Dual Slalom in Sun Peaks kicks off five live broadcasts at Crankworx B.C. today

Over the past few days, we’ve followed the stories of our favourite riders as they’ve gotten in their final training sessions, packed up, and hit the road. Destination: Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada. Now, together on the same (perfect, tacky) soil, the games can begin.

Today, the first live broadcast from Crankworx B.C. will launch on Red Bull TV, with four others to follow.

With events closed to spectators, we’ve got your front row seat right here:

Schedule and live broadcasts available here: Red Bull TV

In total, Crankworx B.C. will include nine hours of live mountain bike racing and competition at three destinations within the province: Sun Peaks Resort, Golden/Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and SilverStar Mountain Resort.

Yesterday, athletes got their first taste of racing, with practice for tomorrow’s DH, and practice and qualifications for the Dual Slalom.

Qualifying first were Vaea Verbeeck and Bas van Steenbergen. Verbeeck has won two Dual Slaloms in Crankworx World Tour competition (both in 2019). She also made a clean sweep of the event during last year’s CLIF Crankworx Summer Series, winning all three. For his part, van Steenbergen hasn’t clinched a top spot in Dual Slalom in World Tour competition yet, with two second place finishes to his name (both in Rotorua). Like Verbeeck, he had great success at the Summer Series, winning two out of three.

Full qualifying results: crankworx.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/SPDS-Result-Qualifying.pdf

Other notable results include Tomas Slavik who had the fastest lap of the day at 26.252 and Tegan Cruz, just 1 second off the pace, qualifying in third. For the young RockShox Trek Race Team athlete, this is his first time racing in the Pro category. The 15-year-old (who’ll celebrate his 16th birthday next week in SilverStar with Crankworx) most recently won the Dual Slalom event in Innsbruck in the CWNEXT (next-gen) category.

15 years old. Third in qualifying. Enough said. Photo: Jake Paddon
On the women’s side, Verbeeck’s timed runs were both fastest. Nipping at her heels were Kialani Hines and Danielle Beecroft. One back, qualifying fourth, the rider who took the Dual Slalom win in Innsbruck and is currently in the lead for the overall Queen of Crankworx race in the midst of the season of a lifetime.

Harriet Burbidge-Smith set off for a couple overseas competitions in May, intending to return home in June. Instead, she’s been riding a wave of success around the world since then.

bigquotesPretty crazy, ya. The goal was a last-minute alternate spot at Formation, and I decided to take the risk and take that spot. And then, because it was such a big deal to get out of Australia I thought, let’s add Crankworx Innsbruck to that. Just to make it a bit more worthwhile. And that was my plan, then I was going to go back and quarantine, and that was it. And then I got some results in Innsbruck that myself and my support team were super stoked on that, along with that support and bit of prize money, I was like ‘ok, maybe we can stay a bit longer.’—Harriet Burbidge-Smith

In between events and competition since then, her year took another unexpected turn: she was offered a sponsorship with Red Bull Australia and a coveted Red Bull helmet.

Burbidge-Smith’s rise mirrors the momentum in women’s mountain biking overall this year. Especially in the realm of freeride, many of the athletes at Crankworx this week have been part of a movement that has completely changed the game.

bigquotesIt’s been pretty breakthrough. I think this year the biggest takeaway from the fact that there’s been all these events that’ve happened is that I feel a lot more at home at these events. There are all these female riders just doing sick stuff and are so supportive of each other, and we all build each other up. It sounds cheesy and corny, but it legit feels like that. You get so hyped watching Robin and Casey and them doing all this crazy ‘world’s first’ shit, and Caroline doing the front flip. And then all the girls here, they’re just so fast and so confident on their bikes. And it’s so cool, and I feel proper part of it because of all these events.

Burbidge-Smith and the roster of 29 other Crankworx B.C. athletes will be racing tomorrow on a new course at Sun Peaks Bike Park, built for the event but that will remain a permanent part of the bike park going forward.

It features a series of berms (watch for the second set that are especially tight), rollers, a spine, and a flat turn slalom section.

Get the full riders lists for all events across Crankworx B.C.: crankworx.com/results/start-lists/