PRESS RELEAESE – It’s often said that careers begin at Crankworx and American rookie Dakotah NORTON (USA) is the case in point. Norton is certainly making a name for himself this year, winning the Dual Slalom presented by GIANT in addition to landing in third place on the podium at last night’s Ultimate Pump Track Challenge.
The dual slalom track was fast and fierce, forcing riders to lay everything on the line, every single time. The evening was filled with tight match ups and hairpin margins. Norton and, third place finisher Bernard KERR (GBR), were neck and neck in the Semi-Final, with Norton taking the win by a .03-second advantage.
Connor Fearon (far line) vs Bernard Kerr during the Giant Dual Slalom | Photo courtesy Crankworx
Martin MAES (BEL) showed his true colours, consistently crushing his opponents, oozing style before bailing on his first lap in the Big Final to land in second place.
“The course is really tight. It all comes down to how quickly you can get in and out of those corners,” said announcer Tristan Merrick. “Less pedalling means less bogging down your suspension. You want to flow through the course as much as possible.”
With Mayes unable to race in the second round of the Big Final, Norton dropped in for a victory lap.
Rookie Dakotah Norton takes out Kyle Strait. | Photo courtesy Crankworx
“I’m absolutely speechless,” he said as he gave his interviews in the finish corral. “It was dusty on course, but it made for excellent racing. You have to go pinned every single lap and put 110 percent on the line every time to win.”
For the ladies, it appears that three times is the charm for Dual Slalom winner Jill KINTNER (USA), who also nabbed a first place finish in 2013 and 2014. Kintner and the woman named the 2015 Queen of the Crankworx World Tour, Anneke BEERTEN (NED), went head to head in the Big Final. Beerten delivered two solid laps, but in the end Kintner came out on top.
“These days are action packed with lots of practice and racing so I’m really happy to stay focused enough until this point in the week. It’s an aggressive track. A lot of mental energy goes into a day here. My strategy was to try and conserve energy and be as fresh as possible for this afternoon,” said Kintner in the finish corral. “I think this was one of the best slaloms they’ve had. It was a little bit more technical – I like that it’s a little more challenging and high speed.”
Crankworx Queen Anneke Beerten drops in against dual slalom winner Jill Kintner. | Photo courtesy Crankworx
Beerten has yet to receive her Queen of the Crankworx World Tour title, however, the announcers let slip that it is now impossible for anyone to catch her, given her 250 point lead over her nearest competitor, Kintner.
DUAL SLALOM RESULTS
Jill Kintner (USA)
Anneke Beerten (NED)
Tracey Hannah (AUS)
Dakotah Norton (USA)
Martin Maes (USA)
Bernard Kerr (GBR)