Canadian Open DH: A Golden Hour - Crankworx Whistler 2016

Aug 21, 2016
by Dave Trumpore  




Blown out, loose, rough, rad, and relentless. Those are just a few of the words that were frequently used to describe the Canadian Open Downhill track here in Whistler built to challenge the fastest racers in the world. Not one single part of the course was easy and with the lack of rain and subsequent dust coating the surface of things, finding that balance between pure speed and disaster was a very fine line only few could master.

In the junior race we saw many of the usual World Cup suspects battling it out once again, with the most anticipated showdown being that between rivals Finn Iles and Gaetan Vige. A battle that never really materialized as Gaetan struggled in the loose conditions while the hometown favorite threw down a time well dear of his rivals and good enough for a top 10 in the Pro Men's field. The women's race became a battle of attrition of sorts as the long week of Crankworx and its never ending events would claim a few victims today. Opting not to race were Jill Kintner who had already secured her Queen of Crankworx title the night before and Claire Buchar who was battling fatigue. Emilie Siegenthaler would not take the start as she is still waiting on a diagnosis for her injured knee, and Tegan Molloy would break her collarbone on her race run. Yes, it's been a rough week for a lot of people here in Whistler. First to capitalize on these misfortunes would be Vaea Verbeek who grabbed her second podium spot of the week with a third. Second would go to Manon Carpenter and the big win to Tracey Hannah who stormed the course full gas a full ten seconds clear of her nearest rival.

The men's race was also affected by some Crankworxs induced injury or fatigue, most notably Loic Bruni who aggravated his shoulder when he crashed in the Air DH and was siting on a plane back to France while his rivals duked it out through the dust. George Branigan bruised his heel in a crash during the Whip Off and more than a few other riders were seen getting taped up in the pits as the day got underway. In the end it was the number one plate of Troy Brosnan who literally floated down the track above all the rough and rocky bits at an incomprehensible speed who would take the win and leave a lot of folks scratching their heads in disbelief. Second would go to Jack Moir who was loving the loose dust and equating it to the blown out conditions he trains on at home in Australia. Rounding out the all-Aussie podium would be Mick Hannah who is looking strong and on form headed into the last few big races of the season and World Champs in just a few weeks time.

Missing from competition and being sorely missed by all in attendance was of course Stevie Smith, but his presence could be felt all over Whistler and this entire event was a tribute to his long lasting legacy.

Thanks again, Stevie. #LongLiveChainsaw

Long Live Chainsaw
Stevie Smith flying high above the finish line.


Marcelo s Giant Glory prepped and waiting for it s pilot to show up and give it a proper thrashing.
Marcelo's Giant Glory prepped and waiting for its pilot to show up and give it a proper thrashing.

Mark Morrison makes final preparations to Brook MacDonald s GT.
Mark Morrison makes final preparations to Brook MacDonald's GT.

Casey Brown putting on her best race face.
Casey Brown putting on her best race face.

Alexandre Fayolle sends it straight down the main line. Nothing fancy and way to fast to even notice the epic light firing through the lower woods.
Alexandre Fayolle sends it straight down the main line. Nothing fancy, and way too fast to even notice the epic light firing through the lower woods.

Heal up Tegan Molloy. A broken collarbone during her race run not only ebed her weekend in Whister but will also have her sideline for both World Cup finals and World Champs.
Heal up Tegan Molloy. A broken collarbone during her race run not only ended her weekend in Whister but will also have her sideline for both World Cup finals and World Champs.

Canadian Open DH

Loose and blown out is an understatement. With as dry as it is in Whistler right now blown out is the only description one can apply to the Canadian Open DH track.
With as dry as it is in Whistler right now, blown out is the only description one can apply to the Canadian Open DH track.

Miranda Miller sending it for Stevie.
Miranda Miller sending it for Stevie.

Casey Brown posting the high speed step down and headed into the fastest part of the track.
Casey Brown posting the high speed step down and headed into the fastest part of the track.

Remi Thirion was looking solid in practice. The fast Frenchman took thirteenth today.
Remi Thirion was looking solid in practice. The fast Frenchman took thirteenth today.

Adam Brayton going airborne.
Adam Brayton going airborne.

Jack Moir on point for a long stay in the hot seat.
Jack Moir on point for a long stay in the hot seat.

He may be comfortable on a single crown fork but Jesse Melemud might have shot himself in the foot by bringing a pea shooter to a gun fight. Sure you can get down everything on the trail on an enduro sled but the ability to just mow s t down on a DH bike is not to be underestimated.
He may be comfortable on a single crown fork,but Jesse Melemud might have shot himself in the foot by bringing a pea shooter to a gun fight. Sure, you can get down everything on the trail on an enduro sled, but the ability to just mow s**t down on a DH bike is not to be underestimated.

Remy Morton.
Remy Morton.

The last race for Bernard Kerr and the King of Crankworx. That title now belongs to Tomas Slavik.
The last race for Bernard Kerr as the King of Crankworx. That title now belongs to Tomas Slavik.

