Crankworx Air DH

The Jim Beam Air Downhill took place on Wednesday here in Whistler at the Kokanee Crankworx Festival. One of the most famous and most celebrated tracks in mountain biking, A-Line consists of nearly 100 jumps throughout it’s length=great fun to ride but very difficult to race. Thousands of spectators watched the action on the big screen in the finish arena of the village and the racers definately put on a show.

Many World Cup pros were competing in this event such as Andrew Neethling, Cedric Gracia, Nico Vink and Matti Lehikoinen. Chris Kovarik showed his power and skill as he hammered the track to the hot seat, knocking U.K. rider Marc Beaunmont off by one second. But there were 2 more powerhouse riders to come, 3 time Air DH winner Brian Lopes and former World Champ Greg Minnaar. Lopes, riding his little bike, came slingshotting down the final stretch knocking 5 seconds off Chris’s time (rumour has it the 4X star was prejumping and skimming the tops of most of the jumps-crazy!)and Minnaar was just one second off of Lopes’ time.

Overall, it was an impressive performance from Chris who usually shines on the wide open gnarly courses. The Air DH track is VERY physical, a sprint from start to finish and with this caliber of riders, there was no margin for mistakes. Well done Chris!

Here are the results for top 15 Pro Men:

1       6       Lopes   Brian   Laguana Beach   CA      USA     OAKLEY,MARZOCCHI ,KENDA, IBIS   04:22.10
2       3       Minnaar Greg    Murrieta        CA      USA     SANTA CRUZ,ROCKSHOX     04:23.42
3       12      Kovarik Chris   Whistler        BC      CAN     CHAIN REACTION, INTENSE 04:27.60
4       14      Beaumont        Marc    Craven Arms Eng         UK      TEAM BIKE       04:28.77
5       36      Keene   Curtis  Ventura CA      USA     SPECIALIZED     04:30.00
6       16      Neethling       Andrew  Somerset West           RSA     MONGOOSE BIKES  04:30.13
7       10      Gracia  Cedric  La Massana              AND     COMMENCAL, OAKLEY       04:30.50
8       131     Mitchell        Andrew  Victoria        BC      CAN     COVE,   04:30.60
9       41      Turpen  Evan    Aptos   CA      USA     KONA BIKES      04:31.80
10      22      Rando   Jared   Ainslie         AUS     GIANT BICYCLES  04:32.97
11      24      Voreis  Kirt    Bend    OR      USA     ALLRIDE –       04:33.81
12      13      Lehikoinen      Matti   Espoo           FIN     MS- INTENS      04:34.24
13      33      Smith   Steve   Cassidy BC      CAN     COVE    04:34.30
14      42      Vanderham       Thomas  North Vancouver BC      CAN     MARZOCCHI,SHIMANO,TROY LEE      04:34.50
15      27      Donoghue        Neil    Shrewsbury              UK      BIKE RADAR      04:35.74

Report by Claire Buchar. Photo:


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