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Atherton, Gatto claim Dual Slalom titles



Crankworx officially kicked off with the Dual Slalom on Saturday, with Great Britain's Gee Atherton securing the win.

It was Atherton versus 18-yar-old American Mitch Ropelato in the finals. After Ropelato gained a short lead from the start, the two were side by side when Ropelato crashed. Atherton held his advantage going through the second run of the finals.

"I was playing calm, cool and collected," says Atherton, after his win. "It is quite unexpected, but I am feeling really stoked. You have to stay calm and have fun. I really enjoyed that."

Mick Hannah from Australia took third, defeating Troy Brosnan, also from Australia, in the consolation final.

Brian Lopes, one of the pre-race favourites, went out in the first heat of the Pro Men's semi-final due to a crash.

Micayla Gatto from the North Shore kept the Pro Women's Dual Slalom title on home soil. France's Emmeline Ragot got the holeshot in each of the two runs in the final, but Gatto pulled ahead by the finish line both runs.

Jill Kintner from the USA finished third and Melissa Buhl, also from the USA, finished fourth.

This was the fourth season of dual slalom's at Crankworx. More than 100 riders in the pro and amateur categories pumped through the course this year as hundreds of fans braved cool weather to line the gated course or watch on the big screen from Whistler Village.



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