The Raffeisen Club downhill wrapped up Crankworx Innsbruck on Sunday, with a short track and soaring temperatures challenging riders to stay focused.
Canada’s Finn Iles finished second in the pro men’s 2022 deuter Downhill Innsbruck Presented by Raffeisen Club, behind Atherton’s Charlie Hatton.
For the Brit, it’s a return for redemption after racing the same event last year.
“First Crankworx win. I came last year, and I was sixth, so yeah just out of the top five which made me hungry for more this week, and happy it paid off,” Charlie Hatton said of his first Crankworx Gold Medal. “The track is fairly simple which almost makes it harder, so no line choice…so it was just main line as fast as you possibly could and get on the cranks hard and then yeah that one took the win so I’m stoked.”
Jake Jewett and Mark Wallace, Canyon Cllctv’s pair of Canadians, finished 12th and 13th.
On the women’s side, Vali Höll battled her mental demons, rolling into Innsbruck after a few high-profile crashes, to take the win in Innsbruck DH.
“It’s amazing,” said Höll, who takes her career-third gold medal in the event. “I struggled a bit with my mental game this week just because I was so down after Leogang. After seeding, I got smoked yesterday and I had no mistakes, and so I didn’t know what happened. Tracey Hannah is an amazing racer, and she won many world cups, but I just didn’t know what was happening. I talked to my coach and she said, ‘you don’t need to race, you can go home, relax and resettle’, but then I thought that it’s too easy to just run away so maybe it’s great to try and face a challenge because I never really did that before in my life. If you really want to just try to give your best and not worry about the results, it’s a bit better for me and that’s what I did today. It was still close; Tracey was on fire but happy to win finally again and not crash in the race run.”
Vaea Verbeeck finished her week strong with a fifth in the Innsbruck DH. The reigning Queen of Crankworx is on the recovery road after a hard crash at Red Bull Formation, and earns valuable series points with the result. Rachel Pageau (Commencal) in 12th, Kyleigh Stewart (Kona) in 14th and Georgia Astle (Devinci) in 15th round out the Canadian pro women’s results.
Junior DH: Goldstone and van Eesteren podium
Jackson Goldstone won the junior men’s race. The Squamish junior book ended a busy week at Crankworx Innsbruck with wins. He opened the competition with a win in Wednesday’s whip-off, raced dual slalom and pump track before winning Sunday’s DH.
“The week’s been amazing, it’s been long days, long nights and stoked to win the Whip-Off at the start of the week and then Downhill to finish it off,” said the 18-year-old from Squamish. “It’s been a dream.”
On the junior women’s side, Lucy van Eesteren of Vancouver finished third behind junior world champ, Izabela Yankova.