A couple of major names in the mountain biking world took over the King and Queen of Crankworx leads in Les Gets, France, on the weekend.
Defending women's champion Jill Kintner passed and opened a gap on Australia's Caroline Buchanan, now holding a 440 to 325 lead at the midpoint. Switzerland's Emilie Siegenthaler is third with 305 points.
Meanwhile, France's Adrien Loron made hay at home, though his lead is a little more precarious. Loron holds 375 points, just ahead of Australia's Jack Moir with 350. Czechia's Jakub Vencl, meanwhile, has 300 points. New Zealand's Matt Walker entered France with the lead, but managed to add just 10 points to his tally as he now sits in fourth.
The scene now shifts to the brand-new venue in Innsbruck, Austria with action from June 21 to 25.
In Les Gets, Canadian Brett Rheeder entered the conversation for the Triple Crown of Slopestyle with his victory on June 18. If either he or American Nicholi Rogatkin, the Rotorua winner, capture both of the next two events in Austria and here in Whistler, they'll earn a $25,000 bonus.
Rheeder, who put together a calm and collected run, bested Swedish phenom Emil Johansson by two points and Poland's Szymon Godziek by nearly six points.
After pinching the meniscus in his knee last October, requiring surgery and recovery, Rheeder opted not to rush back and skipped Rotorua.
"I had just gotten on my bike right before Rotorua and I thought: a) I've missed out on three months of training and getting ready for Rotorua, and b) I'm like a toothpick right now. I don't have any muscle on me. My legs are weak... As soon as I got on my bike, I thought maybe I could try to force it, but my friends and family, my sponsors, all just said take your time and heal it up," he said in a release.
In the Air DH, Moir took the pro men's victory over South Africa's Greg Minnaar (2.05 seconds back) and Great Britain's Josh Bryceland (3.19 seconds back) while Canadian Kirk McDowall was sixth. On the women's side, France's Morgane Charre earned the win while Canadian Casey Brown and Siegenthaler tied for second, 2.06 seconds back. Vaea Verbeeck and Micayla Gatto were sixth and seventh, respectively.
As for the Crankworx DH, Australia's Troy Brosnan earned the pro men's win, getting France's Loris Vergier and Minnaar by 0.89 and 0.95 seconds, respectively, while Canadian Mark Wallace took sixth.
France's Myriam Nicole captured the women's win, beating Australian Tracey Hannah by 1.72 seconds and Siegenthaler by a full 5.48 seconds. Brown took sixth and Verbeeck ninth.
Whistler's Finn Iles won the junior men's division of the race, finishing 3.23 seconds up on France's Sylvain Cougoureux and a whopping 9.65 seconds up on third-place Nikolas Nestoroff of the U.S. Iles missed his Whistler Secondary School graduation to go to France, though his accomplishments were reportedly met with cheers of approval from the local Grade 12s.
"I was a little bit upset that I missed grad, but I was living life in Europe, so I can't be too upset that I missed it. I'm happy that I really landed the run this weekend," he said.
Pemberton's Lucas Cruz also performed admirably in the cadet division, taking second to France's Thibaut Daprela.
In the dual speed and style, Vencl scored the win over Great Britain's Daryl Brown while Martin Soderstrom of Sweden placed third.
On the pump track, Loron pulled out the win over fellow Frenchman Chaney Guennet, with American Mitch Ropelato taking third. Pump track queen Kintner won on the women's side, besting Buchanan with Great Britain's Manon Carpenter placing third.
Action in Innsbruck began with France's Louis Reboul and Brown capturing wins at the Tiroler Tageszeitung Official Alpine Whip-Off Championships on June 21. June 22 is set to welcome the Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style, while the Raiffeisen Club Pump Track Challenge will come June 23. The Crankworx Innsbruck Downhill is slated for June 24, while action will wrap with the Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle on June 25.
For more information, including webcast times for the Innsbruck event, visit www.crankworx.com.