emilie Siegenthaler has finished on the Garbanzo podium on more than a few occasions but today would have to settle for 6th.
Emilie Siegenthaler has finished on the Garbanzo podium on more than a few occasions but today would have to settle for 6th.

After almost 15 minutes of intense racing in near record heat racers couldn t get their helmets off fast enough after crossing the line.
After almost 15 minutes of intense racing in near record heat, racers couldn't get their helmets off fast enough after crossing the line.

Claire Buchar knows these trails as well or better than anyone and her hometown knowledge was put to good work on her way to 3rd.
Claire Buchar knows these trails as well or better than anyone and her hometown knowledge was put to good work on her way to 3rd.

Third place on the day for Claire Buchar. The Whistler local was only 4.5 seconds away from taking the win from Miranda Miller.
Third place on the day for Claire Buchar. The Whistler local was only 4.5 seconds away from taking the win from Miranda Miller.

Claire headed right down the middle of In Deep.
Claire headed right down the middle of In Deep.

Tracey Hannah smashed out run after run in practice saying that she enjoyed the pain and punishment of it all. With two extremely rough WC rounds coming up in Andorra and Val di Sole it was certainly some good training.
Tracey Hannah smashed out run after run in practice, saying that she enjoyed the pain and punishment of it all. With two extremely rough WC rounds coming up in Andorra and Val di Sole it was certainly some good training.

Tracey gave it all she had but after 14 minutes of racing she would come up just 2 seconds shy of victory.
Tracey gave it all she had, but after 14 minutes of racing she would come up just two seconds shy of victory.

Manon Carpenter looked fast but just couldn t find her groove on the rough and extra long Garbo track.
Manon Carpenter looked fast but just couldn't find her groove on the rough and extra long Garbo track.

Beat Down Garbanzo DH - Crankworx Whistler 2016

Miranda won the Garbanzo way back in 2009 and has finished 2nd or third on multiple occasions since but today she finally put i all together to climbs to that top step once again.
Miranda won the Garbanzo way back in 2009 and has finished 2nd or third on multiple occasions since, but today she finally put it all together to climb to that top step once again.

Fully recovered from two broken arms a year ago Miranda Miller has consistently worked her way up to being a consistent podium threat. That confidence carried Miller through today for the win in the Garbo DH.
Fully recovered from two broken arms a year ago, Miranda Miller has consistently worked her way up to being a consistent podium threat. That confidence carried Miller through today for the win in the Garbo DH.

Legendary rider Chris Kovarik muscled it down into 8th.
Legendary rider, Chris Kovarik muscled it down into 8th.

Even the hardest of riders were feeling it after doing battle with the rough Garbanzo track for over 12 minutes.
Even the hardest of riders were feeling it after doing battle with the rough Garbanzo track for over 12 minutes.

Defending King of Crankworx Barnard Kerr rounded out the top 10 today.
Defending King of Crankworx, Bernard Kerr rounded out the top 10 today.

It was anything but easy.
It was anything but easy.

Finn Iles on target but even with a stellar balls to the walls run he could only come home 9th.
Finn Iles on target but even with a stellar, balls to the walls run, he could only come home 9th.

Finn Iles skipped on the junior race to take on the big boys today.
Finn Iles skipped on the junior race to take on the big boys today.

Finn would end the day in 9th sandwiched between Kovarik and Kerr.
Finn would end the day in 9th sandwiched between Kovarik and Kerr.

Jack Moir cut it inside on the exit to Original Sin tighter than anyone else. That surgical precision saw him take home third place for the pro men.
Jack Moir cut it inside on the exit to Original Sin tighter than anyone else. That surgical precision saw him take home third place for the pro men.

Breathing aint easy in this kind of heat especially when you have a viscous head cold.
Breathing ain't easy in this kind of heat, especially when you have a vicious head cold.

Loic Bruni said he never felt comfortable on track and isn t used to racing for such a long amount of time even joking at one point that he would need an E-bike to be competitive here. He obviously sold his ability short because he pulled out a great time to land in 4th just 3 seconds off the podium.
Loic Bruni said he never felt comfortable on track and isn't used to racing for such a long amount of time, even joking at one point that he would need an E-bike to be competitive here. He obviously sold his ability short because he pulled out a great time to land in 4th, just 3 seconds off the podium.

