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The Crankworx World Tour is a three-stop, season-long skills omnium beginning in Rotorua, New Zealand each March. Now in its second year, the festival down under brings the gravity mountain biking world together in a town where shredding flowy trails through silver ferns is said to feel like riding “dirt gold.” This five-day celebration of mountain biking and its culture is a rider’s paradise and sets the tone for the year. This is where the Crankworx fan figures out who to root for all year.
The second stop of the tour picks up in June at Crankworx Les Gets, an internationally renown mountain biking destination in the French Alps. Stationed on the 12-town, lift-accessed Portes du Soleil riding circuit, it is both a family resort a destination race fans will recognize for its pioneering role in downhill racing. Les Gets was home to four World Cups and a legendary World Championship race before landing Crankworx in the final months of 2015.
August brings the tour home to its Canadian home base in Whistler, British Columbia for the raucous 10-day showdown that started it all. Rooty, rocky, with forests thicker than the peanut butter a good rainfall brings to their skirt, the area is ground zero for the kind of gravity scene Crankworx brings and 13 years in the celebration only gets bigger.
The tour includes four series events – the Crankworx DH Championships, the Pump Track Challenge Series, the Speed & Style World Championships, and the Crankworx Slopestyle Championships. Athletes accumulate points all season long en route to the coronation in Whislter, and try to challenge as many events as possible in an attempt to secure the toughest title in mountain biking, King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour.
As the marquee event of Crankworx, Slopestyle riders can accrue an additional accolade and $50,000 prize pot for the ultimate performance. As with the other three series events, the rider with the most points at the end of the season the series, dubbed the Crankworx Slopestyle Championships, but if a rider can win all three slopestyle events in a single year, he will earn the Triple Crown of Slopestyle. The feat has yet to be accomplished.
Prize pots for the series vary by the degree of difficulty and relative prestige of the win. The Pump Track Challenge Series and Dual Speed & Style series wins are each worth $5000, while the Crankworx DH Championships is potentially worth $10,000 – $5000 for winning the four-event series, with another $5000 bonus to the athlete who can win all four events in a single year. The Crankworx Slopestyle Championships is worth $25,000 for the series win and another $25,000 if the rider achieves the Triple Crown hat-trick.
Come the final festival in August, Crankworx will also name a King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour. Twenty-two events for men and 16 events for the women will count toward this crowning achievement.