First three B.C. women thrilled Crankworx fans then Whistler rider Steve Smith took the excitement up a notch by winning the men’s Garbanzo Downhill race on day three of the mountain bike festival.
Casey Brown of Revelstoke rode the 12k course down Whistler Mountain in 14 minutes and 28 seconds to knock Whistler’s Claire Buchar off the top of the leader board and Brown’s time held to the end.
Miranda Miller of Squamish was the 16th rider down the course, one spot behind Brown and her time put her in second spot, bumping Buchar down to third place.
Brown’s time was a full nine seconds faster than the Buchar’s winning time in 2011.
A total of 80 men rode in the professional category and it was the 80th person down the track who stole the show.
Smith, from Nanaimo, thrilled the crowd by ripping down the racecourse and his time was fast enough to knock Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas of Columbia from the podium position. Whistler’s Chris Kovarik held that top spot for about ten minutes but he lost it when the Columbian bumped him. Smith's time was 12:33.27.
Mark Wallace of Duncan held the top spot for much of the competition and at the end of the day he finished in fifth place.
Smith thanked his sponsors and the Whistler fans for cheering him on.
“Thanks everybody,” said Smith. “I’m so inspired by my first Garbanzo win.”
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