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Brown tops whip-offs again, sweeps Crankworx

Cooke captures men's win

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It wasn't any surprise that Casey Brown, the only women's winner the Official Whip-Off World Championships has seen in its five years, won once again on Aug. 17.

What might be surprising, however, is how the 2017 victory was her most challenging.

As the Revelstoke resident sought out her fifth consecutive Whistler win, as well as a clean sweep of all four Crankworx whip-off events in 2017, she was battling more than just the competition.

Brown had sustained a shoulder injury in training, forcing her out of the Canadian Open Enduro on Sunday, but she felt she could at least test it out up at Crabapple Hits on Thursday. Sure enough, she kept her streak intact.

"It was cool to take the win today, especially with the adversity of having a bum shoulder. The wind was pretty scary today for me. It takes a lot to get these jumps and clear them," she said. "I'm really surprised, actually, since I didn't feel very good because of my shoulder and it's hard to judge what you're actually doing out there."

Brown explained she didn't reinforce herself physically so much as mentally as the winds gusted and she gutted out a trip to the finals.

"It was mostly mental adjustments just keeping up that positive self-talk early and not giving up. I did take a big rest in the middle just to chill and feel it out and see if it was a good idea to continue," she said.

In a repeat of the 2015 podium, fellow Revelstoke resident Lorraine Blancher was second and Switzerland's Emilie Siegenthaler earned the third-place slot.

"With the Whip-Off, it's not a super competitive event, so it feels like just a rad riding session with your buddies," Brown said. "It's chill. I just had to power through and take control of what my bike was doing."

As for the men, Allan Cooke of Santa Cruz, Calif. rose from third in 2016 to the top spot this year, beating out fellow American Austin "Bubba" Warren and France's Anthony Rocci.

Cooke had a solid BMX and motocross career before cutting back on riding to focus on his position as team manager with Santa Cruz, though he only recently started competing in whip-offs — with pretty strong success.

After also battling the elements early, Cooke said he was able to give his best in the final.

"It was a little sketchy in the beginning, going long and coming up short, but when they did the cut to the top 30, the wind pretty much died, so it was game on at that point," he said.

Even after advancing, Cooke said he was just riding to have fun and whatever happened from that point was out of his hands.

"You don't do these events to win. It feels pretty (frickin') cool to win, for sure, but either way it's just a fun time riding with the boys," he said. "It's fun to be able to high five and hug and have a good time and have your competitors be happy for you and you be happy for them as well."

Cooke credited the trail crew for making "perfect" jumps.

"For us, to be able to ride the jumps when they're that dialed, there's no reason not to send it as hard as you can. When are you going to be able to ride Crabapple in that condition?" he said.

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