Vaea Verbeeck was third in Wednesday’s 100% Dual Slalom in Whistler, but the bronze was enough to earn her the Crankworx Dual Slalom World Championships title.
The three-stop world championship series wrapped up for 2019 at Crankworx Whistler. Past multiple time Queen of Crankworx Jill Kitner returned to Whistler to claim another win, adding to her seventh Fox Air DH win on Tuesday.
Verbeeck, though, has been putting a big effort into the new discipline. The Canadian downhill national champion has had success stepping out of her comfort zone at the two prior tour stops. Verbeeck won both the Rotorua and Innsbruck Crankworx Dual Slalom stops. Those wins, added to her third in Whistler, were enough to capture the series overall.
The third place also helps Verbeeck in her Queen of Crankworx campaign. The Canadian leads the race for the crown, ahead of Anneeke Beerten and Kialani Hines.
On the men’s side, the Dual Slalom was won by another rider attempting an ascent to royalty.
Mitch Ropelato added another Crankworx Whistler win to his week, on top of his Garbanzo DH win on Saturday. The win pushes him into the lead in the King of Crankworx campaign. Past-King Adrien Loron sits second, with Okanagan’s Bas van Steenbergen in third.
To earn the win, though, Ropelato had to one up fellow American Austin “Bubba” Warren in the finals.
“I came out of the gate and shifted,” Ropelato said of his first finals matchup against Austin Warren (USA), “and I just kind of caught it in the wrong part of my pedal stroke, and it just snapped the foot out, and I was like ‘Ohhh my gosh, you did not just do that. You were so good all day. We are not Innsbruck-ing this again!’”
Ropelato held on, winning both rounds against Warren. Thomas Slavik bested Matthw Sterling to take third.