Two week count down to Crankworx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival

Jul 26, 2005
by Tyler Maine  

Festival Cranks up the Action for the Second Year in a Row

The two week countdown is on for the second annual Crankworx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival taking place in Whistler, August 3-7. Crankworx blends extreme freeride mountain biking competitions, fun family races, music and entertainment; and will showcase Whistler as the place to play and ride this summer.This year Crankworx consists of five explosive competitions, where many of the world’s best freeride mountain bikers are sure to wow the crowds with their talent and skill. One of the highlights of the week will see Canadian National Downhill Mountain Bike Champion and local Whistler rider Tyler Morland (SRAMCove Bikes) hit the Park.

“Crankworx is going to go off this year,” says Morland. “Whistler is my home turf, so this event is something I would not want to miss.”

Morland has quickly become a force to reckon with, competing against mountain biking’s heavy hitters. Last year Tyler finished second to no less than Cedric Gracia, one of the world’s best all-round mountain bikers, in Crankworx Garbanzo Downhill.

“Riders like Morland continue to raise the bar for Crankworx,” says Eric Fremont, Crankworx Event Manager. “Events such as the Air Downhill were created in response to the talented riders who demand more each year from the Park and the contests we host.”

Saturday evening’s invitational Slopestyle presented by Full Throttle energy drink will once again take centre stage at Crankworx. Riders thrill spectators by choosing which features to hit and how best to impress the judges by combining elements like bar spins, nose wheelies, and suicide no-handers. Slopestyle invitations have been handed out to the most talented and accomplished freeriders ensuring a spectacular display of athleticism, not to mention fearlessness, on the course. A qualifying event will provide opportunities for a wider field of riders to participate in the finals.

The Slopestyle Invitational will feature the following confirmed heavy hitters: Cedric Gracia, Timo Pritzel, John Cowan, Richie Schley, Kirt Voreis, Darren Berrecloth, Thomas Vanderham, Wade Simmons, Robbie Bourdon, Aaron Chase, Kyle Strait, Paul Basagoitia, Cameron Zink, Cameron McCaul, Gareth Dyer, Carlin Dunne, Randy Spangler and Dave Watson.

The Jim Beam Air Downhill, in its fifth year as a Whistler summer staple, has riders descending 1200 feet over tables, drops, berms and rolls ending in Whistler Village. This race will test stamina and skill and is on its way to becoming one of Crankworx’s signature events.

Other events include: the Nissan Biker X and an all new invitational Kona Jump Jam. The Garbanzo Enduro Downhill, starting 3,400 vertical feet above the village; Trialsworx, a Biketrials Competition featuring some of the finest Biketrial riders from Canada and the United States; a village-based kid’s race; plus a WORCA (Whistler Off Road Cycling Association) race will round out the competition side of Crankworx. A Mountain Bike Industry Expo and an outdoor film festival screening of the sport’s best films will complement the five-day event.

Once again there is much more to Crankworx then just mountain biking action. The Jim Beam Outdoor Concert Series heats up on Friday August 5 from 5pm, featuring Canadian indie rock band Boy and Seattle based one man outfit Aqueduct. The good times continue on Saturday August 6 starting at 4pm with Threat from Outer Space, at 7pm dance hall meets hip hop with LA based JAH ORAH featuring BUKUE ONE from California and DJ Zac Hendrix - Del tha Funky Homosapien. Finally rounding out Saturday’s après action is the Kokanee Freeride Party at the Garibaldi Lift Company.

Throughout the village, spectators will also be treated to roving street entertainers and the illustrious Dangerous Dan, whose aerial stunt riding Flow Show delivers a jaw-dropping adaptation of North Shore style riding constructed high above the crowds. “We are really excited to host this festival,” says Arlene Schieven, Vice President Marketing of Tourism Whistler. “As the popularity of mountain biking explodes we are proud to showcase all that Whistler has to offer for all ages and abilities.”

The second annual Crankworx, August 3-7, 2005, Whistler’s summer mountain bike festival, is presented in partnership by Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. At centre stage of Crankworx is the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Bike Park. With over 200 km and 3,600 feet of lift-serviced gravity-fed, adrenaline-fueled descending trails, the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Bike Park is the unequivocal leader of lift-accessed mountain bike parks in the world.

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Photos from last year's event supplied by Jason Manchester and Russ Day.

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