Video: Riding Crankworx Whistler's World Cup Worthy DH Track '1199' With Remy Metailler

Jul 20, 2023 at 8:02
by Rémy Métailler  
1199 was originally announced in 2018 as a tribute to iconic late-Canadian downhill racer Steve Smith. It was originally intended to bring a proper, international-level downhill track to Whistler Bike Park. The name, 1199, comes from Smith’s winning points tally from his 2013 World Cup overall title.

Words: Remy Metailler

It's been a while since the Whistler Bike Park has announced a new Downhill Track that could host a World Cup. That means a track long, steep and difficult enough, with big jumps and decent speed. This track was built in memory of Steve Smith, legendary World Cup Racer and is called '1199'. The trail crew has done a fantastic job and it will be raced during the Crankworx Downhill this weekend.

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Member since Feb 25, 2009
178 articles

  • 111 1
  • 71 0
 That looks awesome. Hopefully they actually host a World Cup.
  • 5 0
 That looks so SICK!!!
  • 15 3
 We can all dream. With Vail at the helm, I can't say it will be much more than that.
  • 23 5
 Hopefully the Crankworx downhill series expands and becomes the de-facto DH World Cup.
  • 9 1
 Hosting a UCI World Cup is like hosting the Olympics. They ask for a lot of money and leave very little to no profits to be made for the host city. Taos, New Mexico hosted a World Cup and wrote an article about the issue with hosting an Event. But also on the reverse side, Taos, NM is a remote location and would be difficult to bring tourist to the community. Correct me if I am wrong, I heard this was a reason Crankworks was created.
  • 7 26
flag deco1 (Jul 20, 2023 at 15:42) (Below Threshold)
 @jomacba: What's wrong with Vail. Seem to be ever expanding the bike park. Look at the new trails you have gotten this year!! It's also, so much more affordable to ski at Whistler now, in terms of season passes. Numerous lifts have been upgraded. Sure, everyone loves to hate management, but it honestly seems like Vail seem to be doing a good job. As for hosting a WC, isn't that more a problem of essentially them having to shut down the majority of the bike park for the week due to WC organizers rules.
  • 11 0
 @deco1: a quick briefer on how Vail destroys towns.
  • 11 4
 @deco1: lol, how to tell me your clueless AF without telling me you’re clueless AF.
  • 7 0
 @jomacba: Vail started taping the line 5 years ago. They've committed massive amounts of manpower (which equals dollars) to getting it built. And they did all this because they aspire to hosting a single DH event during Crankworx?
  • 3 0
 @pisgahgnar: vail resorts is not the same as the original town of vail, which has hosted many mtb races in its history. I don't disagree with hating on big corporations but the reasons to host it there are plentiful. trails out in colorado are a properly sick representation for American riding
  • 1 1
 @gb8561: I'm stating my opinion objectively. I cannot speak with any certainty beyond that. This is a policy quite clearly open to debate.
  • 3 0
 @deco1: I would say the affordability of seasons passes have remained neutral. It is by no means more affordable.
I would also argue that my comment did not outline any objective opinion on how the bike park is operated.
If you read several comments from other PB users, it is outlined that a WC does not bring adequate revenue to the Venue, and you yourself have pointed out.
Vail is 100% profit driven.
I will add however that since they have taken over, I've seen a decline in adequate trail maintenance over the past couple years, and I would also say it's taken on a much more corporate vibe.
I can further get into semantics as I've been a season pass holder here for the past 10+ years, but that is irrelevant to my initial point.
  • 3 0
 @deco1: when Vail came to my town and took over the ski resort they completely shut down a pretty good bike park. They reopened summer lift access for bikes in a different spot where there are only Xc trails. Now those just get blown out by tourists. Vailed killed the downhill trails and ruined the XC trails that they neither built or maintain. Tax money and private donations do that. Vail is the worst.
  • 1 2
 @pisgahgnar: That's an interesting video and an interesting take, but the video itself clearly started as the saying the skiing industry itself was already pricing itself out of the market. Vail just came in and made it affordable again. What is the cost of affordable skiing? Housing prices were going up no matter what across the board, but Vail is paying 3x the federally mandated minimum wage (as a minimum... not a set wage), and then they are giving the "world class experience" to the people who work there... whatever that means.... probably means that you basically get paid to ski. Like its not a career job, its a winter job.

