“I know how to race this race,” said a coughing Jill Kintner (USA) from the finish line of the Air DH at Crankworx Whistler.
The proof? The American has won this race every year since 2013. She made it seven this year, despite being sick (and admitting to throwing up before her race run).
“That was definitely hard for me,” said Kintner, who’s return to Crankworx competition, in the Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized this past weekend, ended with a DNF. “I wasn’t sure if I would even show up today because I’ve been really sick all week...But I felt really good on my bike.”
Her winning time today was her fastest to date:
The 37-year-old credited bike choice (choosing trail over downhill bike) and track conditions for her time.
“It was a lot smoother this year...and it rained the other day so the traction was ideal.”
By the time the pro men dropped in, 2.5 hours after Kintner, a light but steady rain had fallen for most of the afternoon. “Ideal” was not what the last racer of the day was expecting.
“I thought it was going to be a little bit more slippery with the rain,” said Finn Iles (CAN). “But as soon as I got on course and got through the first few corners I was like ‘Ah, it’s all good,’ and just went as fast as I could.”
Iles would end up with the fastest time of the day, crossing the line in 3:57.04, just over one second faster than his winning time last year.
As for what it’s like to race Whistler’s most famous trail, a trail known as being condusive to big style, rather than big speed?
“It’s hard work,” said an out-of-breath Iles. “Really hard work.”
FULL RESULTS - PRO WOMEN: Air DH
FULL RESULTS - PRO MEN: Air DH