Photo Epic: Canadian Open DH - Crankworx Whistler 2023

Jul 24, 2023 at 13:23
by Dave Trumpore  



The natural and raw beauty of Whistler’s Creekside served as a fitting backdrop for an exhilarating showdown at the RockShox Canadian Open DH race. Packed with jumps, fresh roots, steep technical sections, and some good old-fashioned Canadian freeride moves, this heart-stopping event saw top international riders and skilled locals battling it out against the clock on one of Whistler’s newest and gnarliest tracks.

Named “1199” in honour of the late and legendary Canadian DH talent, Stevie Smith, (who earned 1199 points during his historic 2013 World Cup overall title) the course was a fitting tribute to his legacy. The track, designed by the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, offered a wild and white-knuckle experience for racers.

Featuring three massive drops, steep sections, and multiple line choices, the “1199” trail was a testament to Smith’s penchant for challenging and physically demanding tracks. Starting near the top of the Creekside gondola and spanning approximately 2.5 kilometers with a 500-meter descent, the course concluded just above the Creekside Village in an area known as the Timing Flats.

The race was filled with emotional moments as riders paid homage to Smith’s impact on Canadian downhill mountain biking. Second place finisher, Mark Wallace, expressed his joy in putting down a run he could be proud of on a track dedicated to Smith. He recalled how Stevie had been an inspiration and mentor to him during his early racing days, shaping his approach to the sport.

“I’m really happy to put down a run I can be proud of, on a track in his memory. And on a track that I think he would have been really excited to race. He preferred the more difficult tracks, more technically challenging that you really had to send it,” said Wallace.

Wallace paid homage to Stevie’s legacy, finding inspiration in what can be achieved from a fellow small town Vancouver Island native.

“I credit me being here, even still, largely to him. When I was 16, wanting to race, he kind of showed me the way. I’ve tried to remember the things that he taught me, because it obviously worked out well for him. He would be so excited to go send it down this track, I just gave it my best and tried to do something similar.”

Taking home the top spot, narrowly edging his fellow Canadian (Wallace), Jake Jewett spoke fondly of watching Stevie as a young kid and wanting to perform well in this race to honour the late Canadian DH icon. He acknowledged Stevie’s role in elevating Canadian riders’ skills and competitiveness in downhill mountain biking.

“I was lucky enough to meet him a handful of times when I was younger. I watched Stevie a lot as a young kid at Mont-Sainte-Anne and stuff, I really wanted to do good at this race. For me and my brother to both get first in our categories, can’t think of a much better day,” said Jewett.

The Squamish local reflected on what it means to be a part of a new wave of riders enjoying the fruits of Smith’s labour, riding a path forged by the late Canadian downhill legend.

“Not only me, but the next generation of Canadians coming up. You’re seeing that Canadians are really becoming a threat in downhill and I think it’s all because of him,” said Jewett.

Even Austrian Valentina Höll acknowledged the significance of being a part of the tribute event, despite not having met Stevie in person. She admired the impact he had on the Canadian mountain biking community and found the challenging “1199” trail a testament to his prowess as a rider.

“It’s an honour to be a part of this kind of stuff even though I didn’t get to meet Stevie in person,” said Höll,”

“To see the Canadians following in his footsteps and to see what he did for the Canadian kids is amazing! The track definitely shows you how gnarly Stevie Smith was as a rider, because it’s super full on, it’s so hard, but it’s also really Canadian.”

Despite navigating what is widely considered to be one of the most challenging downhill race tracks in Canada, Höll managed to pull together a historic run that saw the Austrian superstar dominate the women’s Elite field by over 20 seconds.


photo

photo

The wooden features here were definitely on the large end of the spectrum.
The wooden features here were definitely on the large end of the spectrum.

From the first run Vali didn t flinch at the feature.
From the first run, Vali didn't flinch at the feature.

Kye A Hern coming off the Chainsaw Drop
Kye A'Hern coming off the "Chainsaw Drop"

Miranda ain t afraid of no rocks.
Miranda ain't afraid of no rocks.

