Words: Crankworx World Tour

Mark your calendars, rally your mates, submit your time off requests, book your flights, and start dreaming up your Crankworx Fantasy rosters – the Crankworx World Tour is getting ready to launch into the unimaginable next season.

For 2018, the defining celebration of mountain biking will once again bring together the world’s best riders in four epic riding destinations to stage the defining celebration of gravity-fed mountain biking.

Crankworx Rotorua: March 17-25
Crankworx Innsbruck: June 13-17
Crankworx Les Gets: June 20-24
Crankworx Whistler: August 10-19

Some of the biggest changes to watch for in 2018 will be the addition of Dual Slalom competitions in both Rotorua and Les Gets, the all-new Redwoods Downhill, part of the first weekend of competition at Crankworx Rotorua, the reverse in order of Crankworx’s european double-header stops, queuing up Crankworx Innsbruck first, followed the next weekend by Crankworx Les Gets, slopestyle’s return to Saturday at three out of four Crankworx stops (RotoruaInnsbruck and Whistler), expanded Women’s programming at all four stops, and 15th anniversary celebrations at the final, biggest and most iconic stop on the tour, Crankworx Whistler.

“Every year, at every stop, we listen to what athletes and fans are saying, then do our best to bring our events into alignment. That’s what makes Crankworx so unique,” says Crankworx World Tour General Manager Darren Kinnaird. “We’re a small, hands-on team at the centre of a global community of mountain bikers – a community that’s growing at an exponential rate. Small tweaks can really shape the festival, and the sport. Take the nighttime whip-off in Rotorua last year. We made the change last minute because of the weather, and it blew everyone’s minds. As soon as it was done we all looked at each other and said: “We have to do that again next year.” That’s what 2018 is all about. Evolution, progression and adaptation. Dreaming big and going bigger. The things our athletes are doing on mountain bikes are almost superhuman now. We want to make Crankworx a platform to showcase these heroes, reflect what’s happening in the sport and share it all with the world.”

Caroline Buchanan battles Jill Kintner. Boris Beyer photo

Returning favourites in 2018 include the aforementioned starry sideways action of the Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by Spank under the lights in Rotorua, the Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle presented by Kenda set against the epic backdrop of the Austrian Alps, the world’s best downhill track, as described by the athletes, at the Crankworx Les Gets DH in France, and the onslaught of the biggest events of the year in Whistler, including the Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized, Round Six of the Enduro World Series, and Red Bull Joyride.

Keep on top of all the latest from each location, and share the stoke with your friends, on the Facebook Event pages for Crankworx RotoruaCrankworx InnsbruckCrankworx Les Gets, and Crankworx Whistler.

Jack Moir, Whistler
Tracey Hannah in the Canadian Open DH

With just 15 weeks ‘til the first Crankworx World Tour stop’s launch in New Zealand, organizers are already going full gas. Early-bird tickets go on sale December 1. For 2018, the event is more accessible than ever. Adult full event passes will be available for as little as $49NZD (plus booking fees) while Family passes for as little as $99NZD (plus booking fees). These prices will be available for purchase during the early bird sale in December, with prices increasing incrementally in the months leading up to the March event. Watch for details on Crankworx’s Facebook page Thursday, November 30.

As for Crankworx’s other World Tour stops, most events will, once again, be free of charge for spectators.

Crankworx Rotorua Changes!

New Downhill Race to Kick Off International Downhill Racing Season

The world’s best downhillers will now have two different tracks on which to test their early-season mettle and get amongst the best of Rotorua, as the inaugural stop on the Crankworx World Tour adds a new downhill race to its competition roster for 2018. Now kicking off the downhill action on the first weekend of Crankworx Rotorua competition, the all-new Rotorua Redwoods DH, based out of the Whakarewarewa forest, will see competitors charge over the forest’s famed dirt gold and get amongst the lush ferns and giant redwoods the area is known for. The new race will take place Sunday, March 18. One week later, closing out the festival, the highly anticipated Crankworx Rotorua DH presented by iXS will once again take to the dirt at Skyline Rotorua. Coveted King and Queen of Crankworx points will be up for grabs at both downhill races.

Dual Slalom Comes to Crankworx Rotorua

Ask, and ye shall receive. Competitors have been jonesing for more Dual Slalom, requesting it be expanded to more of the Crankworx World Tour stops (in 2017 only Crankworx Whistler hosted a Dual Slalom competition). This year they’ll get their wish. A new Dual Slalom track is set to be built upon the relics of an old-school slalom course where many of Rotorua’s top riders honed their skills in the late 90s and early 00s, and will be brought to life by internationally-renowned Kiwi trailbuilders Empire of Dirt. The competition itself will take place in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 20, adding another event to the points roster for those vying for the titles of King and Queen of Crankworx. Following the action, the course will remain open to the public, adding another layer to the sport legacy of the festival.

We plan to be covering the action from Crankworx here at Gravity Down Under in 2018 and look forward to another great tour from them.