Joyride Official Invited Rider List & Course Photos Released - Crankworx Whistler 2019

Jul 23, 2019
by Official Crankworx  
Credit Fraser Britton Crankworx 2018
Brett Rheeder, dropping in on the biggest stage in Slopestyle. Photo by Fraser Britton


Press Release: Crankworx

The biggest Slopestyle Mountain Bike course in the world is taking shape. 25 days from now, 14 of the world’s best will line up at the storied Red Bull Joyride start gate to show the world what they’ve got. 30,000+ pairs of eyes in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park will follow their every move, every pedal stroke and every trick, with hundreds of thousands more around the world watching the action from home on Red Bull TV.

Today, the list of invited riders who’ll be taking on the final Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) contest of the season was released.

Riders invited to compete in Red Bull Joyride are made up of the top six pre-qualified athletes from the 2018 SWC standings and the next top eight in the FMB World Ranking as of four weeks prior to the event.

Pre-qualified
Brett Rheeder (CAN)
Diego Caverzasi (ITA)
Erik Fedko (GER)
Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)
Thomas Genon (BEL)
Tomas Lemoine (FRA)

Next top eight in the FMB World Ranking
Emil Johansson (SWE)
Dawid Godziek (POL)
Max Fredriksson (SWE)
Torquato Testa (ITA)
Alex Alanko (SWE)
Paul Couderc (FRA)
Jakub Vencl (CZE)
Lucas Huppert (SUI)

Alternates
Lukas Knopf (GER)
Anthony Messere (CAN)


If the results from Crankworx Innsbruck are any indication, it’s anyone’s game. Making his Slopestyle debut (coming from the world of BMX Freestyle), Godziek entered the arena with a vengeance. His first run proved he has what it takes, and his second solidified it, earning him the third spot on the podium. Johansson, just returning to competition and working his way up the ranks, pulled off two never-before-seen tricks and bumped Rheeder out of first place in his second run. But Rheeder answered back. Dropping in last, he earned the highest score of the day. The win was his second of the season, adding to his overall points total for the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship, and bringing the Triple Crown of Slopestyle within reach.

Rheeder and Godziek, a Slopestyle veteran and a Slopestyle rookie, sending it at Crankworx Innsbruck. Photos by Fraser Britton

It’s a position he’s been in before. The Canadian is no stranger to the pressure of competition - with seven Crankworx wins under his belt, as well as a win at Red Bull Rampage, his skills and experience speak for themselves.

But those who know, know. Red Bull Joyride is different.

“It’s the toughest course in the world,” says Paddy Kaye, owner of Joyride Bike Parks, whose been involved building trails in the bike park since Day One, and working to create the Crankworx Whistler Slopestyle course for the past nine years. The veteran builder says it’s a combination of factors that make it so: the size of the crowd. The enormity of the jumps. The event’s history and status within the sport.

 Photo by clint trahan clinttrahan.com
All hands (and machines) on deck as the Joyride Bike Parks crew heads into the final few weeks of building. Photo by Clint Trahan

Kaye and his crew of 14 have been preparing for Red Bull Joyride for the past three months - planning, moving dirt, and building the eight meticulously-crafted features that snake their way through the Boneyard at the base of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

“A project like this is daunting. You come every May and it’s a flat track. It’s a new canvas… We move a lot of dirt and it’s got to be done efficiently for it to work, and you’ve got to come out with a product that is great for the event and the sport, and safe for the athletes.”

For 2019, the course has received a redesign featuring some new innovative features set to shake things up for the riders. The first full look at the course will come in early August, but Kaye shared some insights as the crew heads into the final month.

“This year’s course has a new feel to it. There are several new features. We’ve used the original line that we’ve found works for speed on the slope, but mixed it up. We’ve added some more optional features, so the riders can show different styles and skills.”

 Photo by clint trahan clinttrahan.com
Dirt masters at work. Photo by Clint Trahan

An overall change at Crankworx this year that’s given Kaye and his crew some room to breathe, is Speed & Style and Dual Slalom’s move to Blackcomb Base 2. Traditionally the courses intermingled with Slopestyle, but their relocation broadens Red Bull Joyride’s footprint, and will give riders more time to train on the full course.