Even Super Bruni is human on a track this long and was sucking wind just like everyone else at the finish line.
Even Super Bruni is human on a track this long and was sucking wind, just like everyone else at the finish line.

Beat Down Garbanzo DH - Crankworx Whistler 2016

Sam Blenkinsop has quietly made a name for himself as one of the strongest and finest riders out there so it was never in doubt that he had what takes to perform in the Garbo DH.
Sam Blenkinsop has quietly made a name for himself as one of the strongest and finest riders out there so it was never in doubt that he had what it takes to perform in the Garbo DH.

2nd place today for Blenki.
2nd place today for Blenki.

Bare hands scorching heat and 12 minutes of full on DH racing can be brutal.
Bare hands, scorching heat, and 12 minutes of full on DH racing can be brutal.

Most riders were just rollin over the edge of these two drops but Marcelo hit them so fast he had to scrub them as a double jump.
Most riders were just rolling over the edge of these two drops but Marcelo hit them so fast he had to scrub them as a double jump.

No chain and still carrying a ridiculous amount of sped across the line to take the win by 7 seconds.
No chain and still carrying a ridiculous amount of speed across the line to take the win by 7 seconds.

Marcelo stoked beyond belief to take the win despite snapping a chain just before the A Line portion of the Garbo DH track. I came off a drop and hit something maybe a rock Don t know I was going too fast but I started hearing a bit of noise back there and all of the sudden no chain. I thought I was done so to take the win I m beyond happy
Marcelo stoked beyond belief to take the win despite snapping a chain just before the A-line portion of the Garbo DH track. "I came off a drop and hit something, maybe a rock? Don't know, I was going too fast; but I started hearing a bit of noise back there and all of the sudden no chain. I thought I was done so to take the win? I'm beyond happy!"

4 years and 4 Garbanzo DH wins for Marcelo
Four years and four Garbanzo DH wins for Marcelo.

The pro Garbo DH podium L-R Sam Blenkinsop and Tracey Hannah 2 Marcelo Gutierrez and Miranda Miller 1 Claire Buchar and Jack Moir 3 .
The pro-Garbo DH podium (L-R): Sam Blenkinsop and Tracey Hannah (2), Marcelo Gutierrez and Miranda Miller (1), Claire Buchar and Jack Moir (3).

Your 2016 fastest men and women of Garbanzo.
Your 2016 fastest men and women of Garbanzo DH.

Nothing beats the heat like some victory champagne.
Nothing beats the heat like some victory champagne.

 LongLiveChainsaw
#LongLiveChainsaw


MENTIONS: @officialcrankworx




72 Comments

  • 25 0
 Mixed podium is a great idea!
  • 9 5
 I second that, also i hope that the prise money is now the same. Same track + same effort = same $$$
  • 6 0
 @Fliberico: looks like Buchar and Moir both got $750 for 3rd.
  • 19 1
 To anyone looking at the photos and thinking they will slay the In Deep rock section shown in most the photos please remember it's a photo. When you are on the side of the mountain, looking down into a seemingly endless gully of rocks and gnarly edges, and after being beaten down by the previous trail sections, which are no picnic, things don't seem so easy...
  • 8 0
 Yep. As a new rider to the area, I went down Blue Velvet only to find that a large part of that trail was closed, and it forced us down In Deep/ Fatcrobat. I remember looking down that rock gully and saying "Oh, Hell no."
  • 2 1
 The funny part is people say the high line (right side of the images) is easier, but it's so damn intimidating to look down from above. The middle gully is lower consequence but you need your front tire on line or there's an angled rock that will cause you to slide and/or hit your cranks. The triple hump gully is a lot easier for sure.
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: dude yes, i was just in whistler for SGC and i am like "i am pretty sure as soon as my front tire hits that grease covered rock its gonna slide and my cranks are gonna get so wedged in that chute. but as always, no brakes, let the bike roll, and no problems. triple hump is no sweat
  • 21 0
 Ditch your chain. Win races. Seems simple
  • 17 0
 Does anyone know how far from the finish Marcelo's chain snapped? It says at the A-Line section but unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of going to Whistler so that means nothing to me.
  • 1 0
 If it was a line that's the best spot to have no chain. I have never rode better in my life
  • 2 0
 I don't know. He says "A-Line section" but the course doesn't really go onto A-Line at all. Maybe he meant Longhorn or Monkey Hands? That's the most overlap with A-Line. I am by no means trying to diminish his amazing accomplishment, but I figure he lost his chain probably 7/8ths of the way down.
  • 1 0
 @davecheng: I assumed that ment the section where you cross Aline on your way into WC Single track
  • 1 0
 @Jockular: That would be much more impressive, maybe 3/4ths of the way down then!
  • 13 1
 finn ends up only in 9th place........... said no one ever !!!! big props to that kid, smoking so many adults and ending up just behind kovarik.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, definitely should have been emphasized more that he stepped up from Juniors to race some of the world's fastest, and snagged a top 10.
  • 11 3
 Price money are ridiculous.

