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Locals rule CrankWorx

Baker, Whiteman, Buchar, Gracia and Morland among top riders; 17-year-old BMX star takes slopestyle

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Shannon Smith was the one and only rider in the junior women’s race with a time of 5:42.68.

Ross Measures was the top junior male in 4:38.19. Connor MacLeod was less than a hundredth of a second back, Marcus Jaheny was in third by just six one-hundredths of a second. Whistler’s Alex Prochazka, who is coming off a broken collarbone, was fourth.

In the amateur men’s race the top time went to Will Spencer in 4:35.81, followed by Jeff Leigh in 4:36.59 and Mike Zgund in 4:38.38.

Kim Saprunoff was the top amateur woman with her time of 5:05.51. Marilyn Manso was second in 5:13.74 and Pascale Vaiani third in 5:15.78.

In the downhill chair category Stacey Kohut finished in 5:29.91, almost 20 seconds ahead of Johnny Therrien.

Nissan Biker-X

For the third year in a row Whistler hosted a pro bikercross event, and once again some of the top names in the world turned out to race thanks to the World Cup event in Calgary two weeks earlier and the Joyride Bikercross in Kamloops the previous week.

The Whistler course was newly rebuilt by local legend Richie Schley, who increased the size and difficulty level of the tables, adding a few step-ups and drops. He also added a few tough rhythm sections that ended the day for more than one rider.

Eric Carter of the U.S., who is currently ranked fourth in the World Cup 4X standings, says the course suited his style of riding.

"It’s awesome, it was probably one of the best courses we’ve raced on all season, if not ever," he said. "It’s high speed, there’s a lot of really big, really quality jumps so, we were able to put on a good show to the bottom. It was really wide as well so you could go into that first turn with four riders, and the jumps were good and safe so you could just concentrate on pedalling."

Carter battled with Cedric Gracia and Brian Lopes for most of the day, and was neck and neck with both riders heading into the first turn of the finals. Carter was actually in a close third at one point before he pulled ahead coming out of the corner and never looked back, "because I knew they were right behind me pedalling like madmen," said Carter.

"Brian and I got pretty close in a couple of spots, and Cedric is just amazing, but when you get to the level we’re at, it’s hard to make a passing kind of course," he added. "If you get a lead you’re probably going to hold onto it.