Crankworx Dual Slalom Rocks on for 2013

Remi Thirion Ripping the Crankworx Slalom

Ruffin Crankworx slalom speed blur

Crankworx Dual Slalom—possible the best event of the week. Little bikes snapping tight berms and roosting their way down a quick track, lined with spectators amazed by the action—slalom rules! All sorts were out to view the spectacle, and while perhaps not as exciting to the average Joe as the Slopestyle, there aren’t many events allowing you close enough to the action to feel the pattering of dirt off the riders tires as they whip by.

Brendon Fairclough and Marcelo Guiterez race

2013 was different. For the first time since the slalom became a Crankworx event (not including the Giant Slalom), it rained. Names that are not as well known to most beat out the big guns pretty early on. Guys like Brendawg and Bernard Kerr were beat out too early (early because they have so much style you want to watch them all event), but the action and the talent from the young guns definitely made up for it.

Ruts Forming for Finals

Both the mens and women’s finals were amazing, each with really close heats and each seeing the rider that was down in time, take out the second heat, though not quite nabbing enough time. Slalom rules because of this tight racing, and there aren’t many events where you can witness head to head action, with a tire knob (see, milliseconds) can make or break a racers day.

Jill Kintner Focuses on the final, defeating Anneke Beerton along the way

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In the end it was Kintner taking out the women’s race, up against current BMX World Champion and all-around Aussie ripper, Caroline Buchanan. The heats were intense, with Caroline clawing back in the second, though not putting in enough to take down the USA’s strongest women on wheels. It was bitter sweet, seeing a mate take it out, but a fellow Aussie get beat. With this win, Jill took home her 4th Cranksworx Slalom title—can she be defeated?

Connor Fearon pushes to make up time on Mudd

The mens final saw two relative new comers battle it out. For those unaware, Connor Fearon has been on the world downhill tour for a couple of seasons now, and has risen through the ranks in Australia from a young age. The guy loves riding and it doesn’t matter whether its downhill, or the local pumptrack—a testament to his success in the slalom. But it wasn’t to be his night. After throwing down some mad style all night, he came up against an on fire Graeme Mudd, also from Australia, and despite pushing hard in the second run, he couldn’t quite get enough on Mudd to take it back (after loosing the first heat). Sick racing, and two young Aussies to watch out for, in the final.

Slalom almost always makes for tight racing, and this year it didn’t disappoint. It seems as though it was tighter than previous years though, something which could be attributed to the new course designers masterpiece, or perhaps the weather, we’ll never know. One thing is certain, if you’re in the Whistler area next year when Crankworx rolls around, do your best to make it to the slalom, at least for the finals. It rarely disappoints!

Ruffin chasing down Kyle Straight at the 2013 Crankworx Dual Slalom

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