So another year of Crankworx has come and gone. Things didn’t exactly go as I was one thing after another up until the last day. Frustrating!!! I signed up to race everything and do the Gala (the women’s freeride event) as well. The first event was Dual Slalom, which was a bit of a bust. I lost my balance and tipped over right before the gate dropped in my second qualifying run and wasn’t able to get clipped in. I also managed to miss a gate so I had to stop and run back around it. Minor shitshow. I qualified poorly...8th so I had my work cut out for me. The round of 16 was pretty easy but once I got to the round of 8, I was up against Anneke Beerten who was untouchable. She was absolutely killing it. So that was the end of my day. Live and learn. I turned my attention to the Garbanzo DH which was one of the events that I was most excited about. I ride Garbo a lot and I know it like the back of my hand so I was confident that I could do well. derailleur went into my wheel and busted my spokes leaving me with an unrideable wheel. I cant express how disappointed I was. It had even rained for me! Horrible. Next up was the Gala. I don’t exactly have a bag of tricks but I thought that it would be good to get out there and support women’s freeriding. I had a great time with all the girls. I ended up 11th. Air Downhill was my next event. I crashed in the very first corner...literally. It was a pretty hard crash...I knocked the wind out of myself and gave myself some nice scrapes. Whoops. My body was feeling it after the Air Downhill so I decided to sit out of the Giant Slalom in hopes of getting myself sorted for the Canadian Open. Come the weekend, my body was still wasn’t feeling it so I opted not to ride the course for any of the practice sessions and instead I walked it. The day of my race I took a few warm up runs and got my lines sorted. The course was freshly cut so it was pretty rough and fabulous. I did the Phat Wednesday night race on course the week before and won by 34 seconds so I knew I just needed to keep it together. I was so nervous. My run started off pretty shit...the nervousness translated directly into my riding and I was all over the place. I missed all my lines and had absolutely no rhythm. Mid-course I decided that if I actually wanted to make it down I needed to chill out. Relax. Calm down. So that’s what I did. I toned it down and I kept it together. I was one of the first riders off so when I got to the bottom and learned that I had the fastest time, I got to sit in the hot seat for quite awhile. Nerve-racking. Rider after rider came down and I was still in the hot seat. Claire Buchar came down and I thought that she had taken over the hot seat but I managed to beat her out by .4 of a second. At that point I knew I had a spot on the podium and I was stoked. In the end I placed 3rd behind Rachel Atherton and Tracey Mosley. Standing up on the podium next to those two in front of my home crowd felt amazing. The Canadian Open was my first big result in a stacked field, on a proper downhill track…in front of the home crowd…Cool! Photo: Yorick Carroux

Katie Holden