This week, the Crankworx circus bids farewell to Innsbruck in Austria and heads across a few borders to Les Gets in France for another jam-packed long weekend of competition.
This is the third consecutive year we’re hitting Les Gets for Crankworx (previous to that it was hosted in Les Deux Alpes). We get to have the same smattering of main events - including the usual four that will be broadcast live - plus additional events like Dual Slalom and Mont-Chéry Downhill. As before in Innsbruck, Pinkbike will be providing you with behind the scenes coverage via our Instagram channel too. So if you’re ready, it’s time to get the lowdown on what’s going to be happening over these next few days in the French Alps.
Bikepark Les Gets is one of the 12 resorts that makes up the Portes du Soleil area in the Haute-Savoie region. Les Gets has been at the forefront of a lot of mountain biking action; way back in the 1980s Les Gets was one of the leading resorts that had the brains to use its ski-lifts in the summer to transport rider and bikes up the mountains. One of the homes of mountain biking history, Les Gets - specifically on the Mont-Chéry side - has played host to numerous UCI Mountain Biking World Cups in the 1990s and early 2000s, topped off with hosting a World Championships in 2004.
Nowadays, the resort hosts a trail network boasting 95km of trails and three lifts that will take you to either of the mountains overlooking the resort, and into the huge Portes du Soleil region which criss-crosses France and Switzerland.
There are six main events in Les Gets for 2018, and lots of other things to fill the time in between. On the evening of the first day (Wednesday) we’ll see the Dual Slalom take place. If you’re reading this on Tuesday, then there’s just one more day left to register for the event as this one is open to both pros and amateurs.
On Thursday the organisers are packing in two main events in the evening; European Whip Off Championships followed by the Pump Track Challenge. It should be quite a night for spectators and riders, especially if back-to-back multi-discipline riding is your thing.
Friday hosts just one main event - the Dual Speed & Style but Saturday is a busy day with not just the Downhill but a range of other events like Kidsworx, Mini Bike and eBike challenges, and yes, that’s right, cheese rolling.
If you survive the rolling of the cheese, then you have two main events in store for the last day of the Crankworx Les Gets; the Mont-Chéry Downhill and the Slopestyle. Previously known as the Air Downhill, the Mont-Chéry Downhill is being held in the morning, and the Slopestyle is in the afternoon, so you’ll have plenty of time to take in both, plus the Kidsworx Downhill. To get you ready for Slopestyle, here’s the list of the riders who’ve been invited:
• Anthony MESSERE // CAN
• Brett RHEEDER // CAN
• Diego CAVERZASI // ITA
• Erik FEDKO // GER
• Jakub VENCI // CZE
• Louis REBOUL // FRA // Wildcard
• Lukas KNOPF // GER // Wildcard
• Matt JONES // GBR
• Nicholi ROGATKIN // USA
• Ryan NYQUIST // USA
• Simon PAGES // FRA
• Szymon GODZIEK // POL
• Thomas GENON // BEL
• Tomas LEMOINE // FRA
• Paul COUDERC // FRA // Alt 1
• Torquato TESTA // ITA // Alt 2
The Downhill Track
A 2km long trail that is being used for the Crankworx Les Gets Downhill on Saturday.
The Mont-Chéry Downhill Track
Dans l'Gaz is a 2.2km trail that is being used for the Mont-Chéry Downhill on Sunday.
What Happened At The Last Round
Crankworx Innsbruck wrapped up only last Sunday and depending on where on the results sheet the rider ended up, many of the memories are either forever remembered or easily forgotten. The event was graced with fair weather, despite the Whip Off Championship having to be moved because of a rain delay. With so many different battles being fought across so many different disciplines, the spectators had a feast of biking to watch, as well as a city to explore, and if you missed any of the action, here’s a helpful summary to get you back up to speed.
RockShox Pump Track Challenge - The finals were fought between 16 men and eight women under a golden sky. Despite the heavy rainfall thanks to the previous day’s thunderstorm, the pumptrack had held up nicely, giving us spectators an incredible competition. With the new breed of pumptrack masters making their presence known, it was a clash of new versus the old(ish) guard in the form of Chaney Guennet and Adrien Loron. However it wasn’t to be for Loron, who went down in the first round of the big final, making it impossible for him to take the win in the second round. We also saw America’s best fight it out in the Women’s final, with Jill Kintner against Kialani Hines but unlike the Men’s final, the old guard fought off the new, leaving Kintner with the win and Hines settling for second place.