They should be much, much higher. The Crankworks pockets are deep enough to rebuilt the Boneyard and all its features every year (costs more than 50 grand/year) ???

1500$ check for an outstanding 12 mins performance In Deep hell is nonsense.

More price money for those on the podiums is a must in our sport. Putting things in perspective it gets even more ridiculous, when you think that Golfers are getting millions for putting a little ball in a hole. I know this could be said for all amateurs sports, but seeing those checks really stroke me as way too cheap.
  • 11 0
 There is a total of $6500 in prize money on the podium in that shot. Crankworx has a total of 12 or 13 events (iirc) that have prize money attached. Joyride alone puts up nearly $40K for top 3 (rightfully so, it's the headline event). Back of the envelope calculations, I'd estimate crankworx pays out $100K in prize money over two weeks. Nothing to scoff at. You can't pay everyone $10K for winning a race - The economics aren't there.
  • 2 0
 @Duc1098: Point taken.

Also realized I made a stupid typo; I meant priZe, not price, obviously.
  • 6 0
 @Bragelonne: I was pickin' up what you were puttin' down. I don't disagree that these athletes work hard and are worht more. Just trying to throw some light on the business behind getting rad.
  • 11 2
 I always wondered why Gwin skips Crankworx
  • 6 0
 why risk it?

Did you see Danny Hart on the list? Brosnan? Minaar? Personally I think Bruni is crazy for doing it considering he's still within reach of WC.
  • 6 0
 @onemanarmy:

