Crankworx World Tour lands in Australia this week, the second stop in the four-stop season. Racing started with the Speed and Style on Cairns’ fast and distinctive course.
Bas van Steenbergen speed to silver
Canada’s reigning King of Crankworx started his week in Cairns strong, earning second in the Speed and Style event. While the Canadian has plenty of both, it’s not always been his strongest event at Crankworx.
“I’m feeling pretty good, this is my best-ever speed and style result,” said van Steenbergen. “It’s a great start! I’m just trying to keep it going from here, there’s still a lot more racing to go, so can’t get too excited just yet.”
The distinctive Cairns course played to the Canadian’s strengths.
“I really dig this track! It was better for racing compared to some of the other ones, it was a bit longer and more technical which obviously I quite like.”
Mechem makes it gold
Up against van Steenbergen in the final was Garret Mechem. After two runs, the winning margin was razor-thin, but the U.S. rider finally had a win.
“It’s been a long time coming, and hopefully it keeps coming,” Mechem after the final. “Might be the loosest run of my life, my bar got stuck on my knee,” said Mechem. “My plan was to not to go for the corky at the bottom, but Bas was ahead so I had to throw it down.”
Burbidge-Smith celebrates with a win
On the women’s side, Harriet Burbidge-Smith’s win was a double celebration. The Australian threw huge back flips on her way to a win that happened to be on her 27th birthday. She also had a huge hometown crowd to celebrate both.
“Doing flips on my birthday is probably my favourite thing. This was after all, my first birthday doing flips, so yeah, it went pretty good,” said Burbidge-Smith. “The course was fast and it got faster and faster. It was a bit slow and inconsistent on some sides (yesterday), but it got faster throughout the day.”
In her final, Burbidge-Smith was up against the current Queen of Crankworx, Australian Olympian Caroline Buchanan. While Buchanan didn’t get the win, she did get a Crankworx first by landing a superman-seat grab, the first woman to do so in Crankworx…
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