Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Marcelo Gutierrez proved once again that he’s the best in the world on the uniquely challenging Garbanzo Downhill event at the Crankworx Whistler Mountain Bike Festival in British Columbia. The Colombian extended his win streak, collecting his fifth Garbanzo title Tuesday as he piloted his Glory Advanced team bike to another win on the long, steep and punishing track.
“Without a doubt, this is one of the toughest races that I’ve ever had,” said Gutierrez, who wore the new Giant Shuttle shoes to earn the win. “Not only because Garbanzo is one of the longest and most technical tracks around. It was also hard because I had a challenge with myself to keep my record of winning here for another year.”
At more than 7km long, with a vertical drop of about 3500 feet, the Garbanzo DH is more than double the length of a typical World Cup DH course and is considered one of the sport’s toughest challenges. The 27-year-old Gutierrez has been competing here since he was a junior, and he came into Tuesday’s race with a four-year win streak. He also had to recover from a hard crash at the most recent round of the UCI World Cup race in Mont-Saint-Anne, Canada, where he sustained a concussion and was forced to sit out the finals.
“As always, there are so many aspects in this race that you cannot control,” Gutierrez said. “So it’s a great feeling to achieve my fifth win. Thanks to everyone on my team, this is for all of us.”
Gutierrez’s teammate Jacob Dickson also put in a strong ride at the Garbanzo DH, finishing 12th his first time ever racing the event.
“I didn’t know the track too well, so it was hard to put together more than 10 minutes on a new course,” said Dickson, who recently won the Irish men’s DH national championship. “But it was good fun and now I’m onto the next race here at Crankworx.”
The Giant Factory Off-Road Team is competing at a variety of competitions during the Crankworx Whistler event, from enduro racing to DH and other races throughout the week.