Kaye says the 2019 course combines some massive new features (“stuff the guys haven’t seen”) with some that are more familiar, striking a balance between pushing progression, and laying the groundwork it.

“Back in the day it was the builders and the tracks that were changing a lot and being progressive, but we saw a lot of crashes as riders tried to figure courses out. Now the tracks are progressing, but the riders are progressing at such a rapid pace that they’re owning these tracks... I think overall what the riders are doing, and what the builders are doing, is working. It’s pushing the whole sport.”

Credit Fraser Britton Crankworx 2018
Nicholi Rogatkin, finishing his 2018 winning run in front of a crowd 30,000 deep. Photo by Fraser Britton

The full course release will take place in early August. Practice for the riders invited to compete will kick off Tuesday, August 13.

Red Bull Joyride 2019 will be broadcast live to the world on all your devices on Pinkbike, Red Bull TV, and crankworx.com.

Saturday August 17th 4:30 pm PDT
Sunday August 18th 11:30 am NZST
Sunday August 18th 1:30 am CEST


Regions in Article
Whistler Mountain Bike Park


69 Comments

  • + 40
 Dang. No Matt Jones.
  • + 3
 Exactly!
  • + 14
 Matt is one of my favourites but he doesn't train hard enough to compete at this level consistently. He's got the skills..
  • + 4
 @DaveGFC: He seems unlucky more than anything.
  • + 1
 @DaveGFC: You raise a very interesting point and something I've been thinking about lately. I have mad respect for his skills think he's an awesome rider and he's clearly putting effort in... but when you see a slopestyle rider who is coming to the prime of their career, launching a clothing brand... It's indicative of someone chasing dollars and fame rather than bike skills.

A real shame.
  • + 7
 @jamesdunford:

He's a professional, so of course dollars are a huge factor. And be realistic, he won't win a Diamond event anytime soon, so his window to stay relevant as top-athlete is closing. OTOH, he can do fine on gold-bronze to keep in touch with the sport and he does well on Youtube, so his clothing brand is a logical extension (though the branding seems to be set for failure).

I really can't blame him... a good Youtube channel is a lot more "future-proof"than chasing 6-12th place on Crankworkx.

On that note, unless max Fredriksson pulls his career around I bet he will make similar choices. Slopestyle is rather unforgiving if you run into a major injury, yet you need to keep sponsors (and income) intact. It's a risky proposal.
  • + 21
 How is Messere and alternate? Wtf
  • + 9
 I know he hasn’t been one of the top riders for the last 5 years but he’s been pretty consistent and we all know he has tricks n can do stuff beyond some of those other riders without mentioning he’s been competing at every single crankworks this year something that even some of the pre qualified guys haven’t done!! He’s put runs down Nickoly has not! Neither Diego!! So yeah wtf crankworks
  • + 7
 Got robbed bro
  • + 1
 depending on wether or not Tomas Genon is healed up enough to ride in this contest, that might be Anthony's way into the starting lineup as more than an alternate.
  • + 6
 @lalientoxc: Yeah the FMB changed the rankings this year so their gold events are worth more points. Seems like they haven’t got it right though as Messere’s fifth in the Crankworx Series but can’t compete at Crankworx, which seems a bit ridiculous.
  • + 1
 @dannyboybiker: Top 6 of last years Crankworx placed riders are automatically pre-qualified for next season and then it's the next 6 highest ranked riders on the global ranking - where he's currently 15th. Not saying he's not got the skills, and he's been riding solid this year, with good results - so if he gets another solid result at Joyride and maintains his Top 6 ranking, he'll be back as a regular Crankworx rider next season.
  • + 3
 @RichardJBos: My issue is that he won’t be competing at Joyride, despite being ranked fifth in the Crankworx series.
  • + 2
 I find this annoying because the slope style athlete pool that can make it down this course is so small relative to other sports that it flat out shouldn’t exclude Anthony. He should be in, and crankworx is being a dummy.
  • + 17
 Who am I supposed to root for with Matt Jones not in the lineup??
  • + 12
 Let David Lieb in!
  • + 2
 He just won the US Open. If that doesn't get you an entry into Crankworx, then what the hell does.
  • + 1
 @chriskneeland: yeah this year there werent any wildcards for joyride
  • + 1
 @jonaslp1: There was one wildcard for Joyride, which was won by Lucas Huppert at Big White.
  • + 4
 Nope there was no wildcard to win... Lucas just improved his FMB points ranking... therefore he got a normal invitation. @NorcoCanuck:
  • + 1
 @NorcoCanuck: No wildcard for Joyride at Big White - just Rotorua. Huppert made it to Joyride because of his spot in the global ranking.
  • + 1
 agreed!
  • + 10
 umm... wheres the course preview..?
  • + 6
 mmmhmmm, quietly change the title to "course photos"

