2016 Western Open: Downhill Ain't Dead

Jul 6, 2016 at 10:58
by Stephen Exley  
info seracing.ca
If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and SE Racing hosted their 8th Western Open this past weekend and if you missed it, you missed out! The weekend was far more than just the race on Sunday, but an event from start to finish. On Thursday afternoon, over the past few years, we have been able to gather a crew of racers and parents to ride MT7 - the home of the original Psychosis course and Dead Dog. We had a strong crew of 25 riders this year at the summit, with most taking the 15 km course from top to bottom; several for the first time ever. The tension and nerves as the riders decide if they will drop over the edge or take the safer rider around option is always one of my favorite moments.

The Western Open kicked off the unofficial practice on Friday and you really started to feel this year was going to be something special. We had close to 200 racers from Alberta, BC and the USA come to test their metal against one of, if not the hardest, tracks in BC. Thirty-one elite men, consisting of some of the fastest racers, were here including, Chris Kovarik, Lee Jackson, Matt Beer, Phillip Kmetz and Kirk McDowall. The ladies were here in full force as well and were not sitting on the sidelines with 11 women competing in the annual Huck to Flat competition off the finish jump. Savannah Glennie blew away the crowds with jumps over 25 feet to take first place in the women’s class. Dean Tennant, after being the king of the Huck to Flat for the past three years, had to hand over the crown this year as he was bested by Cody Macarthur with a jump close to 45 feet off a two foot ramp with a limited run in. To see this live is something else.


If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

The LIV Lounge is new to the Dunbar Summer Series and based on the feedback it will be huge part of the series going forward. Amalie Pasternak, Caroline Black and coach Leanne Johnston volunteered their time and resources to provide women of any age, ability and support level a place to hangout, store their gear, get coaching and meet fellow riders with just over 20 women taking advantage of the LIV Lounge throughout the weekend.

Several awards were handed out before the podiums started and none were harder to present than the Steve Smith Chainsaw Award, presented by Momentum Watches, for the fastest amateur male (Blake Bunting) and Female (Savannah Glennie) on the day. Both racers took home mini chainsaws and brand new sport watches from Vancouver’s own Momentum Watches. Hayden’s mom Glenna Genoud took home a nice bottle of wine and a huge thank you from the crowd for the support she has given not only to Hayden and his pursuit of the racing bug, but for supporting the events themselves by volunteering at each race. Thank you!

Brandon Johnson, who drove all night then slept in back of his truck with his girlfriend and pet rabbit all weekend just so he could race, took home the KORE Components Core Award. The award consisted of several parts such as rims, bar, stem, seat and seat post all from KORE.

And for the finally it was time to have Chris and Claire Kovarik draw the winning ticket for a brand new cherry red M16 frame from Intense Cycles. Intense has generously donated one M16 frame for each stop on the Dunbar Summer Series and two Tracer 27.5 frames for the BC Cup Finals at Fernie Alpine Resort. All proceeds from the raffles go to support my daughter, Lola, in her rehabilitation. Her story can be found at LOVE FOR LOLA...

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

bigquotesI am always happy to announce at SE Racing events. They are well executed, really fun and have incredible racing for all ages and experience. Looking forward to more wicked BC Cup DH racing at Panorama Mountain Resort next week! - Brett Tippie

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

bigquotesThis track is a beast for sure at close to four minutes fully pinned and it only take one mistake to go from first to third, but it was a hell of a ride haha!. - Chris Kovarik

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
Junior Expert Men's podium - Blake Bunting (1st), Jesiah Dyck (2nd), Alex Silverthorne (3rd).

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
Elite Women's podium - Clair Buchar (1st), Aubrey Demchuk (2nd).

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

bigquotesKicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden BC never disappoints, probably the most brutal track on the circuit with roots, chutes, rock slabs and holes that could swallow your bike. Thanks to Stephen Exley for running another on point event and of course Brett Tippie on the mic keeping it hilarious!. - Claire Buchar

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography
Elite Men's podium - Kirk McDowall (1st), Matt Beer (2nd), Chris Kovarik (3rd), Rhys Ellis (4th), and Phillip Kmetz in (5th).

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

If you post this photo please provide photo credit to Chris Pilling Photography

Full Results:

Updated BC Cup standings can be found on ROOTS & RAIN

So if you missed out on the Western Open, you won’t want to miss the next two rounds at Panorama Mountain Resort July 17th and Fernie Alpine Resort August 28th!!!