Disclaimer - no I dont work for Vail, I only have an understanding of basic economics.
  • 2 2
 @thustlewhumber: haha why don’t you say 3x $7.25 instead of 3x minimum federal wage. If you have car payments, a small bit of credit debt, and outrageous rent (Colorado is a horrible state to rent in) you’re not really prospering financially. Definitely cannot buy a house in any outdoor oriented area with that wage. But wait, they pay more than ridiculously low and out dated standards. It’s been that wage since 2009.
  • 1 1
 @femto505: suree.. Whistler is poor... They ve got the shitiest snow im the world snd the shitiest bike park... Also is a cheap place to stay...
  • 2 0
 @jomacba: Vail is one of the few North American resorts to consistently host WC Alpine ski races
  • 1 0
 @drlancefreeride: That was sad, still is sad. Vail has done a lot of damage to our locale.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: At no point did I reference anything to do with winter, or even snow for that matter.
Now your comparing apples to oranges.
  • 44 4
 The World Cup series should be split between Europe and N. America. European tracks are played out. North Americans are hungry for racing. Racers are clambering for new venues. A world Cup race at Whistler is a no brainer. Obviously logistics are difficult given that its an ocean and on the other side of the continent away from Europe. But if they have 3-4 races in N. America it makes the logistic easier to deal with.. Snow Shoe, Mount St. Anne, Whistler and somewhere in the Rockies would be a banger line up.
  • 6 0
 They need to step up and pay the man the $$$ then. But it was wonderful having MSA, Bromont and then USA race one after another, back when.
  • 16 2
 I always thought it was weird calling it the world cup yet having the majority of races within the same area in Europe. UCI needs to change the scenery up more and come up with more places to race. The racers are from all around the world so the schedule should reflect that more.
  • 23 4
 For real dude. We are so over how it's called a World Cup and 80% of the races are in Europe. The Euros have this massive home court advantage if for no other reason it is so expensive for Canadian and American athletes to spend a whole summer there.

The access, number of trails and natural environment in British Columbia and the American West is second to none. There needs to be more World Cups here.
  • 41 6
 @MT36: but the World Series of baseball makes sense to you right, and if you win the NBA you’re the “world champions”.., that’s fine eh
  • 13 0
 season should be longer and world wide, I'd love to see some tracks in Madiera, Africa, NZ etc.
  • 6 0
 @dkendy1: No... We get that too. Most of us anyway
  • 5 0
 @dkendy1: Not sure if you are directing that question at me personally... but your rationale is completely valid and that phenomena where they call NBA league champions the "world champions" is why I could give a rats ass about those sports. I never had an interest in chasing a ball around a box.
  • 5 0
 Bring the World Cup back to purgatory in CO! (But rock the OG track not the new and modified)
  • 2 0
 Since most teams don't have the budget for that I've wondered about moving it around a bit year to year. Like instead of always having the majority of races in Europe, possibly one calendar year the majority of the races could be in North America, with a couple of races in Europe. They could do the same thing with the Asian pacific region, I think a cycle like that would be great for the sport and viewers but I'm not holding my breath.
  • 5 0
 @matjtom90: they are trying to turn it into F1 where only a small group of elite factory teams compete. So, I doubt they will try to make it accessible to privateers and small teams even as much as we want it
  • 2 1
 @WestC0astWanderer: I get what you're saying and 100% agree with you. But have you seen any of the WC factory racers. They all absolutely love their truck pit setups, and whenever they don't have them, they are kind of annoyed. Therefore, if the teams want to keep going for this sort of setup the majority of racers need to be in Europe. Simply not enough money to have these sorts of setups in multiple continents. I am not saying its a good thing it's just an observation of the WC racing scene.
  • 3 0
 Heck Yeah. 50% in NAm to make it a real WORLD cup!
  • 2 2
 @dkendy1: feel free to send your best baseball and basketball teams on over.