Many a betting man will be drowning there sorrows at Longhorns tonight.
Finn Iles.

It wouldn t be BC without a rock slab our two
It wouldn't be BC without a rock slab our two.

Fast loose
Fast loose.

Fresh as
Fresh as.

photo

Loamer
Loamer,

Finn Iles styling the final jump in training
Finn Iles styling the final jump in training.

Connor Fearon
Connor Fearon.

Rubber side up
Rubber side up.

Alex Storr
Alex Storr.

Just some toaster sized rocks tumbling down the track
Just some toaster sized rocks tumbling down the track.

Matt Walker
Matt Walker.

Dane Jewett took the win in U18
Dane Jewett took the win in U19.

Finn Iles was definitely looking like the one to beat before sitting out the finals choosing to rest a minor injury before world champs in two weeks
Finn Iles was definitely looking like the one to beat before sitting out the finals, choosing to rest a minor injury before world champs in two weeks.

Steep and gnarly
Steep and gnarly.

grenades hidden in the loam
Grenades hidden in the loam.

Richie Rude pinned on his prototype Yeti DH bike
Richie Rude pinned on his prototype Yeti DH bike.

Tuhoto thrives when the rocks come out and the track gets steep.
Tuhoto thrives when the rocks come out and the track gets steep.

There was no place on course where Vali didnt look strong.
There was no place on course where Vali didnt look strong.

Jakob Jewett making short work of the highly technical rock roll
Jakob Jewett making short work of the highly technical rock roll.

Back before the loam turned to roots rocks and powder.
Back before the loam turned to roots, rocks and powder.

A though weekend for Blenki battling mechanicals.
A tough weekend for Blenki as he battled mechanicals.

Finn Iles
Finn Iles.

Mark Wallace took 2nd
Mark Wallace took 2nd.

Tree pads doing their job
Tree pads doing their job.

Bailey Goldstone in 7th.
Bailey Goldstone in 7th.

Lou Ferguson has had a tough few days managing small mechanicals but was able to put those behind her today and better her seeding result finishing second behind Vali.
Lou Ferguson has had a tough few days managing small mechanicals, but was able to put those behind her today and better her seeding result, finishing second behind Vali.

Patrick Laffey corner smashing
Patrick Laffey corner smashing.

DH in the Olympics Connor Fearon on his race run
DH in the Olympics? Connor Fearon on his race run.

Sam Blenkinsop through the final corner
Sam Blenkinsop through the final corner.

Down at the first few spilts Jakob was able to ride a strong and composed lower sector pulling back time on Mark.
Down at the first few spilts, Jakob was able to ride a strong and composed lower sector, pulling back time on Mark.

Seeding second behind Finn was a huge confidence boost for Jewett but meant all eyes were on him as the last man down the hill today.
Seeding second behind Finn was a huge confidence boost for Jewett, but meant all eyes were on him as the last man down the hill today.

No one wanted to win here more than Mark Wallace this weekend. With Mark having been a mentee of Stevie Smith s this race meant a huge deal to him.
No one wanted to win here more than Mark Wallace this weekend. With Mark having been a mentee of Stevie Smith's, this race meant a huge deal to him.

Richie Rude proved he s still got it on a DH bike monstering everything for a solid 6th place.
Richie Rude proved he's still got it on a DH bike, monstering everything for a solid 6th place.

photo

photo

Winner Jakob Jewett
Winner Jakob Jewett.

Finn Iles letting it eat
Finn Iles letting it eat.

Vali Holl was a dominant force in the women s race
Vali Holl was a dominant force in the women's race.

photo

3rd for Miranda Miller
3rd for Miranda Miller.

Tegan Cruz
Tegan Cruz.

Mick Hannah cutting though the dust
Mick Hannah cutting though the dust.

5th for Emmy Lan
5th for Emmy Lan.

5th for Kye A Hern
5th for Kye A'Hern.

Dante Silva
Dante Silva.

Miranda looked right at home on this gnarly track here this weekend and it showed.
Miranda looked right at home on this gnarly track here this weekend, and it showed.

