They're coming from near and far, from the Gold Coast in Australia and Barcelona in Spain, from Vallnord, Andorra to Somerset West in South Africa. They're from England, France and New Zealand and from all over the States. And some are born and bred in Canada.
They are as young as 17-year-old Brandon Semenuk from Whistler. And some are twice that age.
They are the men and women of Crankworx 2009 and they're here this week as Whistler turns into all things mountain biking in its annual summer festival.
Get ready for another year of mind-numbing jumps, stomach-churning stunts, record-breaking runs and everything else you can think of in between. And for those less inclined to get on their bikes, there's the Deraylor Music Festival, the Crankworx block party and the deep summer photo challenge.
For complete coverage of the festival go to www.crankworx.com.
Saturday, Aug. 8 - Dual Slalom
A rider's favourite, the Dual Slalom is a head-to-head high speed race down the mountain over bumps, jumps, around banks and with the promise of a few surprises to keep bikers on their toes.
The competition is spectator friendly as the riders make their way down the mountain through a set of parallel gates to the finish. Each pair of riders goes twice, once in each lane. The one with the lowest combined time moves on to the next round. The amateur finals take place from 3:30 to 6 p.m. and the pro finals from 6 to 8 p.m. An award ceremony at the main stage at the base of Whistler Mountain will follow.
There is $6,500 in prize money to give away so expect riders to be pushing their limits as they race for the prize... and the glory.
Sunday, Aug. 9 - Garbanzo DH/Ken Quon
The Garbanzo downhill is one run, but it's a long one, starting at the very top of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park and continuing down, down and down. The big question this year is: can someone break the 14-minunte mark? Seems like a tough one to beat considering there's 3,400 vertical feet between start and finish.
Like the Dual Slalom, there are races for pros and amateurs. The fastest man last year was Gee Atherton with a time of 14:20.4. The top pro woman was Rachel Atherton with a time of 16.48.9.
The pro race takes place from 3:30 to 6 p.m. See the winners crowned at the main stage afterwards.
As the downhillers battle it out in the bike park, cross country riders can take part in the Ken Quon "Ride On." There are three different riding events all at the same time: a "traditional" family ride on the Lost Lake trails, a 'Loonie' type ride and the Re/Max Corridor Cup Challenge which is a two-member team event.
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