After a two-year hiatus, both riders and fans couldn’t wait to be back in Whistler, BC for Crankworx. This event is truly special and the ultimate celebration of mountain biking. The first weekend features the Enduro World Series, which kicks off racing for the rest of the normal Crankworx categories throughout the next week, ending with Red Bull Joyride on Saturday and the Canadian Open DH on Sunday. As a gold-level sponsor of the event, Maxxis came prepared with a large booth, athlete signings and more for fans to enjoy.
The Enduro World Series was a treat for racers all over the world, putting together what many riders called their “favorite EWS Whistler course ever.” With intimidating features and new sections, including the new Stevie Smith trail “1199,” athletes were pushed to their absolute limits. In Elite Women, Flo Espiñeira (Orbea Enduro Team), the Pinkbike Academy winner, got their best-ever result in the EWS, placing on the podium in third. Andreane Lanthier Nadeau (Rocky Mountain Race Face) followed closely behind them in fifth. Elite Men saw Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Race Face) have the race of his life, taking the win in his homeland. It was great to see Jack Moir (Canyon Cllctv) back up on the podium again, snagging second place on the day. Remi Gauvin (Rocky Mountain Race Face) had the best EWS result of his career, slotting into third.
Monday saw the first normal event of Crankworx with the Air DH on Whistler’s famous A-Line trail. Maxxis’ Vaea Verbeeck (Rocky Mountain) took the top step of the podium in Pro Women with Georgia Astle (Devinci Global Racing) in third. Sam Blenkinsop (Norco Factory Team) was in his comfort zone, solidifying second place in Pro Men.
Tuesday’s event was the Dual Slalom over in Whistler Blackcomb. Once again, Vaea Verbeeck crushed it and claimed the gold. In Pro Men, Bas Van Steenbergen (Hyper Bicycles) stood on his first 2022 Crankworx Whistler podium in third place.
On Wednesday, a new rendition of the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge debuted with four riders competing on a straight rhythm course instead of the normal two riders racing on side-by-side pump tracks. Caroline Buchanan (Trek Bikes) claimed the gold medal in Pro Women, while Adrien Loron (IXS) battled into first in Pro Men.
The Whip-Off World Champs, a fan-favorite event drawing massive crowds, was Friday’s main event. With her fresh Red Bull helmet, Gracey Hemstreet (Norco Factory Team) whipped her way into third place while another Red Bull athlete (and World Cup prodigy), Jackson Goldstone (Santa Cruz Syndicate) placed first in the Men’s category.
On Saturday, it was time for the legendary Red Bull Joyride slopestyle event. Full of action and drama, the competition did not disappoint any of the Maxxis viewing party attendees on the top deck of the Maxxis booth. Emil Johansson (Trek Bikes), on the Ikon and Pace tires, claimed his eighth slopestyle victory in a row AND the Triple Crown of Slopestyle – an unheard of feat until now.
Wrapping up Crankworx 2022 was Sunday’s Canadian Open Downhill race. Jackson Goldstone took the Junior Men victory, followed by Tegan Cruz (Rockshox Trek Race Team) in second. In Pro Men, Troy Brosnan (Canyon Cllctv) took his sixth Canadian Open DH win in a row, continuing Maxxis’ domination of Crankworx events.
From Brett Tippie’s giveaways to the amazing fans, Crankworx 2022 was something special. It was so good to be back in the capital of mountain biking, and we can’t wait for next year!