Crankworx Cairns keeps rolling toward the weekend and Canada’s Bas van Steenbergen keeps earning medals. For a second straight event, the reigning King of Crankworx sped to a second-place finish in Australia.
Finals error costs Canadian gold
Van Steenbergen looked on pace to better his result in yesterday’s Speed and Style, but an error in finals cost the Canuck his Dual Slalom gold.
“It’s bittersweet, I definitely wanted that win really bad,” said van Steenbergen. “I was trying to just kind of play it safe, but when you’re pushing that hard you can make one little mistake and it can cost you a lot.”
The men’s Dual Slalom win went to Australia’s Ryan Gilchrist.
“My strategy today was to go as fast as possible from top to bottom. I take it one race at a time and try not to get too spooked out by the magnitude of the situation as this is as good as it gets,” said Gilchrist of his winning tactics.
“I was a little bit nervous up there because Bas van Steenbergen is such a well established athlete and he’s been at the top for so long and is the King of Crankworx for a reason,” Gilchrist admitted. “It is really special racing against him, and it was definitely nice to be at the gate with him, having proper, genuine conversation before we dropped in.”
Burbidge-Smith stays golden
Hometown hero Harried “Haz” Burbidge-Smith delivered a second-straight Crankworx gold, taking the top step in the women’s Dual Slalom event.
“My strategy going out there today was don’t over think it but remember those little bits of the course that I needed to and when I made mistakes I remembered what I did and fixed it the next run,” said Burbidge-Smith. “I almost slowed it down in that top section and tried to smooth out everything. I tried to get the pedals where I wanted to get the manuals on the techy stuff and on the flags I was trying to be fast but safe, because I saw so many people miss.”
The Dual Slalom win pulls Burbidge-Smith to within 100 points of Caroline Buchanan’s total in the Queen of Crankworx standings. Despite the success, the Australian is committed to taking the season one event at a time.
“I’m not thinking about the overall, I’m just focusing on what I love this year—which is freeride and doing the events I enjoy,” said Burbidge-Smith. “Obviously, it’s sick that…
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