Fan Frenzy at the 2012 Crankworx Whistler Ultimate Pump Track Challenge

New location, same result: Ropelato and Kintner Threepeat Victories

Photos by Anthony Smith
Words by Brice Minnigh

With a brand-new track in a spectator-friendly location, Crankworx Whistler’s 2012 Ultimate Pump Track Challenge drew a huge crowd of exuberant fans, all eager to watch the toughest contest to date.

After many closely contested heats, Mitch Ropelato and Jill Kintner ultimately fended off stiff competition to win their third consecutive Pump Track Challenge titles.

And while the races were mostly about speed, some of the riders—particularly Martin Soderstrom, still reeling from his sterling effort in the Best Trick Showdown—couldn’t help but throw some style in the mix. Throughout all the early rounds, he was pulling tricks on every heat and still coming out on top, making him a definite crowd favorite.

Here’s a look at how it all went down:

The 2012 challenge featured an entirely new pumptrack built by Adam Billinghurst of Earth Odyssey. The track was quick and to the point, offering little margin for error.

Martin Soderstrom, fresh off the Best Trick Showdown, temporarily forgets what event he is contesting.

Martin, you’re doing it wrong…this is a race, man!

Always a crowd favorite, Brendan Fairclough is again on form and putting in a 110-percent effort.

Judging by his effort in the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge, you’d never know that Troy Brosnan has been sidelined with injuries for most of the 2012 World Cup race season.

The race’s new location made it much more spectator-friendly than it was for the first two years. The crowd was loud and proud.

No, the pumptrack isn’t haunted, and this is not a ghost—it’s Mitch Ropelato ripping it up in his white trousers.

A familiar sight for the evening: Soderstrom pulling away, again.

From the look on Fairclough’s face, he really wanted to win this race—but Soderstrom narrowly edged him out in this one.

Smiling from the first round to the last, Brosnan was back on the bike and loving every minute of it.

Full face? Check. White trousers? Check. Threepeat? Check.

“Do you realize how hard I hit my nuts in the Best Trick Showdown? I’m cutting across the track to get back to the start. End of story.”

Brosnan and Soderstrom are about to find out which one will face Ropelato in the final.

Jill Kintner prepares for a victory lap around her own Circle of Trust.

Kintner is known for her relentless focus. One more lap around this track and she would secure her pumptrack hat trick.

These two little Monsters are always scary on a pumptrack.

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