Pumptrack Perfection: A Whooping Good Time

Loron and Kintner Win the Crankworx Whistler Pumptrack Challenge

Photos by Anthony Smith and Bruno Long
Words by Brice Minnigh
Video by Rupert Walker

The 2015 Crankworx Whistler Ultimate Pumptrack Challenge once again proved its crowd-pleasing potential, with an all-star cast of speedy riders putting on an exciting show for several hundred spectators at Whistler’s Olympic Plaza on Thursday evening. The course, crafted to perfection by Adam Billinghurst, Kenny Smith and their Earth Odyssey crew over 10 long days of work, was fast and flowy, with ample options for riders to double things up.

When the dust finally settled, Frenchman Adrien Loron claimed victory over Paul Basagoitia to win the overall World Title of the Crankworx Ultimate Pumptrack Challenge series. In the women’s division, Jill Kintner squeaked past Anneke Beerten to take the top spot on the podium.

Here are some of the highlights:

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This year’s pumptrack, located near Whistler’s Olympic Plaza, was an absolute work of art. The builders, Adam Billinghurst and Kenny Smith of Earth Odyssey, put in 10 long days of work to create this temporary masterpiece. Photo by Bruno Long.

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Adam Billinghurst. The man behind the masterpiece. Photo by Bruno Long.

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The Crankworx Whistler Pumptrack Challenge is another spectator-friendly event and has become a crowd favorite. Photo by Bruno Long.

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With the course freshly finished, riders were eager to sample the goods. Photo by Bruno Long.

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San Diego’s Cody Johnson was a clear contender for the win, picking off one competitor after another, but a hard crash took him out of the running and writhing on the ground in pain. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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The course was well-crafted and fast, offering riders the chance to keep their wheels on the ground or look for options to double things up. Photo by Bruno Long.

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Dakotah Norton’s kit matched perfectly with the bike he borrowed from Tom Van Steenbergen, but it was not his fashion sense that earned him the third spot on the podium. Photo by Bruno Long.

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Kyle ‘Lyle’ Strait (on left) is always a podium threat in a pumptrack race, but in this heat he was pitted against eventual winner Adrien Loron. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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Frenchman Adrien Loron’s winning performance on Thursday followed solid results in Rotorua and Les 2 Alpes and netted him the Crankworx World Tour title for the Pumptrack Challenge series. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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The competition was tight, with heat after heat of head-to-head combat. Photo by Bruno Long.

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A calm and focused Jill Kintner is always the woman to beat at events like the Pumptrack Challenge. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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But whenever Jill Kintner goes toe-to-toe against Anneke Beerten, the outcome is always uncertain. Photo by Bruno Long.

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British Columbia’s darling, Micayla Gatto, was clearly a crowd favorite. And she gave her fans quite a show, hanging on through the rounds for a solid third-place finish. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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Adrien Loron took the highline to victory. Photo by Bruno Long.

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Domo Arigato, Missus Gatto. The fans were thankful for the exciting show put on by the local favorite. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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Despite having three sets of stitches from her knees to her arms—the aftermath of a horrific crash during Thursday morning’s Whip-Off World Champs—Anneke Beerten was somehow able to dominate throughout the evening for a hard-earned second-place finish. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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A third-place finish by Micayla Gatto was plenty of cause for a claim. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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Jill Kintner knows how to get low to stay on top. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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Adrien Loron basks in the afterglow of victory. Photo by Anthony Smith.

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It’s easy to be pumped when you win the World Tour title for the Crankworx Ultimate Pumptrack Challenge. Photo by Anthony Smith.