Photo Epic: Downhill - Crankworx Innsbruck 2018

Jun 18, 2018
by Nathan Hughes  




The sophomore year for Crankworx at it's Innsbruck home is in the books and it went off without a hitch, producing some eye-popping competition and great times under the summer sun. The DH final was certainly some sweet, loamy icing on the cake. The largely natural course, winding down through alpine forest and meadows somehow cheated the weather gods throughout the two preceding practice days, but still, conditions didn't make it a cake-walk.

Gnarly roots quickly erupted out of the composty dirt and developed a real sheen that kept riders on their toes in between the blown out turns all the way down to a brief Fort William-esque boardwalk and gravel section entering the finish area. By the close of play it was to be last year's champs, Tracey Hannah and Danny Hart, rising to the top with honourable mentions going predictably to Vali Holl and slightly less predictably to Charlie Harrison and Kirk McDowell who were all but inseparable for the last step of the podium. It was a little bit of history repeating with some mad and unpredictable twists thrown into the mix that has left us thirsty for more.



When it comes to racing it s not only about your body but the mind as well. Strong body is important but you ll never win when your head is not on the right place.
A strong body is important, but you'll never win when your head is not in the right place.
Eliot Jackson s whip getting race prepped at the Giant pits.
Eliot Jackson's whip getting race prepped at the Giant pits.

Race day is a head game as much as a physical wrestle on a mountainside.
Race day is a head game as much as a physical wrestle on a mountainside. Johannes Von Klebelsberg reflects.

Danny s always looking for those gains.
Danny's always looking for those gains on and off the track.

Sam Blenkinsop keeps on banging out the sickest of runs... still not quite the quickest but it feels like he s going to get there any race now.
Sam Blenkinsop keeps on banging out the sickest of runs... still not quite the quickest, but it feels like he's going to get there any race now.

Emilie Siegenthaler was on pace this weekend, taking the final spot on the podium in the women's race.

Casey Brown so called Free-racer took her chances in the race today. It may not be her best result ever but the way she looks on the bike makes it up.
Casey Brown, the so called "free-racer" took her chances in the race today and looked good doing it.

SIcMic was on fire all week long but he was 7 Whenseconds too late on the finish line to beat Danny Hart.
Sik Mik was starting to look fiery fast once again coming back from injury, but still 7 seconds off top pace.

Mike Jones looking forwards not literally to a hot lap to end his Austrian vacay.
Mike Jones looking forwards (not literally) to a hot lap to end his Austrian vacay.

The new Mike Jones looks loose and aggressive like the old Mike Jones. 8th today.
The new Mike Jones looks loose and aggressive like the old Mike Jones. 7th today.

Tracey Hannah the victor here in the Austrian loam by some 5.5 seconds.
Tracey Hannah, the victor here in the Austrian loam by some 5.5 seconds.

The Bulldog looked mighty angry up in the forest but couldn t quite seem to piece it all together for a top spot after smashing his heal in practice.
The Bulldog looked mighty angry up in the forest, but couldn't quite seem to piece it all together for a top spot after smashing his heel in practice.

Marelo Gutierez is a power house. He s strong and fast.
Marcelo Gutierrez is a power house and muscled his way into 8th.

10 seconds back for Austrian golden boy Fabio Wibmer will he reclaim the national champs jersey this year
10 seconds back for Austrian golden boy Fabio Wibmer, will he reclaim the national champs jersey this year?

Isak Leivisson can be really happy with his riding and the end result. The rider from Norway placed in 6th
Isak Leivisson can be really happy with his riding and the end result after an amazing qualifier in Leogang. The Norwegian privateer placed in 6th,

Paula Zibasa throwing some shapes in the dust on her way to 2nd fastest junior woman.
Innsbruck local Paula Zibasa throwing some shapes in the dust on her way to 2nd fastest junior woman.

