Words by Brice Minnigh
Photos by Anthony Smith
American Mitch Ropelato bested 32 of the world’s top dual-slalom racers in Friday night’s competition, edging out BMX standout Barry Nobles by a third of a second in a dramatic finish on a rain-soaked course. In the women’s contest, American Jill Kintner secured the number-one spot on the podium after surging back in her second run to beat Dutch phenom Anneke Beerten. Here’s a look at some of the evening’s highlights:
Racers get lined up for last-minute practice in Friday’s Crankworx Dual Slalom race. If you didn’t have your lines dialed, you had an express ticket straight to the after-party.
The Crankworx Dual Slalom race attracts riders from all disciplines—downhill, freeride, four-cross and BMX. World Cup downhiller Bernard Kerr rode strong throughout the heats before finally being knocked out by BMX standout Barry Nobles.
Riders ready. Watch the gate. Beep beep!
A steady drizzle throughout the early evening primed the dirt for the top 16 riders, but by the time the finals started racers were grappling with slick course conditions.
Colombian speed demon Marcelo Gutierrez-Villegas hoped to keep his momentum from last week’s Crankworx Garbanzo DH victory going in the Dual Slalom race, but he only got as far as the Round of 16.
Marcelo Gutierrez-Villegas might be one of the most prolific producers of POV footage in the gravity world. Judging from the looks of the lovely spectator behind him, we can’t wait to see his close-up footage.
Australian Connor Fearon arguably looked the most aggressive during the early round of the Dual Slalom, railing and roosting each berm with reckless abandon.
Mitch Ropelato not only won Friday’s Dual Slalom contest, but he has competed in a wide range of events, including last Sunday’s brutal Enduro race. He also competed in the Air DH and the Pumptrack Challenge. Does this make him one of the most versatile—and fit—riders around?
Keepin’ it tight. Kyle Strait edged out Mitch Ropelato in the first run of the Round of 16, but Mitch made up the difference in the second run to advance to the Round of 8.
Yet another example of just how low and mean Connor Fearon was getting in the berms. We crown him Ruler of the Roost.
Mitch Ropelato throws the victory horns after cementing his win.
It was no surprise to see BMX star and Pumptrack Challenge winner Barry Nobles placing second between the two World Cup DH racers, Mitch Ropelato and Danny Hart.
First: Mitch Ropelato
Second: Barry Nobles
Third: Danny Hart
First: Jill Kintner
Second: Anneke Beerten
Third: Caroline Buchanan