Side note: The World Baseball Classic is a banger.
  • 1 1

"always thought it was weird calling it the world cup yet having the majority of races within the same area in Europe"

youre gonna soil yourself when you hear about the World Series of baseball
  • 2 0
 I think most fans would like to see more races outside Europe - and the energy of the US fans is brilliant. ESO must be working on marketing the series to potential venues on other continents in the longer term too. On the subject of this track, I reckon it'll happen - because ESO already has that working relationship with Crankworx from the EWS.
  • 2 0
 @dkendy1: As an American every time I see that, I always furrow my brow a bit. World Champions? Bro...
  • 1 0
 @dkendy1: The last 3 regular season MVP's for the NBA were from Camaroon, Serbia, and Greece. I see your point, but it could be argued that the best players in the world are competing in the NBA, so it is not so much of a stretch to say world champions. I believe baseball has a pretty high percentage of non USA players as well, although I don't really follow it.
  • 1 0
 @Kimbers: Sports in North America can be weird with the names and titles of things. We have a new team called Vancouver Football Club (they don't even play in Vancouver) and they play soccer (sorry British ppl but that's what we call it), we also have BC Lions and they play in the Canadian Football League but its not American Football, Aussie football or the popular global football(Soccer) and we have the Whitecaps play in a NA soccer league.
  • 1 0
 @Canadmos: Bromont's track is pretty short, but entertaining! I don't know if it stacks up to other WC tracks... but maybe?
  • 2 0
 @deco1: thanks for your clever and realistic observation. North Americans think that the world is turning around them. None of them mentioned Australia nor NZ btw.
  • 1 1
 @deco1: Luca just won the US Downhill title pitting out of the tailgate of a pickup with one tent. So, it can be done..
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: I think those countries aren’t mentioned because logistics make it more difficult. N. America already has 2 events with MSA and Snow Shoe. So adding a couple more here would be easier than an additional continent that is in a completely different climate zone being winter in our summer. I think it would be awesome to Include every continent. But logistics and costs are prohibitive. My main point is that they need to get away from the played out Euro venues and rotate in new venues. Whether it be North America or not. That said, Cali is the birthplace and BC is the Mecca of MTB Smile
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: Yes but the competitive level at US nationals does not even compare to any single WC race.
  • 37 2
 Makes the Loudenvielle track previews look like they are going down a green trail
  • 7 20
flag scott-townes (Jul 20, 2023 at 12:47) (Below Threshold)
 This comment looks shockingly familiar and easily disproven with every WC stop. With that written, this trail looks amazing and I can't wait to see Redbull's coverage of it. This trail is going to look like the Black Snake after a few years of racing on it.
  • 1 0
 Exactly what I was
  • 12 0
 @scott-townes: hence the 'looks like' - no disagreement that Loudenvielle is gonna be a difficult track and tight racing- the speed is gonna be what makes that a tough course - but like Kerr's comments on The Ride Companion podcast about Leinzerheide and Leogang- those courses along with Loudenvielle you can get down with a 120mm bike. Maybe not WC speed but you can get down them. This course and Val di Sole really gonna require a DH Bike + some mad skills
  • 17 0
 A lot of World Cup talk on this track... some things to consider:
1. There should still be fibre optic cables buried somewhere near this track, as they would have been put in for the Olympic ski racing that went down the run this track is on/next to. So in theory cameras should have no problem covering top to bottom runs.
2. Could be a pain to watch in person, as the end is up the hill and it's not an insignificant distance from the Creekside Village. There is no parking up there, but there is space for some pits. Would the lot on top of the underground parking be able to accommodate the weight?
3. If they were to extend it all the way down to the bottom, there isnt really room for pits anywhere unless they run them inside the under ground parking, which poses issues for most team trucks for clearance.
4. Remember Crankworx Les Gets? They did not get World Cup stops when they would host Crankworx, and the year they dropped the other event, got World Cups back. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Take your pick, but Crankworx was started in Whistler and isnt leaving anytime soon.