Jill Kinter wasn t satisfied with a mere pumptrack win on her trip to Austria so smashed the second fastest run of the day for another medal.
Jill Kinter wasn't satisfied with a mere pumptrack win on her trip to Austria so she smashed the second fastest run of the day for another medal.

FMD s Jamie Edmondson took the win in the junior men ahead of Charlie Makea and Kade Edwards.
FMD's Jamie Edmondson took the win in the junior men ahead of Charlie Makea and Kade Edwards.

Vali Holl had one heck of a weekend and rode to within just 2 seconds of besting the fastest elite women s time.
Vali Holl had one heck of a weekend and rode to within just 2 seconds of besting the fastest elite women's time.

Bernard Kerr is almost back up to top speed today riding to 5th spot.
Bernard Kerr is almost back up to top speed, today riding to 5th spot.

Slawek Lukasik NSBikes rider did really well today. 9th place for the rider from Poland.
Poland's Slawomir Lukasik put a solid score on the board today, riding to 9th place.

Laurie Greenland going full huck into the finish area and top ten time.
Laurie Greenland going full huck into the finish area and top ten time.

Canadian rider Kirk McDowell missed the podium by 0.01 of a second. It s incredible to think how close the times are in downhill racing these days.
Canadian champ, Kirk McDowell missed the podium by just 0.01 of a second. It's incredible to think how close the times are in downhill racing these days.

McDowell crushed it here in Innsbruck and let s hope the result gives him the confidence to keep the pace up at the World Cups.
Still, McDowell crushed it here in Innsbruck and let's hope the result gives him the confidence to keep the pace up at the World Cups.

Charlie Harrison on the run of his career so far... 3rd place and his first Crankworx podium.
Charlie Harrison on the run of his career to date... 3rd place and his first ever Crankworx podium.

IFR s Charlie Chuck Harrison arguably man of the match here today.
Harrison, arguably man of the match here this afternoon with the turn-up result in the absence of IFR teammates Lucas and Moir.

Just the four mid-air pedal strokes for Blenki jumping into the finish area.
Just the four mid-air pedal strokes for Blenki jumping into the finish area.

Danny feels like home at this track even if he s far from home in England. Steeper section full of roots is exactly his kind of track this is perfectly visible in his riding.
Clearly Danny Hart feels more than at home on this track. Fast and loaded with roots is exactly his kind of track and he took the win for the second consecutive year.

Hart smashing down the dusty landing strip of the finish area with the KOM.
Hart smashing down the dusty landing strip of the finish area with the KOM.

Good game good game.
Good game, good game.
Blenkinsop There s been some kind of mistake right
Blenki just confirming there hasn't been some kind of mistake here.

Your Crankworx heroes of Innsbruck 2018.
Your Crankworx heroes and heroines of Innsbruck 2018.

Current King and Queen bid you fairwell. See you all in France next week.
Current King and Queen bid you farewell... See you all in France in a couple of days.


Posted In:
Stories Crankworx



14 Comments

  • 9 1
 Sure dig the good sportsmanship these stellar riders bring to the finish area. So good to see!
  • 7 2
 yeah, unlike pinkbike commenters haha
  • 1 0
 ...the irony!
  • 4 0
 Anyone know whats up with Isak Leivisson riding a Canyon? I thought he was riding for Pole these days? Either way, beautiful riding style and he seems to be on some serious pace the last few races!
  • 1 0
 Prototype had some problems...
  • 1 0
 I'm also interested to hear the story here... referring to him as a privateer doesn't seem right if it's as simple as the Pole having to go back for some fettling work... it's a prototype after all.
  • 3 0
 Blenki wearing gloves!
Was this due to a rule on protective equipment?
  • 1 0
 yeah what was up with that!
  • 2 0
 That's why he's 1.5 behind!!!!! Not good rule!
  • 2 0
 It's a Euro racing rule iirc.
  • 2 1
 French rule requires them rubbers.
  • 2 1
 @chyu: French rule applied in Austria?
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