Crankworx rolls into Whistler 

World’s best on deck for nine days of competition

In the world of mountain biking, Whistler occupies a special place at the top.

Not only is the town the epicentre for lift-assisted mountain biking, with a bike park and model that resorts around the world are trying to match, it’s also on the forefront of freeriding, and the birthplace of the mountain bike slopestyle. In the five years since the first slopestyle even was held, contests have cropped up around the world to create an actual tour for the top athletes. Whistler’s event is still the biggest, drawing an estimated 15,000 spectators to the base of the mountain.

Whistler is also home to the world’s biggest mountain bike club, WORCA, with more than 1,000 members each year, and there are more than 300 km of trails to enjoy in the valley, including 160 km of singletrack. The Bike Park adds another 200 km of lift-serviced trails, and is constantly being upgraded and expanded.

For nine days in August, Aug. 9 to 17, Whistler celebrates mountain biking with the Kokanee Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival. That’s nine days of music, expos, demos, and industry parties, but the main attraction has always been the events.

This year the festival features 10 bike events, with three downhill races, three slopestyle/trick contests, two dual slaloms, a trials competition, and a team cross country race. This year there is a cash purse of $70,000 available for the pro riders, plus a huge number of prizes for competitors racing in the age categories.

For good measure, Crankworx also features the debut of the Canadian Cheese Rolling Championship — competitors rolling two wheels of specialty cheeses down the slopes at the base of Blackcomb.

Registration for most events is available online at www.crankworx.com, or by going straight to the Karelo site at www.karelo.com.

 

Aug. 9 — Dual Slalom

The first dual slalom event of the competition takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the base of Whistler Mountain on the new Double Vision course. The contest is open to everybody, with a prize purse of $6,500 for the top four pro men and pro women. The competition is extremely spectator friendly, as riders make their way down through a set of parallel gates to the finish. Each pairing of riders goes twice, once in each lane, and the rider with the lowest combined time moves on to the next round.

 

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