Red Bull Joyride #Crankworx

Red Bull Joyride Whistler

All great things must come to an end, and now that Crankworx Whistler has joined that category I want to look back at five days of amazing energy and excitement and share them with you!

Day Six brought with it a charged vibe in the air, furthered by the erratic weather that had low-visibility conditions and wet, muddy terrain added to the already difficult Fox Air DH race course. The riders raced down the A-Line trail, one of the world’s most infamous with 39 jumps and 30 berms, and a 1200+ meter vertical descent – the reputation is well-earned.

Fox Air DH

Fox Air DH

The fans were whipped into a frenzy when spotting their favourite riders take to the course, and the mountain bikers certainly didn’t disappoint with their speed and style on the course. The winners of the race were Mick Hannah for the mens category, and Jill Kintner for the women’s category. Check out the official Crankworx Fox Air DH site for more info.

finn isles wins whip off championship

Finn Isles at the Whip Offs | Photo Credit: Clint Trahan

The Official Whip Off World Championships brought excitement to Day 7, when Crankworx announced a day prior that 14-year old Finn Isles would be allowed to participate in the event. The young Whistler boy was being rooted on by his fans on twitter and other social media, and the hashtag #LetFinnIn quickly changed to #FinnIsIn. Finn Isles ended up winning the event and his victory was emotionally charged for all those involved.

Later on that night, Crankworx hosted the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge, one of my personal favourite events to watch. It was a fairytale night for the couple that won the top spot in each category, Barry Nobles and Caroline Buchanan, read more about their story on the official Crankworx website.

Day 8 brought on the Giant Dual Slalom and the Canadian Open XC races. The cross-country Canadian Open XC is a tough race to complete, with many technical course challenges along the Whistler Lost Lake Trails. The Giant Dual Slalom was very exciting to watch as two racers battled to get to the bottom of the course first. The winners were Mitch Ropelato for the men’s category and Jill Kitner for the women’s category. For more information on the Giant Dual Slalom, check out the official Crankworx website and view the highlights video below!

The Red Bull Joyride event is one of the most anticipated events at Crankworx, and for the whole mountain biking community. It saw Brandon Semenuk, a celebrity of the sport, finish first place for the third time in the history of the event, a feat that had never before been accomplish. This year the top 3 riders were all from Canada, with Brett Rheeder coming in second, and Anthony Messere finishing off in third. The riders definitely proved their worth with a variety of strong performances, however there were also many falls, spills and trips to keep the crowd oohing and aahing in suspense.

Gulevich jumping onto the Red Bull Cabin

Gulevich jumping onto the Red Bull Cabin

How the family watches Joyride!

How the family watches Joyride!

Messere landing a back flip onto the Cabin

Messere landing a back flip onto the Cabin

My little man cheering on the riders

My little man cheering on the riders

Semenuk doing a 360 off of the Red Bull Cabin on his winning ride

Semenuk doing a 360 off of the Red Bull Cabin on his winning ride

The last day of Crankworx brought out some of the fastest racers in the world to compete in the Canadian Open DH race. Straight down, no mercy – the Canadian open DH course is a ripper, a one-run takedown of Whistler’s rooty single-track, steep rock drops and big air features. This technical test-piece calls for blazing guns and laser focus from those who dare to drop in. 

Day 10’s action wraps up another year of Crankworx Whistler, one that many people will look back on as the best year yet. Mountain biking fans won’t have to wait too long for their next dose of Crankworx, as it was announced that Crankworx Rotorua has just been added to the mountain biking’s festival roster for the 2015 season, kicking off down under from March 25th to 29th in New Zealand.

For more information on everything Crankworx, go to their official website. For more pictures of my time at Crankworx in Whistler, check out my Instagram feed.

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Crankworx Whistler

Crankworx Whistler

I’m writing this in the hot tub of my hotel, trying to soothe my aching body after the beating it got on the mountain yesterday. I’ll tell you all about my little tumble on my bike in a little bit but first, let’s recap the last few days of Crankworx.

The SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized brought out 350 riders to test their metal on this grueling race on Day 3 of Crankworx. Most racers described it as the toughest race they’d ever done, and as an all-day bike race with multiple runs and hike-a-bike sections, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how difficult it was. Check out the results and more information on the Crankworx Enduro results page.

kidsworx-bline

Monday at Crankworx was a day of fun for the kids and amazing races – the Kidsworx B-Line race took place that day. Kids from ages 7-15 took part in the races, where future athletes of the sport get their first taste of competing.

Crankworx brings the top mountain and XC biking athletes from all over the world to the little mountain town of Whistler, and it’s super inspiring for the kids to walk and bike among the greats.

