Posted by Editoress on 09/13/10
Red Bull 5000 Down presented by RockShox at Whistler BC
Photos Patrick Graham Phoyote Photography
On September 12th, the second installment of Red Bull 5000 Down showcased one hundred thirty-one riders sustaining constant physical and mental effort in order to maintain control during the entire descent. Tyler Morland from Whistler, BC and Junior DH World Champ Lauren Rosser from Squamish, BC took the first place in their respective category. International and local elite gathered at the snow peak of Whistler Mountain, in Whistler Blackcomb resort in British Columbia and descended more than 2,320m (12.3km) and a vertical drop of 1,503m (5,020 feet) at an average speed of 76km/h to cross the finish line in the Whistler Village.
Presented by RockShox, Red Bull 5000 Down is a mass start downhill mountain bike race featuring the greatest North American and European riders, including: Stevie Smith, who recently took sliver at the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, MX1 National Pro Dusty Klatt, and Chris Kovarik, a multiple Australian national champion and multiple World Cup winner. Over the course of two days, both men and women battled side-by-side, dealing with 14cm of snow at the peak, rain, fatigue, broken bikes and navigating through muddy and dirt trails on the cloud-covered Whistler Mountain.
On Saturday, September 11th, qualifiers where held on the lower half of the course, which took place over the famous Garbanzo zone in the Whistler Bike Park. Once the qualifiers were completed, the riders’ destinies were determined based on their results and they were seeded in rows of ten for the mass start on Sunday. Keeping the fastest men and women at the front of the pack was key as the top half of this massive course would see riders reaching speeds of up to 80 km/h. After all the men and women made it down the course, it was Australia’s Chris Kovarik who took the fastest time with 13:14:95 minutes for the male category and Whistler, BC native Brook Baker clocked in at 16:13:93 for the women’s category.
Riders uploaded to the Peak of Whistler where they began to take position in 14cm of snow and prepare for the mass start. A shotgun start had the competitors launch a 5,000 feet descent and intense bar-to-bar racing as they battled side-by-side.
Proximity wasn’t the only challenge, as riders were also navigating through muddy and dirt trails riddled with jumps, stunts, drops and root-strewn terrain. After a challenging start with four inches of snow on the ground at the start and a descent on the cloudy-covered mountain, Chris Kovarik took the lead and wowed the crowd as he charged into the Garbanzo zone with a huge pack of racers chasing him. Hundreds of spectators cheered Tyler Morland as he crossed the finish line in the Whistler Village after 21:49:82 minutes. “I love winning, it’s hard to beat. It’s exciting lining up with your friends on the front line. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Curtis Keene (USA) finished second with a time of 22:01:03 minutes and third place finisher Chris Kovarik (Australia) completed the race in 22:13:30 minutes.
In the women’s category, Lauren Rosser from Squamish, BC clocked in at 27:31:59 minutes, followed by Whistler’s Brook Baker with 28:11:29 minutes and Fanny Paquette with 30:06:17 minutes. “I’ve never done anything like this before. When I got to the top I said, “there is two feet of snow – this is even better!” It was different but good, “ said Rosser.
Report courtesy RedBull
I had a bear scare Saturday. Luckily one of the course marshals was eating his juicy lunch and it went and took his lunch.
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