The GT Dual Speed & Style, the first event webcast from Crankworx Les 2 Alpes, saw Sweden’s Martin Soderstrom keep his race tight and his tricks big to take gold today. He edged out Tomas Lemoine, a French slopestyle athlete, by +2.81 while Cam Zink (USA), beat out DH racer David McMillan (AUS) in the small final to take third.
“Last year I didn’t compete in this event because I felt like I should be focusing on the slopestyle event and it is hard to do side events,” says Soderstrom in the finish corral. “But, it looked like so much fun and I was bummed that I didn’t do it so I thought, ‘Why not go for it this year?’. I hope this format stays alive, the tight racing and the big tricks make it a perfect combination.”
In the first run of the finals Soderstrom got the holeshot over Lemoine, and on the first jump both athletes pulled 360s. The last booter showed off Soderstrom’s technical skill with a solid 360 whip while Lemoine overshot the landing and crashed, giving Soderstrom the advantage for speed and both jumps. In their final match up Soderstrom was slower off the gate and both riders pulled 360s again. However, Soderstrom dug deep to pick up more speed and did another 360 off the final jump while Lemoine went for a Superman. With his work on the last run, Soderstrom once again got the advantage for both jumps and beat Lemoine in speed by 0.01 of a second.
Dual Speed & Style is starting to get a foothold in the freeride mountain bike scene and while only slopestyle specialists took the podium today, the event is attracting racers including World Cup 4X racer Quentin Derbier who placed fourth last year in this event, and World Cup downhiller Mick Hannah. Riders race through a dual course head-to-head for time and earn 0.64 second time advantages for the most stylish tricks pulled on two mid-course booters. Partly influenced by motocross and then brought to life by Kyle Strait’s glory run through the dual course during Crankworx Whistler 2011, the GT Dual Speed & Style in Les 2 Alpes and the Dual Speed & Style at Crankworx Whistler are exciting additions to the world of freeride competition.
If you missed the live webcast, you can watch the replay here.