Speed and Style is one of the most exciting race formats on the Crankworx World Tour. Now, there’s a women’s event run at the same time as the men’s high flying, high speed show.
Whistler hosted the first ever women’s Clif Speed and Style on Friday, going into the final weekend of Crankworx 2019. Jordy Scott flew to claim the inaugural women’s title. Close behind, Canada’s Casey Brown finished second, with the Joey Gough flying all the way from Great Britain for third.
“I’m really happy,” said 18-year-old Jordy Scott. “I’ve never been on the podium at Crankworx other that these past two days, so I’m super stoked on that. It’s been a really good week here.”
On the men’s side, a last minute entry and several intersecting competitions made for a dramatic evening of racing.
Mitch Ropelato has been on a roll in Whistler, winning the Garbanzo DH and the 100% Dual Slalom already this week. Riding on that momentum, the American decided to make a last minute entry in Speed and Style. While Ropelato’s focus was on earning more crucial King of Crankworx points to pad his lead over Adrien Loron (France), he came away with much more than expected.
With big King of Cranworx points on the line, the pressure started early. The showdown between Ropelato and Loron happened in the Round of 16.
“That was probably the gnarliest round,” Ropelato said going head-to-head with his rival for the crown. “So much pressure in that start gate. You know he wanted it. I wanted it real bad. It was a good fight ‘til the end.”
Ropelato would beat Loron, who won Speed and Style Whistler in 2017. Loron was just the first of many former winners Ropelato would knock out on his way to the unexpected win. Daryl Brown was next, then three time Speed and Style winner Tomas Lemoine of France.
“I knew I had 360s on lock,” said Ropelato of his strategy in the mixed time and points format event. “I ate crap the first round in practice today. I was so timid with them, but once the pressure got in, I was like: ‘Well, you just gotta make it happen.’”
Mitch Ropelato’s win over Lemoine earns him the Crankworx Whistler Speed and Style win, as well as pads his King of Crankworx lead.
Ropelato wasn’t the night’s only winner, though. Martin Söderström, third behind Ropelato and Lemoine, claimed the Crankworx Speed and Style World Championship title. Söderström’s Bronze added to a Gold from Innsbruck and Silver in Rotorua to cap off the series win.
“I felt really good on the bike and very consistent,” Söderström said after claiming his title, “so to wrap it up here in Whistler with the biggest crowd and the biggest contest and with another podium was just too good to be true.”