Oakley Official Alpine Whip Off Championships - The riders seemed to really love the jump and made their feelings known by throwing down some amazing sideways action, helped even more by the event's proximity to the lake, overlooking the city of Innsbruck. Casey Brown reigned supreme as usual, and it was Louis Reboul who managed to get his whip dialled to the max, scoring the most points and a big cheque too.
Mons Royale Speed & Style - The finals were one of the best to date thanks to a great track on the Austrian hillside. The North Americans were out in force but for the finals, it was down to a battle between two generals of freeride; Tomas Lemoine and Sam Reynolds, with Lemoine edging out the Brit and taking his second win in the speed versus style discipline.
Slopestyle - Having pulled one of the strongest second runs that the slopestyle field could muster, it was Brett Rheeder who was heading the field after scoring 86.75. Rheeder used Innsbruck to showcase his new trick; a flat-drop backflip oppo-tailwhip, and with Nicholi Rogatkin only securing a ninth in his first place run, it was all down to the American to pull out all the stops. With his signature Twister off the second jump and then evermore, trick after jaw-dropping trick, Rogatkin secured first place with an impressive score of 93.00.
iXS Downhill - In the Elite Women’s race, with Tahnee Seagrave gracefully bowing out to recover for the next UCI race in Val di Sole, it was Tracey Hannah who successfully beat off Jill Kintner, followed by Emilie Siegenthaler in third. Meanwhile, Charlie Harrison and Kirk McDowell crossed the line in the exact same time, leaving them looking cosy in the hot seat. It wasn’t until Sam Blenkinsop came down to budge them off the seat, followed by Danny Hart who smashed his fellow riders and taking the win by a huge margin.
King and Queen of Crankworx Standings
KING OF CRANKWORX
1st // Sam BLENKINSOP // NZL // 600 // No change
2nd // Tomas LEMOINE // FRA // 400 // -200 // New to top 5
3rd // Mick HANNAH // AUS // 325 // -275 // Moves down from 2nd
4th // Matt WALKER // NZL // 305 // -295 // Moves down from 3rd
5th // Adrien LORON // FRA // 280 // -320 // New to top 5
QUEEN OF CRANKWORX
1st // Jill KINTNER // USA // 815 // No change
2nd // Casey BROWN // CAN // 575// -240 // No change
3rd // Vaea VERBEECK // CAN // 505 // -310 // No change
4th // Kialani HINES // USA // 300 // -515 // Moves up from 5th
5th // Emilie SIEGENTHALER // 250 // -565 // New to top 5
Crankworx Les Gets is the third stop in the Crankworx World Series, with the final stop being in Whistler, Canada. At the end of the 2018 series, those who’ve accumulated the most points are crowned 2018 King and Queen and will each receive $20,000 (CAD). The second place overall male/female rider will each receive $10,000 (CAD), with the third placed riders receiving $5,000 (CAD) each.
Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle Championship Standings
1st // Brett RHEEDER // CAN // 1900 // No change
2nd // Nicholi ROGATKIN // USA // 1656 // -244 // Moves up from 5th
3rd // Diego CAVERZASI // ITA // 1600 // -300 // No change
4th // Thomas GENON // BEL // 1452 // -448 // Moves down from 2nd
5th // Tomas LEMOINE // FRA // 1440 // -460 // Moves down from 4th
6th // Erik FEDKO // GER // 1066 // -834 // New to the top 10
7th // Simon PAGÈS // FRA // 1010 // -890 // Moves down from 6th
8th // Anthony MESSERE // CAN // 994 // -906 // Moves down from 8th
9th // Ryan NYQUIST // USA // 892 // -1008 // Moves down from 8th
10th // Szymon GODZIEK // POL // 864 // -1036 // New to top 10
Riders must win three of the four Crankworx slopestyle events to be able to win one of the ultimate freeride honours; the Crankworx Slopestyle ‘Triple Crown’. No one has managed it since its inception in 2015, which means no one has managed to claim the $25,000 (CAD) in prize money. Looks like this year the battle is between Rheeder and Rogatkin, with each rider securing one Slopestyle win so far.
What Happened Here Last Year
Official European Whip Off Championships Presented by Spank - Things looked like they were going so well until the heavens opened up leaving riders left short because they had been waiting to go bigger and better later in the event. With the threat of being struck by lightning ever looming the organisers called time on the event, leaving the judges to make their call on the best whips. Casey Brown took the win in Women’s, and in the Men’s category, it was a close-run battle between Allan Cooke and Anthony Rocci, with Rocci eventually handed the win.
