Over the years the Les Gets downhill track has seen some epic weather conditions and equally memorable races. When brought back from extinction last year the conditions resembled those of the late 1990's with axle deep ruts and slick mud from top to bottom. A fitting tribute, paying homage to the roots of racing on the slopes on Mont Chery. This year for the second running of Crankworx in Les Gets, racers were treated to the polar opposite. Super dry and dusty all week, the track was the fastest it's ever been, and without a doubt the fastest track we've seen on the international calendar this year. Not since World Champs in 2004 have conditions in these slopes been so prime. And with Steve Peat, who crashed in the final corner while leading many years ago, and Fabien Barel who took home the rainbows instead both racing today, it felt a bit like history repeating itself once again.
In the mix with the old school racers on this old school track, we're the newest generations of Downhill talent looking to tame the slopes of a legendary venue. Up first were the youngsters and future stars of the sport, many of whom were not even old enough to ride bikes when the likes of Nico Vouilloz, Shawn Palmer, and Steve Peat made Les Gets a household name. Once again it would be Finn Iles who would come out on top, blazing his rainbow stripes down the track with a time that would have landed him 11th in the elite race, and just four seconds off the fastest time of the day. To say the future of downhill racing is strong would be an understatement.
In the Women's race, a few new faces like Casey Brown and Jill Kintner joined in the mix of World Cup regulars to add a little spice to things. And while the usual podium suspects dominated the day, Jill and Casey would keep the rest honest by finishing a close 5th and 6th respectively. The biggest battle, however, would be between current World Cup leader Tracey Hannah, and an inspired Myriam Nicole, who was racing on home soil in front of many family and friends. Myriam would cross the line a full five seconds clear of Emilie Siegenthaler—a time that looked unbeatable–but with Tracey Hannah on track, nothing would be guaranteed. Tracey's split times were slightly off the pace but always in touch, and the suspense would build all the way to the line. In the end, it would be Myriam Nicole who would take the top spot, showing that she is one to be reckoned with at the remaining WC and Crankworx rounds.
The Men's race would be an incredibly close fought battle with the top 10 all being within three seconds of each other, and the top three all on the same second. The racing was fast, furious, and often times on the ragged edge of control as the sun continued to make conditions more dry and loose as the day went on. The first fast times were set by George Brannigan and Bernard Kerr, and it wasn't until Troy Brosnan came tearing down the track that anyone set a time that looked to be unbeatable. Try as they might, Jack Moir, Loris Vergier, and Greg Minnaar came close but were no match for Brosnan who would get his first big international win of the 2017 season. To make it all the more special Troy did it with Fabien Barel, his Canyon team manager, mentor, and winner of World Champs on these same slopes in attendance.