CrankWorx Bike Festival
The first week in August heated up in B.C. as the second annual Crankworx Bike Festival in Whistler, Canada brought together the best MTB riders in the world. Oakley Factory Pilots Brain Lopes, Cedric Gracia, Cameron Zink, Jill Kintner, Marla Streb, Wade Simmons, Robbie Bourdon and Kyle Strait had another successful weekend, raising the bar in the sport.
Lopes, who is known for his explosive gate starts and 4X skills, surprised a few of his gravity buddies after placing second to Cedric Gracia on the A-line Downhill, as well as a win in his trade mark event – BikerX! The overall battle between Gracia and Lopes was tight up to the final downhill, where Gracia flatted after the fifth turn; leaving it up to BL to keep up the pace against top World Cup Downhillers Nathan Rennie and Steve Peat.
At the finish Lopes, was the winner and took home the overall gravity title. In the womens races, Jill Kintner and Marla Streb did what they do best and roasted the competition. Kintner battled with Anneke Beerton for the win in Biker X, while Marla pinned it thru the rocks, roots and trees down mountain to win the Enduro DH.
The Slopestyle competition was the main event of the weekend and it thoroughly entertained the spectators. With its spectator-friendly format and viewing, the Slopestyle brought the biggest crowds of the week. Which also was the largest crowd ever to watch a freeride event with around 10,000 people. It was a battle between the two sides of the sport – Freeride and Race. On one side, you have guys who are riding fast and pulling whips on the features (big mountain style) and then you have the younger guys who are spinning and flipping every jump/stunt (new skool style) in their way. The crowds cheered at concert level as the riders pushed their limits to a new level.
Cameron Zink is stoked to place third as he literally competed on one good leg (Cam blew out his knee weeks earlier and came to this event to come support his friends and decided to give it a go anyway). Zinks crowd-pleasing performance was packed with tricks. Dropping into the course off the ladder drop, Zink knew he had to give it everything as he hit the first of two massive double jumps. The crowd went nuts when he pulled a gigantic nac-nac back flip on the first jump, then rolled right into the second jump and pulled another back flip one-footed, X-up!! To put an exclamation on the run, Zink did a 360 off the box dropping into the finish, the only rider to spin a 360 off the sub box. Zinks performance placed him third behind Darren Berrecloth, and the winner, Paul Basagoitia.
Special thanks goes out to Whistler Mountains Rob McSkimming, Tom Pro, Richie Schley and everyone who helped put together this incredible event! Crankworxs and the Mountain Bike Park is truly what mountain biking is about. Thank you to all the sponsors for the support!