Unstoppable. Formidable. Dominant. Vali on her way to the top stop with some twenty seconds to spare.
Unstoppable. Formidable. Dominant. Vali on her way to the top stop with some twenty seconds to spare.

Heartbreak for Finn here today having to sit his race run out after injuring his thumb during his only practice lap of the day.
Heartbreak for Finn here today, having to sit his race run out after injuring his thumb during his only practice lap of the day.

Dane Jewett surprised everyone today putting not only five seconds into Tegan Cruz also taking the fastest time of the day over a second faster than his brother Jakob Jewett.
Dane Jewett surprised everyone today, putting not only five seconds into Tegan Cruz, also taking the fastest time of the day, over a second faster than his brother, Jakob Jewett.
.
I ve been rattling on about how good Kirk looked all weekend here and it showed today with him finishing 10th amongst a stacked field of World Cup pros.
I've been rattling on about how good Kirk looked all weekend here, and it showed today, with him finishing 10th amongst a stacked field of World Cup pros.

Jackson Frew coming in hot.
Jackson Frew coming in hot.

Tuhoto helping clean some of the dust off.
Podium showers

The Canadian Chainsaw is right back where he left off after 2013. No more injuries... Just podiums.
Steve Smith #longlivechainsaw


Author Info:
davetrumpore avatar

Member since Feb 26, 2008
269 articles

32 Comments
  • 63 0
 Jackson Frew fully cheeked up on a Sunday afternoon race run, goddamn my guy
  • 13 0
 he must work out
  • 10 0
 gravel daddy is checking out cheeks
  • 8 0
 dont know how many people got this but you had me rollin!

"You know I be looking at A**'s and Sh**"
  • 1 0
 i don't get it?
  • 2 0
 @mtbflow24: his ass is looking peachy in that pic of him
  • 1 0
 [peach emoji]
  • 2 0
 @mtbynot: hella ass
  • 1 0
 Frankie LaPenna?
  • 1 0
 Getting a little cheeky I see.
  • 2 0
 What You Doing Out Here With All This Ass? The sun is still up
  • 24 0
 Hoping Finn doesn't need to be as concerned as he looks in that last photo of him.
  • 15 0
 First photo of Finn, laid over in the loam in the dark. On of the coolest photos I've seen of MTB in a while.
  • 2 0
 the shark fin hit with the bike perfectly in line with the shot too..so sick
  • 1 0
 @two-plank: Yeah dude he's the style master
  • 11 0
 Long live chainsaw. Awesome photos.
  • 6 0
 I’ll eat my comment on another post. Leave the finish as is, if the Circus comes to town the Timing Flats will be an excellent venue. Enough space for a few trucks and stands. Run the shuttle to move people up the hill. Hopefully within a few years we see a WC on this track.
  • 6 0
 Amazing pictures, but I'm not sure thar first picture of Jacob Jewett is actually Jacob Jewett, unless he was riding a different bike in practice than the finals
  • 6 0
 That shot of Patrick Laffey.
  • 6 0
 Kirk is an animal on anything 2 wheels.
  • 5 0
 Yay Kirk, the coolest engineer out there!!
  • 5 0
 Would have loved to see some photos of Goguen punishing his bike all the way down the hill.
  • 1 0
 He's thinking about all the gainz he's going to miss out on
  • 1 0
 was hoping Rob/Eliot would shout out his FWT ski breakout results from last season but maybe they weren't aware.
  • 1 0
 Congrats due to Holi no doubt! She is an absolute savage, but that was far from the deepest Elite field. And how about some love for Marcus Gougen? Dude absolutely shreds, both the white and brown pow. Nary a pic or mention. 11th place. Give the dude some love!!
  • 5 0
 She said fuck.
  • 3 0
 Jewett bros fixing to be the Lawrence bros of MTB.
  • 2 0
 That Yeti ain't no prototype. Mold is finished. Preproduction maybe ...
  • 2 0
 Damn Dave, killing it with the photos again. I can smell the loam!
  • 1 0
 WOW these pics are insane!!! thank you!!
  • 1 0
 Eddies Goggle throw made my day!
  • 1 0
 Excellent pics!!







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