By Leigh Ramsdell, Team Manager
There is just something about Crankworx Whistler that makes it such a special event. Maybe it’s the location in beautiful British Columbia. Maybe it’s the fact you can ride some of the best mountain bike trails in the world. But most likely the reason it’s so special is that it’s the final stop of the Crankworx series, and everyone is putting it on the line! Whatever the case is we were just happy to have Greg Watts and Brayden Barrett-Hay representing Mongoose there!
Crankworx Whistler is over a weeklong and filled with events like Pump Track, Downhill Racing, Dual Slalom, The Joyride Slope Style event and much more! Greg and Brayden were here to ride the CLIF Speed and Style event as well as Best Trick. Brayden has never entered a Speed and Style event before, so this would be new for him. He only wanted to ride Best Trick, but had to be in both events to do that.
The course was a little different than the previous Crankworx events this year. This one was a little more technical with some flatter grass turns and the longest course of the year, so the riders would have to work for it more. But that just makes for good racing, right?! Brayden looked pretty comfortable despite never have entered one of these events, not to mention his bike is set up more for dirt jumping. You generally don’t want to have slick tires and a freecoaster on your bike to race, but that wasn’t stopping Brayden. While he didn’t make it out of the Round of 32, he did get some experience under his belt and had a good time!
Now Speed and Style is something Greg Watts knows all about! He’s got the speed and a big bag of tricks. The way this works is that the better tricks you do on the two jumps the more time gets taken off your speed results, so you can actually cross the finish line second and still come out on top. Greg was pre-qualified to the round of 16, so he could relax a little. But in the Round of 16 he was racing against his good friend Kyle Strait who is really fast and has the tricks to boot. Kyle came out ahead in the first round, but a missed barspin backflip in round 2 caused Kyle to crash and that meant Greg was advancing to the Round of 8.
In the Round of 8, Greg was up against the UK’s Daryl Brown. In the first round Greg finished just behind Daryl in speed, but pulled his tricks perfectly, got some time cut off and took the lead. Going into the second round both riders were pretty close in speed, but Greg missed his tricks and that edged him out of the finals. Greg ended up with 6th which put him in a respectable 4th for the year-end Speed and Style points.
The evening ended with Best Trick. As the sun went down the riders threw down some insanely hard moves, but only one could come out on top. Brayden did his first ever double pendulum back flip! That is a flip and a no-footed can-can on one side of the bike then a no-footed can-can on the other side times two! You just have to watch the video to understand, ha ha. Nicholi Rogatkin took the win with a Cashroll Tailwhip or the Twister X-up.
Well, that wraps up the 2019 Speed and Style season and what a season it was! It was great to see Brayden step outside the box and try it out, and it seems like he’s hooked. Greg will be heading into 2020 with determination to get the year end title! And we cannot wait!