So in other words, who knows?
  • 1 0
 I accidentally added my "lot holding the weight" thought on bullet 2 instead of 3... thats clearly enough thinking for me today!
  • 1 0
 they can get vehicles onto the timing flats (where the Olympic alpine events ended) via Nordic drive, in fact if you view Google Earth of that area you can see a bunch of vehicles there, presumably from Creekside gondola construction last summer. There isn't enough space for pits and finish area/spectators though. So the options are village day lots (long pedal on a DH bike) or some combo of the base area around Creekside gondola + the top of Creekside (which would take away parking for the retail there). Function is another option but again far away and not feasible to pedal from on a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: I would assume they would pit on the timing flats as you say. The finish line is literally right there so from a race logistics standpoint it makes complete sense.

They could run shuttle busses up the road for spectators from Creekside, but there arent any bathrooms, water taps, etc. so that could be a potential item to build into a bigger DH event footprint.

I am sure the people making this happen are smarter than me and already have thought this through in making the decisions they have before the Canadian Open this weekend.
  • 1 0
 @epoit: rippers lounge racing just did an ig post showing that is where the pit and finish line is
  • 1 0
 @bgoldstone: just came here to post this, timing flats are longer than I remember (haven't seen them since ski season) looks like there may be space for WC size pits? There's a bunch there now with some trucks and tents.

I can't remember what they did in 2010 for spectators, did people just walk up to the stands or did they run shuttles? Surely they had shuttles given it was winter.

Wish I could be there to watch this weekend.
  • 2 0
 @gramboh: looked into further. they are telling people to walk up or there is a shuttle bus every 20 minutes from Legends.
  • 2 0
 Red Bull is broadcasting it Sunday so we’ll see how many cameras/angles they go with
  • 4 0
 @gramboh: vanoc built a temporary chairlift to the timing flats next to Creekside gondy, it went to sunshine village after the olympics
  • 2 0
 @gramboh: there was a temp chair built. Hope they build a new one. Creekside is great but some half way laps would be nice. Imagine a chair to the rings and Creekside versions of Aline, Cranky and dirty over there. They would finally be able to get bikers out of fitz zone.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: its going to be interesting late summer when fitz zone closes sep 5th and only creekside for the remaining month, previous seasons when garbo cant open because of ice and snow but you had fitz so it was fine. Its a one off year at least but its going to suck if they cant open because of weather top of creek, going down crossroads from the creek gondy a couple of years ago in the snow wasn't ideal!,
  • 20 0
 cmon rain. Make an appearance.
  • 5 0
 Need it so bad.
  • 3 0
 That is a track right there! It’s got bits to suit absolutely every kind of racer. I’d love to see a WC race on that rascal! Remy should be doing the track preview on the WC he’s ace.
  • 2 0
 Every trail always looks "easy" on video, you get there in person and it always becomes way more intimidating. This one looks intimidating on video, (especially the one double drop into the berm) I would appreciate just riding/walking down this one just to see the features. Nice build.
  • 4 3
 Its too easy to immediately say out this should be world cup (and I'm not even saying that) but...I'm curious what locals think? Would that dog it out, be cheesy, or would it be badass? Too many people? And is UCI even contemplating this?