Les Gets Dual Speed and Style - Under the summer sun, Martin Soderstrom fought off many challengers but could only take third place. It was left to the Daryl Brown and Jakub Vencl to race against each other in the big finals. Brown was defending his victory from last year and Vencl wanted to win again after winning in Rotorua a few months back. It was the Czech rider who came out on top though in a stylishly fought battle for gold.
Pumptrack Challenge Presented by RockShox - Watching the sun set behind the high alpine mountains, the crowds who came to watch the battle of the pumps were in for a treat. Jill Kintner and Caroline Buchanan fought off their competitors and ended up in the big final together, and by the slimmest of margins, the American Kintner secured yet another pumptrack win. In the Men’s it was Chaney Guennet who came from nowhere to take a seat in the finals. With Adrien Loron progressing too, it was France versus France in the big finals, and Loron looked determined and fast. Despite the new challenge, Loron was able to secure the win and reinstated himself as pumptrack Master.
Slopestyle - Nicholi Rogatkin didn’t land his usual repertoire of tricks, leaving the door wide open for Brett Rheeder to lay down an untouchable first run. Rheeder’s teammate and young gun Emil Johansson secured second place, leaving Szymon Godziek taking his first Slopestyle podium in third.
IXS Downhill - Replicating the tough battles at the UCI Downhill, it was a hard-fought race to the finish line on this historic World Cup/World Championship track. With Myriam Nicole sitting in the hot seat, she looked comfortable thanks to a five-second margin between her and her closest competitor Emilie Siegenthaler, but with Tracey Hannah on track, it was difficult to call it. Despite being close in all the split times, it wasn’t enough for Hannah and she had to settle for second place. In the Men’s event, the racing was tight and it looked like Troy Brosnan had set an unbeatable time. He watched on as the likes of Vergier, Minnaar, and Moir tried to best it but the win went to a very happy Brosnan, and considering the history here, an even happier team manager.
Air Downhill - Frenchwomen Morgane Charre secured the win on a track with a multitude of terrain types. Bizarrely second place went to both Casey Brown and Emilie Siegenthaler who crossed the finish line at the exact same time to the thousandth of a second. Meanwhile, in the Men’s race, it was Jack Moir and Greg Minnaar who fought it out for the top step, with Moir taking the win by two seconds. Josh Bryceland also returned to the racing game and showed us that he still has it in him, securing third place having trailed his ex-World Cup teammate Minnaar by one second.
Previous Winners at Les GetsWhip-Off Championships
2017 // Anthony ROCCI // FRA
2017 // Casey BROWN // CAN
2016 // Bernardo CRUZ // BRA
2016 // Casey BROWN // CANDual Speed and Style
2017 // Jakub VENCL // CZE
2017 // No women’s event
2016 // Daryl BROWN // GBR
2016 // No women’s eventDual Slalom
2017 // No men’s event
2017 // No women’s event
2016 // No men’s event
2016 // Jill KINTNER // USAPump Track Challenge
2017 // Adrien LORON // FRA
2017 // Jill KINTNER // USA
2016 // Chaney GUENNET // FRA
2016 // Jill KINTNER // USASlopestyle
2017 // Brett RHEEDER // CAN
2017 // No women’s event
2016 // Cancelled due to poor weather (see Best Trick)
2016 // No women’s eventBest Trick
2017 // No men’s event
2017 // No women’s event
2016 // Nicholi ROGATKIN // USA
2016 // No women’s eventDownhill
2017 // Troy BROSNAN // AUS
2017 // Myriam NICOLE // FRA
2016 // Remi THIRION // FRA
2016 // Morgane CHARRE // FRAAir Downhill
2017 // Jack MOIR // AUS
2017 // Morgane CHARRE // FRA
2016 // No men’s event
2016 // No women’s event
The Weather Forecast
Watching It In Person
Access to Crankworx Les Gets is free but if you fancy something a little more special then there are VIP tickets available. The VIP tickets get you access to a special viewing area to watch three finals (Muc-Off Dual Speed & Style €30, Downhill €40, Slopestyle €60), as well as access to the VIP bar (you get two drinks for free per day) and catering while those three finals are on. There are also a few other perks, so if you’re interested you can book online here.
Must Know, Must See, Must Do
The area in which Les Gets lies has changed hands several times throughout history, and back again. The region was once known as Savoy was once inhabited by the ‘Allobroges’ a Gaulish tribe, and then the Romans came and conquered. Further down the centuries, the House of Savoy was established and subsequently, it became an independent, predominantly agriculture-dominated duchy which was often a region of interest by competing neighbours in France and Italy. After the War of Spanish Succession in 1714, Savoy was gobbled up by the Kingdom of Sicily, and then the Kingdom of Sardinia a few years afterwards.