Marcelo Gutierrez
Marcelo Gutierrez.


Blenki on the loose.
Blenki on the loose.

Tracey Hannah on point for a top spot.
Tracey Hannah on point for a top spot.

Since the Canadian Open was also a UCI points race Finn Iles had to join the junior ranks today. He would take the win by over three seconds with a time that would have placed him 9th amongst the elites.
Since the Canadian Open was also a UCI points race Finn Iles had to join the junior ranks today. He would take the win by over three seconds with a time that would have placed him 9th amongst the elites.

Magnus Manson so badly wanted to beat his friends and local rival Finn Iles today but would fall three seconds short.
Magnus Manson so badly wanted to beat his friends and local rival Finn Iles today but would fall three seconds short.

Henry Fitzgerald has had a great Whistler Crankworx and would close things out with a 3rd in the junior race.
Henry Fitzgerald has had a great Whistler Crankworx and would close things out with a 3rd in the junior race.

Finn Iles takes the win here on home soil in mens juniors. Iles has had a good week here at Crankworx.
Finn Iles takes the win here on home soil in mens juniors. Iles has had a good week here at Crankworx.

Sure Shot is right. Finn was a bit of a pin ball wizard on track today.
Sure Shot is right. Finn was a bit of a pinball wizard on track today.

Vaea Verbeeck floating across the rough lower woods on her way to third place.
Vaea Verbeeck floating across the rough lower woods.

Phil Atwell sending home on the last practice run of the day. Phil stopped for a beer on his race run.
Phil Atwell sending home on the last practice run of the day. Phil stopped for a beer on his race run.

Unlucky 13th today for Remi Thirion.
Unlucky 13th today for Remi Thirion.

Nothing like a little light from above on Mick Hannah...
Nothing like a little light from above on Mick Hannah...

Mick Hannah rocking a custom Chainsaw jersey.
Mick Hannah rocking a custom Chainsaw jersey.

Stevie s close family rocking custom shirts remembering the great Canadian Downhill racer. Missed by all.
Stevie's close family rocking custom shirts remembering the great Canadian Downhill racer. Missed by all.

Connor Feron wasn t hanging about for the debauchery at Hecklers Rock.
Connor Feron wasn't hanging about for the debauchery at Hecklers Rock.

Jack Moir had a stellar day taking second place.
Jack Moir had a stellar day taking second place.

Sam Blenkinsop needed a top four to take the King of Crankworx title today but would come up just a few seconds short of the 25K.
Sam Blenkinsop needed a top four to take the King of Crankworx title today, but would come up just a few seconds short of the $25K.

Manon Carpenter didn t have the speed to take it to Tracey today but she did take home the silver.
Manon Carpenter didn't have the speed to take it to Tracey today, but she did take home the silver.

A great result for Manon Carpenter taking 2nd place but it was still a long 10 seconds behind race winner Tracey Hannah.
A great result for Manon Carpenter taking 2nd place, but it was still a long 10 seconds behind race winner Tracey Hannah.

Casey Brown slicing the jesus light on a fast one. Brown took fourth.
Casey Brown slicing the Jesus light on a fast one. Brown took fourth.

Miranda Miller making it through the last section with a sore but not terribly crippling hand.
Miranda Miller making it through the last section with a sore but not terribly crippling hand.

Miranda Miller was giving it all for Stevie today but unfortunately crashed in the mid section of the track. She seems to be alright and in good spirits.
Miranda Miller was giving it all for Stevie today but unfortunately crashed in the mid section of the track. She seems to be alright and in good spirits.

Vaea Verbeeck once again came down before the live feed stated and unfortunately anyone tuning in missed her stellar 3rd place run. Nice work Vaea.
Vaea Verbeeck once again came down before the live feed stated and unfortunately anyone tuning in missed her stellar 3rd place run. Nice work Vaea.

Tracey Hannah took the win a full 11 seconds up on second place Manon Carpenter.
Tracey Hannah took the win a full 11 seconds up on second place Manon Carpenter.

Mick Hannah congratulating his younger sister on her big win today at the Canadian Open DH.
Mick Hannah congratulating his younger sister on her big win today at the Canadian Open DH.

Vaea had plenty to smile about today. This one will be a huge confidence booster heading into Andorra and Val Di Sole.
Vaea had plenty to smile about today. This one will be a huge confidence booster heading into Andorra and Val Di Sole.

Neko Mullally leaved the hecklers in his dust.
Neko Mullally left the hecklers in his dust.

Mick Hannah was on form once again today to finish third. Matching his placing from the Air DH earlier in the week and rounding out an all Aussie top three.
Mick Hannah was on form once again today to finish third. Matching his placing from the Air DH earlier in the week and rounding out an all Aussie top three.

After a tough year on the World Cup circuit it was good to see Eliot Jackson land in 7th to close out Crankworx Whistler.
After a tough year on the World Cup circuit it was good to see Eliot Jackson land in 7th to close out Crankworx Whistler.

