Photo Epic: Air DH - Crankworx Whistler 2019

Aug 14, 2019
by chris pilling  



It's that time of year again. Hundreds of riders flock to sign up for the Air DH race held on the one and only A-Line. The rains have been coming and going all week leaving what has to be some of the best August conditions A- Line has seen in years. Racers play the anti-hero of sorts staying as low and fast as possible on a jump trail intended for just the opposite. On this, the 5th day of Crankworx, we do battle to find out who would be the warriors of flow and champions of scrub.

A bike park staple known across the world
Jumping skills required.
A bike park staple known across the world

42 jumps lay ahead once riders depart the start gate

Martyn Ahston and Blake Sampson sending it on the adaptive tandem bike.
Martyn Ashton and Blake Sampson sending it on the adaptive tandem bike.

Twice the riders twice the fun. Unfortunately Whistler Blackcomb hasn t quite gotten around to installing tandem bike racks.
This takes some serious cahones.
This takes some serious cahones

So many turns it ll make you re head spin
So many turns it'll make your head spin

Georgia Astle playing both sides of the coin this week. After winning the Garbonzo DH she takes second place in the Air DH
Georgia Astle playing both sides of the coin this week. After winning the Garbonzo DH she takes second place in the Air DH

BMX racer Alaina Henderson proving she can do just as well with a big bike.
BMX racer Alaina Henderson proving she can do just as well with a big bike.

The inevitable Aline train rolls through with 20 riders riding tire to tire. Rdog in his element
Thomas Lemoine with a big ol whip during the mega train.
The inevitable A-Line train rolls through with 20+ riders riding tire to tire. R-Dog and Thomas Lemoine in their element

It was loose to say the least.
It was loose to say the least.

Fergus Ryan looking absolutely pinned
Fergus Ryan looking absolutely pinned.

Braaap
Braaap!!

Low rider Billy Meaclem coming in to mid Aline
Low rider Billy Meaclem coming in to mid A-Line

Aline has some of the finest curves of any trail
A-Line has some of the finest curves of any trail

Speedy.
Down the straight into the final leg of the race
Top to bottom pure exhilaration

Jordy Lunn didn t join the train so he could focus on a quick race run.
Jordie Lunn didn't join the train so he could focus on a quick race run.

Low and fast is the name of the game. It s a lot of work on a trail designed for maximum air time
A moment of solitude.

Noga Korem looking focused.
Noga Korem looking focused.

The Air DH is clearly up for interpretation. Race it how you want.
The Air DH is clearly up for interpretation. Race it how you want.

Garrett Macintosh powers down to the bottom
Garrett Macintosh powers down to the bottom.

Sam Blenkinsop sporting the King of Crankworx plate finishes in 3rd place
Sam Blenkinsop coming into the finish line.
Sam Blenkinsop sporting the King of Crankworx plate finishes in 3rd place

Vall Holl proving she can whip it the best of them.
Vali Holl proving she can whip it the best of them. She finishes 3rd on the day.

This corner is notorious for side outs. Riders must dance on the edge of traction to make the most their run
This corner is notorious for side outs. Riders must dance on the edge of traction to make the most their run.

Bas was close to the podium but just missed out and finished in 4th.
Bas was close to the podium, but just missed out and finished in 4th.

The one technical section on the course...
The one technical section on the course...

Another win for Jill Kitner.
Jill's winning time today was her fastest to date at 4:18 and marked her seventh consecutive Air DH win.

The man to take the top spot was Whistlers own Finn Iles finishing in 3 47.04 minutes. A blisteringly fast time to say the least.
The man to take the top spot was Whistler's own Finn Iles finishing in 3:47.04. A blisteringly fast time to say the least.

Start in the sun finish in the rain.
Start in the sun, finish in the rain.

Your Crankworx Air DH podium
Your Crankworx Air DH podium


Regions in Article
Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Trails in Article
A-Line - Upper, A-Line - Lower


40 Comments

  • + 52
 Finn doesn't even need the new enduro
  • + 11
 That’s the new Enduro ST
  • + 8
 probably just wanted to run something he was familiar with, getting a new bike takes a little getting used to
  • + 10
 Val must have been like what does 3rd place mean.
  • + 17
 That's not what solidarity means.
  • + 2
 Solitude, perhaps
  • + 5
 @twozerosix: *face palm* writing captions at 1am always goes well
  • + 2
 @chrispilling: while sober I'm sure.
  • + 17
 Hell yeh Ashton!!! Him and Blake ripping the tandem is awesome!!!
  • + 10
 was there a bike check article already? I love those for Air DH to see what people are choosing.
  • + 2
 I'm surprised by the amount of people that still use full DH bikes instead of Enduro or trail bikes for the AIR DH!
  • + 1
 @galferusa: I remember Steve Smith had a devinci trail bike (prototype spartan I think) with a big fork on it back in the day. I think he used it for Sea Otter as well. I could be wrong.
  • + 4
 @conv3rt: prototype troy
  • + 5
 I see that Jill Kintners time of 4:17 was faster than half the Pro men including some seriously fast guys like Eddie Masters.
Did the track change? Why are times so Close?
  • + 2
 Times are tight, like in all pro sports, because they are all very close skill wise. I love to seeing the women getting faster, helps to break down the barriers.
  • + 13
 Half the pro-men were goofing around in a mega train and not really racing for time also (not to say that Jill is slow... Just that a lot of the men were slow in purpose).
  • + 1
 Conditions on the run were damn near perfect - barely any holes and great traction
  • + 6
 @nurseben: this is not the reasoning because there is 0 chance Jill is faster than Eddie Masters... it is because the guys were doing a train as the dude said below...
  • + 5
 @nurseben: LOL. go look at times from Val De Sole. same track....the winning time in pro women wouldn't have made the cut for the men. it's not close, nor will it ever be.
  • + 2
 @nurseben: Eddie and a lot of others 'raced' in the mega train... Clearly not going for the W.
  • + 3
 Jordie Lunn didn't train. end of caption.... hahahaha
  • + 1
 Probably the same year we saw him passing us on his Yeti 4x hardtail, and then after the A-line drop he lay there in the dirt breaking a bone, end off season....
  • + 1
 Yeap, this was back in 2006 before the World Championships in Rotorua NZ.
  • + 1
 Who's the guy with the huge backpack on stylin' through that corner..? I saw him in some video too, he was rippin'...!
  • + 2
 Madness!
  • + 1
 Where is the Grom coverage?
  • + 1
 2nd this! ^ The winning time in the 15 yr old category.... 4:07. !
  • + 1
 That 169 plate is Garret Mechem.
  • + 1
 Any hardtails joining in on the action?
  • + 3
 No, they would be too fast. Banned due to possibility of giving unfair advantage
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I starteded on hardtail in the pro category. Unfortunately, there is a lot of brake bumps that cannot be bypassed and it's hard to keep the speed going. Even so, playing in air DH is awesome! Cheers!????????
  • + 2
 @Banan725135650:

Many many years ago I took the lift up with graves , get to the top and he pull out his yeti 4x hardtail . I was like umm ok . Than that’s the last I saw of him hahaha.
  • + 1
 I would love to see Jill Kintner at the world cup DH. Shes Soooo fast!
  • + 1
 Who won the Tandem class?? Martyn, I guess, followed closely by Blake...
  • - 1
 Vali should've been on a Capra!
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