The Crankworx World Tour is a four-stop, season-long gravity mountain biking festival. It began in Whistler 15 years ago and has grown to become the largest event of its kind in mountain biking.
Now in its fourth year as a world tour, it is the ultimate skills omnium for gravity-fuelled mountain biking, opening in Rotorua, New Zealand each March, travelling to Europe and touching down in Innsbruck, Austria and Les Gets, France for June, and wrapping up under the hot August sun in Whistler, Canada.
For 2018, Rotorua’s festival down under launches the year (March 17-25) bringing the gravity mountain biking world to a town where shredding flowy trails through silver ferns is said to feel like riding “dirt gold.” This nine-day celebration of mountain biking, and its culture, is a rider’s paradise and sets the tone for the year.
The second stop of the tour picks up in June at Crankworx Innsbruck (June 13-17), bringing the tour to the heart of aerial Eurosport for the first half of June’s festival doubleheader. This mountain city has big roots in large-scale sporting events, including the Olympics and the Air & Style Festival. With a new bike park that opened for the arrival of Crankworx in 2017, Crankworx Innsbruck has quickly solidified its place in the history books of gravity-fuelled mountain biking.
The second half of the European leg of the Crankworx World Tour is Crankworx Les Gets (June 20-24), bringing the action to an internationally renowned 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 and 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 home base in Whistler, Canada for the raucous 10-day showdown that started it all. Rooty, rocky, with thick forests for a skirt, the area is ground zero for the kind of gravity scene Crankworx brings, and 15 years in, the celebration only continues to get bigger.
The tour includes three series events – the Crankworx Downhill World Tour, the Crankworx Pump Track World Tour and the Dual Speed & Style World Tour. Athletes accumulate points all season long en route to the coronation in Whistler, while taking on as many events as possible in an attempt to secure the toughest titles in mountain biking, the King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour.
Prize pots for the World Tour series events 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 Championship is potentially worth $5000 – $10,000 for winning the four-event series, with another $5000 bonus to the athlete who can win all four events in a single year.
In addition, Slopestyle competitors have a chance to win the most elusive prize in mountain biking, the Triple Crown of Slopestyle, an accolade that also carries with it a $25,000 paycheque. A rider must win three out of the season’s four slopestyle events in a single year, a feat that has yet to be accomplished.
Come the final festival in August, Crankworx will also name a King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour. New for 2018, prizes will also be awarded to the competitors who come in second and third in the race for both categories. A variety of men’s and women’s events count toward this crowning achievement.
One final title is decided across the Crankworx World Tour. The Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) is an elite-level championship series representing the pinnacle of the sport of Slopestyle mountain biking. The SWC brings together the discipline’s top athletes to compete on its biggest stage, the Crankworx World Tour, all vying for the distinction of being named the Slopestyle World Champion. The SWC is a joint venture of the Crankworx World Tour and the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA). Each Slopestyle event on the Crankworx World Tour is an SWC event. Overall, more than $200,000 USD is awarded throughout the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship season, with riders accumulating points over the course of the SWC season. The Slopestyle World Champion claims his title at the end of the season at Red Bull Joyride in Whistler.