sneaky PB, sneaky.
  • + 3
 The course is currently under construction....
  • + 1
 @MikePitts: yes, im aware. but when the title says "course preview released" and then there is no course preview, people ask questions. then when PB changes the title to "course photos released" it makes things even more confusing...

make sense?
  • + 8
 Why is the track flat every May? Is he just talking about weather damage or do they bulldoze it down every fall?
  • + 12
 its the main whistler mountain ski out in the winter, so yup bulldozed
  • + 7
 Track is on a ski run. Gets rebult every year.
  • + 3
 Its bulldozed every winter so the hill can be used for skiing
  • + 57
 Has it been mentioned it gets bulldozed every winter for ski season?
  • + 15
 I believe it gets bulldozed each year in order that it can be used as a ski slope in the winter
  • + 10
 I bet they bulldoze it every fall because of the skiing... Just a guess.
  • + 10
 Heard it gets bulldozed each year. But not certain.
  • + 7
 I should buy a bulldozer.
  • + 15
 I hear they ski it every year to clear it out for the bulldozers.
  • + 4
 When in doubt; doze it out
  • + 2
 Not sure if you've been told but it get bulldozed every year for a ski run in winter Smile
  • + 1
 Reasonable question - since it looks so similar each year - that wooden start bridge feature has been there since Semunuk did the amazing “disappearing man” trick back in 2016 when he slid off the whole ladder bridge into the trees. Also the cabin feature always seems to be at the end of the course. Guessing the wooden feature all stay put??
  • + 2
 The bikers ski through it every year to get it ready for bulldozing in the fall.
  • + 1
 @SirWonky: The cabin gets removed, the last flat drop gets removed, the boner log gets removed and the first flat drop stays in place but the decking is removed
  • + 1
 @SirWonky: no cabin feature this year. course is completely brand new.
  • + 10
 Messere for the win!
  • + 7
 I don't follow slopestyle but what happened to Brandon Semenuk?
  • + 14
 Hasn't competed regularly in slope the last few years to focus more on filming and other projects. He's still fucking awesome though if thats what you are wondering.
  • + 8
 He's racing Slope&Style with a wig and a red Bull helmet posing as Martin Soederstrom.

it's really amazing how far Red Bull will go to hide that from us. I do wonder what they hold over Brandon to get that kind of leverage...
  • + 1
 Would LOVE to see him in the announcing booth
  • + 7
 My body is ready
  • + 2
 Bring Back Open Slopestyle. FMb has made it to hard for someone with minimal cash to do well where back in the day when Paus Bas and Messere got to where they are
  • + 3
 Where's my boy Matt Jones?
  • + 2
 Where is David Leib... Dude just won the most recent Gold event, on a legendary slopestyle course.
  • + 1
 I´ve been all this week in whislter, it´s awesome to see all the hardwork the guys do building those sick jumps
  • + 2
 Once again I’ve been overlooked...
  • + 1
 Maybe Im old but it feels weird seeing so few Yanks and Canucks in the top ranks of slopestyle events now a days.
  • + 1
 Is Tommy G even going to be able to ride? I hope so!
  • + 0
 I'm a bit surprised semenuk isn't in the line up. This is the competition he is usually in.
  • + 1
 He retired from professional slopestyle a few years ago...
  • + 1
 Yeah Hupi, soo sick!
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