Photo Epic: Speed & Style - Crankworx Innsbruck

Jun 14, 2019 at 14:35
by James Smurthwaite  


An all rounder's dream, the Mons Royale Speed & Style Innsbruck event tests every bone in a mountain biker's body. The discipline is now no longer a novelty, it attracts riders young and old and can even launch a rider's career, as happened with Billy Meaclem in Rotorua earlier this year.

Tricks may seem like a young man's game but experience prevailed in Innsbruck with Sam Reynolds, Kyle Strait and Martin Soderstrom taking up three of the semi final spots. Only Garret Mechem, who was graduating high school this time last year, could find the pace to join them. In the end, it was Soderstrom who claimed top spot after a hefty crash from Strait in the second heat of their finals. Reynolds also crashed in the small final, meaning Garret Mechem took home his first ever Crankworx medal.

Kyle Strait lost the holeshot to Lukas Schafer in his first heat but didn't take long to reel the German back in.

Tom Isted was arguably pulling the biggest tricks of the day with corked 720s and double backflips but Garrett Mechem's speed meant we didn't get to see more.

Martin Soderstrom and Billy Meaclem met in the final at Rotorua but here it was the round of 16, which was won by the giant Swede.

Neck and neck, Tom Isted and Garrett Mechem.

Sam Reynolds faced off against Peter Kaiser in his semi-finals and swooped to a comfortable win to get him rolling.

Louis Reboul and Reed Boggs in a final sprint down to the last kicker

Two of the pre-race favourites, Lemoine and Strait, met in the round of 8. Take a close look at Lemoine's forks, he caught his bars after 1.5 spins on the first jump and ended up doing the rest of his run, including a backflip, with them backwards.

Garret Mechem a tyre's width ahead of Marcin Rot in the second quarter-final.

Double dipping, Mechem and Rot spinning to win.

Next on Soderstrom's radar was Reed Boggs, who was also seen off with ease.

Fast on the ground and super stylish in the air, Soderstrom is the perfect rider for this discipline.

Sam Reynolds vs Greg Watts in the evening light.

The semi-finals saw too Speed and Style heavy hitters, Reynolds and Soderstrom, in an epic battle. Reynolds held the advantage initially but Soderstrom clawed it back in heat 2 to stride into the final.

Sam went straight into the small final but crashed on his second run, gifting Garret Mechem his first Crankworx medal.

Finals run 1 and Strait took it by a whisker

Where it all went wrong. Strait was unable to collect his bars on the first jump and landed in the dirt.

Sam Reynolds already in recovery mode, congratulating Soderstrom.

A 'you-win-some-you-lose-some' face.




6 Comments

  • + 6
 It is the best event for now (from my opinion) maybe soon ot will have a place outside crankworx
  • + 4
 Söderström in the top spot..it's been a while! Good stuff! For sure one of my favourite riders, all the way since his glorious slopestyle days!
  • + 2
 Congrats Rojo. Got some bangers in there. Been putting in work and it's showing.
  • + 2
 Great photos Trev!
  • + 1
 Look at that final pic, Kyle is such a rock star!!
  • + 1
 Great coverage! Thanks!

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