In the French Revolutionary Wars, Savoy was taken over by revolutionary forces up until 1815 when following Napoleon's abdication, it was split up and parts of it once again returned to the Kingdom of Sardinia. It wasn’t until the 1860s when the French Second Republic took back the region, and the sub-region of Haute-Savoie developed. In the Second World War, the area was occupied by Italian fascist forces but were kept busy by a group of Free French Resistance fighters who based themselves in the area. Sadly, despite undertaking extremely dangerous missions on Italian troops and their Nazi colleagues in an effort to lay way to an uprising, the group known as Maquis des Glières soon ran out of luck and were forced to retreat after a massive German offensive.
Today, the area is a top summer sports destination, with Les Gets being one of the original places offering lift-assisted access for mountain bikers. Their progressive thinking has also opened up the area to those wanting to enjoy less aggressive pastimes such as golf (there’s an 18-hole course that overlooks Mont Blanc), swimming, tennis, hiking, or just watching the world go by eating a lot of cheese washed down with a locally made Génépi.
If you’re looking for something quirky there’s the Mechanical Music Museum at the end of town which hosts a unique collection of historic musical instruments, reflecting on Les Gets’ past for producing these sorts of instruments.
The ScheduleWednesday 20 June
• 12:00-13:30 // RockShox Pump Track Challenge - Local Qualifications
• 19:30-21:00 // 100% Dual Slalom - FinalsThursday 21 June
• 09:00-10:00 // RockShox Pump Track Challenge - Qualifications
• 10:30-11:30 // RockShox Pump Track Challenge - Finals Round of 32
• 14:00-14:30 // Muc-Off Dual Speed & Style - Qualifications Timed Runs
• 14:30-15:30 // Muc-Off Dual Speed & Style - Qualifications
• 15:30-16:30 // Muc-Off Dual Speed & Style - Finals Round of 32
• 19:00-20:00 // Official European Whip Off Championships presented by Spank - Finals
• 20:00-22:00 // RockShox Pump Track Challenge - Finals *Friday 22 June
• 17:30-19:30 // Muc-Off Dual Speed & Style - Finals *Saturday 23 June
• 13:00-15:00 // Kidsworx Pump Track Contest - Finals
• 15:00-17:00 // Downhill - Finals *
• 17:00-18:30 // Cheese Rolling
• 17:00-19:00 // Mini-Bikes Challenge by P2V - FinalsSunday 24 June
• 11:00-13:00 // Mont-Chéry Downhill - Finals
• 13:00-15:30 // Kidsworx Downhill - Finals
• 15:30-17:30 // Slopestyle **Note: All times are local (CEST) and subject to change by Crankworx. Not all events are listed, e.g. Kidsworx, Downhill, Pump Track, Slopestyle training, concerts, or other side events. For a full rundown of the schedule, check here [https://www.crankworx.com/les-gets/schedule/]. * denotes events that will be broadcast live.
If you haven’t been able to get yourself over to France then the next best thing is to watch what goes down via Pinkbike. Tune in to catch photo epics and results from all the main events, including highlight videos brought to you by Brett Tippie and his crew. Paul Aston our tech guru will also be on site to give you the lowdown of all the magic from the pits. There are also going to be four events that are being live broadcast from Les Gets, all of which will be available via Pinkbike’s homepage, at the following times in these locations:RockShox Pump Track Challenge
• Thursday 21 June // 20:00 // CEST
• Thursday 21 June // 19:00 // BST
• Thursday 21 June // 11:00 // PDT
• Friday 22 June // 04:00 // AEST
• Friday 22 June // 06:00 // NZSTMuc-Off Dual Speed & Style
• Friday 22 June // 17:30 // CEST
• Friday 22 June // 16:30 // BST
• Friday 22 June // 08:30 // PDT
• Saturday 23 June // 01:30 // AEST
• Saturday 23 June // 03:30 // NZSTDownhill
• Saturday 23 June // 15:00 // CEST
• Saturday 23 June // 14:00 // BST
• Saturday 23 June // 06:00 // PDT
• Sunday 24 June // 23:00 // AEST
• Sunday 24 June // 01:00 // NZSTSlopestyle Presented by Kenda
• Sunday 24 June // 15:30 // CEST
• Sunday 24 June // 14:30 // BST
• Sunday 24 June // 06:30 // PDT
• Monday 25 June // 23:30 // AEST
• Monday 25 June // 01:30 // NZSTNote: These times are subject to change. Pinkbike and Crankworx will provide updates to the coverage if they change - remember to keep checking Pinkbike’s homepage to avoid disappointment.