Andrew Neethling and Anne-Caroline Chausson Win Crankworx Air DH
Andrew Neethling, having struggled earlier this year on the World Cup circuit, has been on an absolute tear of late. The South African bested even the reigning Air DH Champ Brian Lopes to take the win on A-Line. On the women’s side of things the legendary ACC brought home the gold.
Words and Photos by David Peacock (unless otherwise noted)
The Air DH is a staple on the Crankworx schedule; the all out race down A-Line is a one of a kind battle between bike and berm that even the best of riders struggle to ride quickly. Today, Giant Factory rider Andrew Neethling managed to scrub his way into top spot, despite the efforts of Brian Lopes, who has won the race a number of times. Lopes was just behind Neethling in second place, and Mick Hannah rounded out the podium in third.
Injuries are a part of riding, but it’s never good to see a competitor go down. Unfortunately, Sarah Booth of Kona had a bad crash on the lower part of the course and had to be airlifted to Vancouver. We would like to wish her a speedy recovery, first and foremost. After the crash had been cleared and racing resumed (three re-runs were in order), it was the iconic French rider Anne-Caroline Chausson who came out on top. ACC has won more World Championships than any other female rider, and despite her recent steps away from racing, she proved that her ability remains. Jill Kintner, who hasn’t done too poorly for herself either, finished second and Sarah Leishman placed third.
Here is a gallery from the day’s events, enjoy!
The women were held up by injury, but after re-running things were “back on track”.
Katie Holden took some time out of shooting for Deep Summer to race Air DH.
Your second place finisher, Jill Kintner, keeping it low over the big A-Line tables.
ACC prior to earning her second consecutive Air DH title.
Pro men started a little late, but once things were underway racers were sent every 45 seconds.
Whistler local and British import Paul Stevens rode his local trail, but probably a lot faster than usual…
…speaking of locals, Ian Morrison destroyed the course to take 6th place!
5.10s are everywhere in Whistler, even on the race course. Photo by Pat Taillefer.
Lear Miller had an awesome dual slalom race and chose to ride his little bike in the Air DH.
Specialized rider Brad Benedict on a 2012 Status, not a Demo…interesting.
Signs and heckles are always aplenty during the Air DH. Photo by Pat Taillefer.
Mikey Sylvestri of Kirt Voreis’ All Ride Academy pinning the straight section.
James McSkimming spends a lot of time in the bike park getting comfortable on berms.
Dan Atherton is coming back strong from injury.
Troy Brosnan and Brendan Fairclough turned their race runs into fun runs by training the whole way down and throwing whips for the crowd. They drew some of the biggest cheers of the day.
Brendog has unreal style. Photo by Pat Taillefer.
Danny Hart has quickly become a fan favourite.
He was whipping on the jumps, but quickly switched into racer mode on the straight section.
Andrew Neethling kept it low on the jumps…a good strategy, apparently.
Lopes is an animal, check out that calf!
The crowd got serious when Gee, the last man on track, came down. Instead of hollering, everyone went completely silent, drawing a shout of question from Atherton. Truly a funny moment in racing!
Fairclough shares a laugh in his new TLD Kit.
Left to right: Jill Kintner, Anne-Caroline Chausson, Sarah Leishman.
Left to right: Brian Lopes, Andrew Neethling, Mick Hannah.
Another day, another set of podiums. Crankworx rolls on.
Air DH is done, and we’re out for another day. Check back tomorrow for more from Crankworx!