Brosnan raced in the EWS I believe.
  • 2 0
 @WolfStoneD: indeed he did. But it wasn't the dh and I think he finished like 2 minutes back... telling me he probably wasn't taking too many risks.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: One could argue it's good training, good exposure for their sponsors, etc. It's not like it's a Rampage or Hard Line style course. That being said in previous years I don't think Steve Smith raced the GB DH so what do I know!
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: or they can do like Stevie did and carry the momentum from winning 3 DH events at Crankworx Whistler and continue to win World Cups eventually taking the overall. Crankworx is a different atmosphere to any WC; the relaxed vibe, multiple events and not just one to focus on, riders from all different disciplines slaying it in the park day in and day out, makes a rider feel as though they've been on a vacation, all while putting time on the dirt and between the tape. A break like that is a huge boost for any rider, both in mental but also towards their skillset. Come away with a couple podiums and you're on target for a successful season finish. If I'm not mistaken, I do believe Bruni has also carried his Crankworx success to win later races.
  • 2 0
 @charmingbob: I do believe in 2013 Stevie raced the Garbanzo DH, Air DH, and Open DH, and won all three.
If anything, this would be the main reason I would have liked to see more WC riders to show up and race Crankworx Whistler. In honor of Stevie in his home.
I would also like to see all further Crankworx trophies be chainsaws.
  • 9 1
 MILLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..............ya'll read that? Fully recovered from TWO broken arms! What a rider!
  • 2 0
 Miller time killin it this yr. You go girl.
  • 1 0
 @rcrdrvr: She's looking better every race. She's definitely gonna be a tough out next season.
  • 6 0
 Nice to see the WC bunch show up and race longer than 4 min.....weeds out the weak for sure. Would have been nice to see how Rachel finished with a run three times longer
  • 7 0
 She would probably put over a minute into the rest if she could keep it on the boil for 15 mins.
  • 6 1
 These two articles with the same pictures in a different order confuses me. Even the thumbnail pic is the same..
  • 6 0
 Marcello with a Reverb on his Glory?
  • 7 0
 Think he did that last year IIRC, just helps on the odd pedally section and given it's such a long DH run I'm guessing there might be some gains to be made.
  • 10 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Aug 17, 2016 at 4:19) (Below Threshold)
 It may be a risk since droppers naturally fail more often that regular posts, but if track is long abd has a smoother pedally section then being able to put your bum down and pedal feels like time for free. You rest while going faster.
  • 3 1
 I wonder if his success in this event shows he could be very successful in enduro. Waki,. You have developed an expectation here. It seems that you can't make such a typical post or else it gets down voted.
  • 2 0
 There is a significant pedal section that is perhaps 1 km long (for those familiar with the bike park, it's where Duffman dumps you out onto Golden Triangle, all that over to Del Boca). Pedalling the entire length while standing is brutal!
  • 1 0
 @davecheng: oh yeah, didn't think about that...
I always rode very chill down there, totally different situation in the race of course... Smile
  • 8 1
 I am Groot!
  • 7 2
 I dont know about any body else but that last picture with the chainsaw on the Canadian flag hit me hard. #longlivechainsaw
  • 3 0
 Any particular reason why Whistler does not host a regular World Cup DH event???
  • 8 0
 The way I understand it is that resorts pay the uci to host world cups. Whistler basically told the uci to pound sand because it doesn't need to host a world Cup because it has crankworx . It'll probably never happen unless Vail (new owners) can swallow their pride and make a deal happen. I could be way off though so don't quote me.
  • 16 0
 The real reason is that Rob Warner can't scream for 12 minutes.
  • 1 0
 I assume part of the reason is that there is already one WC race in Canada each year at MSA. That said back in 2009 there was a WC at both MSA and Bromont.
  • 2 0
 Grouse mountain held a world cup event for a couple years starting in 2001 I think would be cool to see one in the area again soon. they definitely need to add a few races to the schedule.
  • 2 0
 @lornee: There was talks about Sun Peaks holding an event
  • 1 0
 @Tmackstab: How awesome would it be to have 2 Western North American events to offset the 2 Eastern?! Maybe Vail could work out a deal if they sign up both Whistler and Park City. Park City/Canyons certainly doesn't have anything WC worthy as of right now, but I'd have to imagine we have enough vert and variety of terrain that an epic trail could be made.

OR...

Bring high end events back to Deer Valley and touch up all of the gnarly trails that have been discarded in favor of trails the width of freeways and every bit as smooth.
  • 2 0
 I'm such a noob with a chain. Excellent story and pics Dave. Really captured the gnar of the event.
  • 3 0
 $1500 will cover part of air fare.....
  • 3 0
 Congratulations Marcelo, impressive beating all the local rippers!
  • 2 0
 I think DH World Champs needs to be a chainless race on production bikes only - that should make things wild and interesting
  • 1 0
 That track looks like so much fun!! ...Probably cause I'm only looking at it through a screen.
  • 2 0
 Poor Trace, with Rachael not racing I thought she would get a "W"..
  • 1 0
 looks like we need t get back to old 9 sped chains, because these new ones keep on braking every year Frown
  • 2 1
 Ey, bike companies move away from e bikes!! Chainless bike is the next big thing. It wins races. Thank me later.
  • 2 1
 Adult balance bikes perhaps? If there is no chain we might as well get rid of the cranks and pedals too.
  • 1 0
 I have intentionally taken my chain off at my local mountain many times and I really prefer the feel. That particular mountain has zero pedaling top to bottom for any trail so I can get away with it. It would be pretty sick if a company actually built a DH bike intended to be run with no chain. It would be so much cheaper because of a severe lack of features on the frame it might be cost-effective for people like me who have access to a no pedaling mountain.
  • 1 0
 Something to be said about riding/racing with no chain. Maybe onto a new form of DH training here!
  • 3 1
 Fair play to Finn for ripping with the big dogs!
  • 1 0
 Banger shots Dave! Not easy to get the image in such hi contrast conditions.
  • 1 0
 What's strapped to Jack Moir's bike under the TT I wonder, some kind of data logger or something?
  • 2 0
 Chains, who needs 'em?
  • 12 0
 I do
  • 1 1
 Sweat (or mud) is way sexier than make up any day!
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