There are may US / CAN places that have great terrain for WC racing, and I can think of plenty of US places better than Snowshoe's WC track (though I still go every year and have a blast and I ain't remotely pro level) but W-Cup means masses on masses on masses of people and tracks (and the areas next to them) getting blown out - it can completely changes the character of a trail or destroy it & Whistler already gets tons of people. Just curious what Whistlerites would think if UCI announced Whistler as a race site.
  • 12 15
 LOL "locals" in Whistler. That's a good one. But yeah man, Whistler has only hosted the largest MTB event on the planet for decades now. I think they can handle the crowds. That's not the issue.
  • 4 0
 I assume it'll get used for Crankworx, so its not like it won't see masses on masses of riders blowing it out. I mean with that dust, it'll be blown out after one dude, so.... Big Grin
  • 8 0
 I think Whistler could easily draw the largest WC audience in history! Though I also love the intensity of the snowshoe crowd. For that part of the country, everyone was so hungry for WC racing and recognition of the local gnar, that the energy level is great. That underdog pride really makes the fans rabid. I've never seen anything like it, even at joyride. Here's hoping for races at both! North America can easily support two races per year.
  • 1 4
 @dfiler: North America has two races, not that Canadians wanna be known as Americans
  • 1 0
 @Canadmos bad, didn't pull up the official PB locals-to-non ratio for Whistler, but being a from here in my area in a sweet spot that gets not trail-club action (thank god) and gets missed, I like things quiet...hence the question. I guess it doesn't really matter whether you're originally from there or not - that can be argued - just curious. Surely it can handle the crowds, but Redbull / Gravity Media is more core & loved than UCI (as orgs) in my view...also seems to be part of the equation.
  • 4 0
 @Canadmos: it’s being used for the Canadian Open this weekend then closed to the public again
  • 21 2
 @scott-townes: Thanks for the American opinion, believe it or not some of us actually live in Whistler full time and would be very stoked on a WC stop here.
  • 6 4
 @shapemedia: gotta spend that trust fund somewhere
  • 6 5
 @adminofthegapers: another solid American opinion, keep it up guys
  • 5 1
 @shapemedia: Dude aren't you Australian
  • 4 0
 @melikebikealot14: I lived in Australia for a while, but I am Canadian. If that's relevant at all.
  • 5 4
 @shapemedia: I guess the relevance would be in the stereotype of Aussies on work visas in Whis saying they're locals lol anywhoooo
  • 9 6
 @melikebikealot14: Understandable, I grew up in North Van if you want my life story but keep on with those stereotypes bud
  • 4 0
 My hands and forearms are in pain just watching this! What a relentless track.
  • 4 0

Who is the spell checker at Pink Bike ?
  • 1 1
 to be fair to Pinkbike, Remy spelt it wrong in his thumbnail
  • 1 1
 Always wondered why the Mecca of gravity mtb doesn't host WC races? Seems odd but im sure there's more at play, whistler prob doesn't need the exposure like other places so maybe its not financially worth it for them, im sure they aren't cheap to host. RE the track the tech/steep sections look good and will get wild once rutted and run in but expected more on the feature side? Coupla hardline style 90ft'rs please...
  • 2 1
 They finally got rid of Ironman…no need to bring yet another shit show to town.
  • 5 2
 Will Whistler be on the 2023 DH World Cup schedule?
  • 3 0
 Schedule is out through 2025 already pretty sure. Earliest would be 2026 I believe.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: There are 3 outside Europe stops on the 2024 schedule.
  • 1 0
 @Roost66: Snowshoe, MSA and... Fort William.
  • 3 0
 Looks awesome! Would love to go to a WC in Whistler...
  • 2 0
 Hung out with the trail crew last year in a couple spots during the EWS. That track is insane. What a WC track should be.
  • 3 0
 Proper track
  • 2 0
 Any stats on the track? Elevation? Length?
  • 2 0
 Long Live Chainsaw!!!! Track looks amazing
  • 1 0
 wow.. this is proper.. Wish I had the skills... =) But would be nice to watch indeed...
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the preview Remy!
  • 2 0
 More triple doubles than Nikola Jokic
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to see some race speed POV of this.
  • 1 0
 LIV needs to start a MTB division!!!
  • 1 0
 they can't use the Liv name cuz Giant already has a brand Liv that makes bikes.
  • 1 1
 Lets GO
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