Troy came through Hecklers rock so fast that anyone who blinked would surely have missed him.
Troy came through Hecklers rock so fast that anyone who blinked would surely have missed him.

Marcelo always seems to do well here at Crankworx and would finish his weekend on the podium once again in 4th.
Marcelo always seems to do well here at Crankworx and would finish his weekend on the podium once again in 4th.

Hecklefest had a good run but this year will likely be the last.
Hecklefest had a good run but this year will likely be the last.

Brosnan on the way to a 7500 payday.
Brosnan on the way to a $7500 payday.

Troy Brosnan coming into the finish jumps and giving the Australians a podium sweep.
Troy Brosnan coming into the finish jumps and giving the Australians a podium sweep.

The five fastest guns in the west of Canada today.
The five fastest guns in the west of Canada today.

Jack Moir and Tracey Hannah celebrate as the overall Crankworx DH Champions after the point were tallied from Rotorua Les Get s and here in Whistler.
Jack Moir and Tracey Hannah celebrate as the overall Crankworx DH Champions after the point were tallied from Rotorua, Les Get's and here in Whistler.

The only moisture Whistler has seen this week has been champagne raining down from the podium.
The only moisture Whistler has seen this week has been champagne raining down from the podium.

Canadian Open DH

Steve Smith longlivechainsaw
#LongLiveChainsaw.


MENTIONS: @officialcrankworx / @davetrump / @mdelorme / @parisgore / @meagerdude



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38 Comments

  • 43 0
 That lighting....... So many incredible photographs
  • 34 0
 Got goosebumps when I saw the last two photos, no doubt Stevie was there watching and smiling.

#LongLiveChainsaw
  • 8 0
 That's chainsaws rock now love ya Stevie Miss ya everyday Longlivechainsaw !!!!!!!
  • 12 3
 Super disappointed at the lack of coverage of the Canadian national champ Kirk McDowall. Guy absolutely kills it will an 8th place result, the best any Canadian placed and hardly even a mention of his name.
  • 5 1
 he's on a roll this year! They can't give everyone exposure on every article and things get missed on occasion. Yes we know you work for dunbar and he's sponsored by dunbar. we get it.
  • 2 1
 the silent assassin
  • 10 0
 Great to see the women getting the same prize money as the men on the podium!
  • 10 1
 The Mick Hannah hover hand on the podium is hilarious.
  • 1 0
 Cannot unsee.
  • 4 0
 The old days with the crowd on top of the riders. Miss watching Stevie....
  • 1 0
 @davetrump From one photo nerd to another: Were the lower woods section photos taken after the race? I first thought they were taken during morning practice before any spectators arrived, but then I noticed the sunbeams through the dust should be from the afternoon considering the angle of the sun (I'm pretty sure the sun rises from the other side during morning practice). Enquiring minds, aka this guy, needs to know. Haha.
  • 1 0
 Evening practice Friday around 6pm
  • 1 0
 @davetrump: Thank you, sir. I can sleep better tonight knowing this. Wink
  • 5 1
 Is this the start of the Aussie takeover?
  • 5 0
 The locals don't call it Wizla for nothing (try saying Whistler in your best Aussie accent) Smile
  • 2 0
 *Aussie Open DH
  • 4 1
 Why is this the last heckle fest ? Are they demoing hecklers rock?
  • 1 0
 I was just thinking the same thing!
  • 21 0
 Because a few idiots ruined it for everyone else. They were pelting people on the chairlift with full beer cans, and maybe even rocks. At least one person had to go to the clinic to get stitches after getting hit.
  • 3 1
 I hope the rest of the crowd crucified the few bad actors and buried them in the woods. Such a classic case of the few ruining it for the many.
  • 1 0
 doublepost..
  • 1 0
 @adrock-whistler: They also had to put the race on hold multiple times to clean off the track so much garbage was being thrown. It seems that heckle fest has gotten the attention of people who don't give two shits about the sport and just want an excuse to go be jackasses.

Like the 3 teenagers who pelted every. single. chair. Then climbed down the hill to pick up their used ammo for another round. GTFO.
  • 1 0
 it was my first time here whistler and crankworx and i´m shocked about what happend at hecklers rock.. my luck was that i had my goggles on because i got hit in the face by a full beer can.. f***ing idiots..
  • 1 0
 Sorry guys I won't do it again... Didn't mean for such a thing to happen. Please don't blame it all on me.
  • 1 0
 douchebag rock is the new name.
  • 2 1
 Anybody else spot the problem with Marcelo's "Giant Glory prepped and waiting for its pilot to show up and give it a proper thrashing"??
  • 3 0
 Amazing!
  • 4 1
 Dumb ass people....
  • 1 0
 Perfect podium steeze w/something in everybody's hands and no supermans(empty hand to side or on fellow competitor)
  • 3 2
 Mick sporting the famous "hovering hand" on the podium ^^
  • 1 1
 These sunbeam photos are absolutely stunning.
  • 2 1
 Great photos !
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