Registration for the next stop on the series at Panorama Mountain Resort can be found here: www.CCNBIKES.com

2016 Western Open at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Registration for the complete Dunbar Summer Series can be found here: www.CCNBIKES.com

Photos By: Chris Pilling Photography

summer series

26 Comments

  • + 4
 Great race and amazing organization. If you have thought about racing but haven't given it a shot yet, #dunbarsummerseries is where its at.
Thanks Steve and Rob Venables(Dunbar Cycles!)
  • + 6
 Why do people keep suggesting that downhill is dead? Might not be the most thriving discipline but it is far from dead.
  • + 9
 It'll get more popular once the enduro racers get sick of climbing
  • + 1
 I think the hole DH is dead thing comes from everyone enjoying riding newer trail bikes and having old heavy slapped DH bikes from "The Glory Days" collecting dust. Those old "sleds" still work but they won't give these old dirty riders the performance they get from their little whips. Those old crusty bastards don't have the time and money to do both DH and XC anymore, but they were the ones that built the DH trails and raced those 45 lbs sleds.
  • + 2
 @irideyourtrail: I still ride my 45lb sled man an 04 rmx with 02 shivers. I find it just as fun as my 28lb reign
  • + 1
 @irideyourtrail: old guys got plenty of money and time. Ride dh, xc, road, snowboard, 4×4, skateboard... You got one thing right though, old guys build/built trail. Maybe time for@doalittletrailworkofyourown
  • + 1
 @irideyourtrail: I moved out Fort McMurray for a work term and had to make the decision on what bike to bring, my 2014 Sight, or my 2010 Glory. Ended up going with my trail bike, I've since done a number of trips down to the mountains and riding locally and I'm glad I chose my trail bike it just works well for everything, not just going down hills fast, but god damn I miss my downhill bike. The fire destroyed all my trails though so now I have nowhere to ride up here at the moment.
  • + 1
 Technology has come along way. For the average joe rippin trails in places like Mount Seymour where you can shuttle all day an Enduro bike is going to get the job done. It also makes accessing trails in places like Squamish where peddling is required easier to get to. Whistler rents out Giant Reigns and it's a downhill park.
  • + 2
 @MCsession7: We have a small crew in Fort Mac and have already starting rebuilding since the fire. Some of the Thickwood trails are still alright. As far as I know The Edge is also still good, although I've heard reports that with the rain, erosion is quickly becoming a big issue. Haven't ridden it in about a week so not confirmed. Shoot me a message if you want to build or ride sometime.
  • + 1
 Trail/enduro bikes have been increasingly popular and I can see why some people would prefere them but I don't think it is killing downhill. I feel it has more to do with the trails than with the bikes themselves. If you ride a world cup DH track on a trail bike you're still riding DH as far as I'm concerned so as long as there will be people riding fast down gnarly trails, DH will be alive, even if it is done on single crowns.
  • + 5
 I love any article that has no SINGLE crowns in sight !
  • + 4
 Awesome recap! Is there any ither photos from the race?
  • + 1
 Downhill is so not dead! It just comes in handy complete 160mm packages! Which now come in nifty little 140mms packages looooool
  • + 3
 On a streak!!! 2 years in a row i have a photo of me riding at this event.
  • + 2
 Beauty shot of a good ole Northern BC boy using every single bit of his suspension!
  • + 1
 Awesome photos, looks like a fun event. Wouldn't mind checking out a race next summer to see how slow I truly am.
  • + 1
 Pete Zablotny is out of retirement..... wow! Probably nobody even knows who he is on this site.
  • + 2
 I hung around Pete a bit back in the RVC Tatonka days. Also at the same time, another very young kid named Thomas Vanderham was around too who could wheelie around the Nordic Center like no other I've seen!!. Little did I know I was around a former BMX pro and future MTB Star.
  • + 1
 @gungiger: correct! I believe Pete helped get Thomas into mtb. Some history behind him and a good guy. I lived beside him in edmonton when he owned a bike courier business.
  • + 1
 is that a broken Canfield?
  • + 2
 No, it's not broke. Just about broke me though
  • + 1
 looks like another great year, wish I could have made it!
  • + 0
 Look forward to seeing everyone here in Panorama next weekend.
  • + 1
 Hell ya Kirk!

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.049824
Mobile Version of Website