Steve Smith and Rachel Atherton Win Canadian Open
Cassidy, British Columbia native Steve Smith has managed to top the field a this year’s Canadian Open. It’s truly a great story to see a Canadian win on home soil, much the same way America’s Aaron Gwin won the 2011 US Open.
Words and Photos by David Peacock
This seems to be the year of the patriot; Aaron Gwin has been consistently winning on home soil, having won both the US Open and more recently the Windham World Cup, while Vancouver Island resident Stevie Smith has just won the Canadian Open at Whistler, BC. The crowd on the slopes of the Whistler Bike Park were 100% behind Smith, cheering loudest for him on course, and raising the applause to another level when Smith took to the podium. Racing fans throughout the country are ecstatic, as is Smith himself.
"The Canadian Open DH is my favourite event at Kokanee Crankworx. After getting a flat on the course last year I was ready to go hard this year," said Smith. "This track suits my style; it is rough and technical, and one of my favourite trails to ride in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park."
Gee Atherton, Smith’s main competition and last year’s champion, had a crash and was unable to compete for the win. South African Andrew Neethling, who has been confident of late after coming second at Windham, managed to slide behind Smith for second spot. Third place went to 18 year old Troy Brosnan, who’s size has not hindered him throughout the season as he’s currently sitting in a top ten World Cup overall position.
Men’s Top 5
1. Steve Smith, CAN Devinci 3:00.01 +0.00
2. Andrew Neethling, RSA Giant Factory 3:01.52 +1.51
3. Troy Brosnan, AUS Monster Specialize 3:02.68 +2.67
4. Cameron Cole, NZL Team Lapierre 3:06.29 +6.28
5. Danny Hart, GBR Giant 3:06.68 +6.67
On the women’s side of things, Rachel Atherton nearly broke the 3:30 mark, and smashed the competition by four seconds en route to victory. Claire Buchar landed in second spot, and Miranda Miller of Squamish took third.
Women’s Top 5
1. Rachel Atherton, GBR Animal Commencal 3:34.45 +0.00
2. Claire Buchar, CAN Kovarik Racing 3:38.75 +4.30
3. Miranda Miller, CAN SRAM/Santa Cruz 3:50.75 +16.30
4. Danielle Beecroft, AUS Craftworks Bikes 4:12.87 +38.42
5. Adrienne Schneider, USA Troy Lee Designs 4:51.52 +1:17.07
For complete results, click here.
The rain was thick at times during the race, but for the most part it did little to hinder the racers.
Smith on his way to the finish line, where the time would show 3:00 exactly. Enough for the win!
Enjoy this gallery from the event! Tomorrow is the final day of shooting for the Deep Summer photo challenge, which promises to be a great show. Tuesday is the Garbanzo downhill, so look forward to full coverage from that as well.