So as we thought yesterday, today’s Crankworx Slopestyle event was called off due to the rain continuing to fall over night here in Les Gets. After wiping away the tears in our eyes, we headed over to the DH side of the valley, and jumped in the chairlift to head into the blue skies at the top of the track. Yep, that’s right BLUE SKIES. This is what we found, on the very muddy Crankworx Les Gets downhill track.
The track here in Les Gets is split into three very distinct sections. Rolling out of the gate and over the first jump (above) the riders navigate a section made up of flat corners out in the open, linked with pretty straight runs, where plenty of pedal strokes need to be put in (not easy in today’s mud though).
Still out in the top section, riders drop into a series of steep, tight, rooty and very muddy corners heading down towards the woods. With the rain and mud causing huge ruts to appear in the track – it’s a lot trickier than it may look. Hit the main rut and try stay in it, as this helps to stay away from the worst of the mud.
So we’re now into the woods, the second section of this track and this is where it all gets really interesting. From an initial drop as riders enter the woods, the hill drops very steep indeed, and at this point touching the front brake in any way, could end in disaster.
It’s easy to get carried away, talking about the endless mud out here in Les Gets, but unfortunately, it’s hard to step away from the fact it’s very very muddy. This is where these riders really earn their crust, as riding in conditions like this is not for the faint hearted. This takes real skill and bike control.
After the woods have been seen to, the riders drop out into another pretty open section, taking it a series of flat corners where traction and carrying speed can mean the difference between competing for the podium, or a frustrating finishing time. It’s here where the mud had glooped and stuck together in big clumps, as the worst of the surface water drained. It turned out that walking down the track is almost as difficult as what we think riding it might be. It’s a pain on the knees, I tell you.
It’s smiles and high fives all round for the podium crew. A tidy €1000 third place prize for Tracey Hannah in the womens and Jack Moir takes third for the mens. Emilie Siegenthaler congratulates the podium before climbing up onto the second place step, and in turn receiving a cheque for €2000 – not bad for a muddy days work in Les Gets.
After a soggy weekend of racing, it’s easy to see what it means for this lot, to get on the podium. There’s only so much training you can do to prepare for conditions like we’ve had here at Crankworx Les Gets this weekend. It’s a crazy world is downhill, yet this bunch know how to tame each track and get the job done. This is the official standings after a crazy race day:
Results Men, Crankworx Les Gets Downhill presented by iXS:
- Remi Thirion (FRA)
- Brendan Fairclough (GBR)
- Jack Moir (AUS)
Results Women, Crankworx Les Gets Downhill presented by iXS:
- Morgane Charre (FRA)
- Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI)
- Tracey Hannah (AUS)
So that is that, from us here at Crankworx Les Gets. It’s been a wicked weekend, even with the rain falling and the unfortunate cancelation of the Slopestyle event. In true downhill fashion, we’re going to get back to the chalet, get cleaned up and treat ourselves to a cold beer. After all, it’s a long old day taking photos and sliding around in the mud.
Our coverage of Crankworx has been in association with More Mountain, providing luxury chalets and apartments in Morzine, France.