Spotting the Coastal Crew in line for the lifts, seeing Andreu LeCondeguy at a restaurant with his friends, catching Brandon Semenuk at the SRAM tent, and even sneaking a peek at Stevie Smith, broken leg propped up in his wheelchair, puts these kids face to face with their idols and inspires them to be more like these top riders.

This was my daughter’s first downhill race, and unfortunately she took a huge fall during her training laps, but still got back up and did her best! All the kids had a great time competing and having fun racing down the trails!

crankworx-falling

The next day was my turn to hit the trails. I’m a newbie at the sport, and Jay loves showing me the ropes – and showing off in the process. I have so much to learn about the sport – how to control my bike, the brakes, and how to do catch some air on the jumps.

Crank It Up has to be my favourite trail so far, an intermediate trail which is great to practice jumps and catching air on. It was here that I decided to take a few small rolling hills and turn them into something ridiculous.

Going way too fast, I launched into the air, flipped over, rolled a couple of times, and then flew off the cliff side. Well, not quite. A small, thin tree broke my fall, literally catching me while my bike flew further and got stuck on another tree. The only scary part of the fall was that my helmet flew off, and I remember thinking that the only way my body was going to stop was if my head smashed into a tree.  Thank goodness for that baby tree, which dug itself into my upper thigh and caught me.

I knew shortly after that I wasn’t seriously injured, just very, very sore. I was laughing at my ridiculous state, catching my breath and trying to get the courage to stand up and keep going. A couple of other riders saw me fall and stopped to make sure I was okay – this is so common the mountain. Whether you’re skiing or biking, if people see someone on the sidelines, they always want to make sure everyone’s safe and having fun.

After a few minutes, I go back on my bike, shaky, nervous, but alive. I rode the rest of the way down the mountain, just a bit slower this time.

photo_garbanzo-dh

The Garbanzo DH took place on Tuesday afternoon (Day 5 of Crankworx) and is one of the events’ legendary races – it’s been run every year of Crankworx and is known as one of the toughest downhill courses in the world. Descending 3400 vertical feet across seven kilometers of trail, some refer to it as a downhill Enduro race, where no less than 100 per cent will do. Congratulations to men’s winner Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas and women’s winner Claire Buchar. To see all results and webcast of the event, check out the Crankworx Garbanzo DH results website.

Tuesday night we took in the GoPro Dirt Diaries movie festival, where six mountain bikers are invited to create a five minute movie capturing the essence of the experience we all share and love. The riders are given two months to put together their videos to tell their own unique story, and are then screened in front of a massive audience under the open skies at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Our favourite film won the festival, “What I Do In Whistler” by Ross Measures, but all films were amazing. My second favourite, which received third place, was Claire Buchar’s “Hate”, which was amazingly filmed and really showcased her true talent as a mountain biker.

Watch Ross Measures’ “What I Do In Whistler“, the winning GoPro Dirt Diaries movie below:


What I Do In Whistler from nsmb.com on Vimeo.
I’m stoked for the next few days of Crankworx with exciting events including  the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge, the Official Whip-Off World Championships, and the Fox Air DH race. For all event results and upcoming schedules, check out the official Crankworx website.

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Kidsworx & Familyworx at Crankworx Whistler

Kidsworx at Crankworx in Whistler

The first two days of Crankworx have been full of fun and exciting events. The opening celebrations started off with the family-friendly Kidsworx Village Crit, followed by the mens’ and womens’ Fat Tire Crit.

The Kidsworx Village Crit is an awesome opening event showcasing the sports’ youngest athletes, from ages 2 – 15. My daughter was super stoked to compete in the Ages 7-9 race and had a ton of fun on . See official results of the Fat Tire Crit on the official Crankworx website.

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Ready to race in the Kidsworx Village Crit!

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Kidsworx Racers Ready to Go!

Check out the young athletes crossing the finish line in the 7-9 aged race below!

Following the Fat Tire Crit, Five Alarm Funk took to the stage as the opening band for Crankworx. This energetic, 10-piece band was an awesome musical experience to behold, and had everyone in the crowd dancing in the open-air Whistler Olympic Plaza.

photo 4

Ready to board the lifts and hit some awesome downhill trails!

The big event of Day Two was the CLIF Bar Dual Speed & Style brought 15 riders to the finals – an event that is one of the rider’s favourite at Crankworx. The unique mix and format of disciplines allow races and slopestyle athletes to bring their strengths together to battle it out for supremacy.

Check out the video below to watch Kyle Strait and Greg Watts battle for first place.

The top 3 riders were all from California this year, the results below:

1. Kyle Strait
2. Greg Watts
3. Ryan Howard
photo 5

The Winners of the CLIF Bar Dual Speed & Style

Day Three brings with it an epic test of endurance, character, and grit. The SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized, the sixth round of the Enduro World Series, will be taking centre stage today.

For more information on the SRAM Canadian Open Enduro and more events taking place, check out the official Crankworx website.

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