Crankworx announces big changes for 2023 World Tour including the return of the voice of downhill MTB, Rob Warner

Downhill mountain biker on all new 1199 downhill track at Whistler
(Image credit: Crankworx)

Crankworx World Tour has announced major changes to its 2023 downhill mountain bike format that sees Crankworx level-up plans for its best downhill mountain bike season yet. It also sees the return of the voice of downhill mountain biking - Rob Warner, who will co-host with Elliot Jackson at all four stops of this year's events.

Born in Whistler, Canada in 2004, Crankworx has evolved into a world tour mountain bike festival. It aims to deliver the best mountain bike experience for fans and riders alike. With the changes in format, it looks set to challenge the UCI World Cup as the highlight of the downhill mountain bike season. 

Winners on the podium at Crankworx Cairns 2022

A prize pot of approximately CAD 130,000 is up for grabs (Image credit: Crankworx)

The Crankworx World Tour brings together the best mountain bike riders in elite-level competitions in a variety of disciplines. It hosts races for amateurs, CWNEXT categories for next-gen athletes, Kidsworx for young riders, which comes together as an exciting celebration of mountain bike culture. 

Always showcasing amazing destinations around the world that this year sees Crankworx landing in Rotorua New Zealand, Cairns Australia, Innsbruck Austria, and the finale at Crankworx birthplace, Whistler Canada.

Rob Warner with mountain bike

Rob Warner returns as the voice of Crankworx downhill (Image credit: Steve Behr)

All the downhill action from the four stops along with other core disciplines will be shown on Red Bull TV and Crankworx aims to deliver elevated coverage of all races, with more cameras to capture in-depth action for fans following along at home. 

Bringing Rob Warner back as the voice of Crankworx DH in 2023 is sure to please many fans, famous for his unique style of commentary and witty one-liners, it was a significant shake-up to the sport when the UCI World Cup downhill was moved to Warner Bros. Discovery without Rob at the end of last season.

Valentina Höll racing downhill mountain bike at Crankworx

Valentina Höll  is one of the big names in a stacked Crankworx roster (Image credit: Crankworx)

The Crankworx World Tour Downhill Championship titles will be awarded to the male and female riders with the highest points total over the season with prize money at all four downhill races, with a total of approximately CAD $130,000 up for grabs for elite downhillers competing at Crankworx in 2023.

In addition, there is a further CAD $10,000 for the first rider to reach 1200+ points in the standings and be the first winner of the 1199 Award. The launch of the 1199 Award, is named after Stevie Smith and his legendary points total from his 2013 overall World Cup title. Stevie tragically passed away in 2016 after a motorcycle accident.

Stevie Smith memory is honored with the Crankworx 1199 award

The 1199 Award, is named after Stevie Smith and his legendary points total from his 2013 (Image credit: Red Bull)

In 2023, a four-stop Crankworx World Tour DH Championship series starts and ends with firsts. In March in Rotorua, racing will kick off with a first-ever broadcast from the Whakarewarewa and Tītokorangi forest in Rotorua. In July in Whistler, the Crankworx DH season will climax with the first race on the new 1199 track in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. 

As the final race of the season, it could see Quest for 1199 won at the 1199 track created in Stevie Smith's honor. The Quest for 1199 is open to all pro men and women and if no rider hits the points total, the prize money rolls over and the pot grows for the next season.

Troy Brosnan in australian colors racing downhill mountain bike at Crankworx 2022

Australian Troy Brosnan will take to the track at his home race in Cairns (Image credit: Crankworx)

Managing Director of Crankworx, Darren Kinnaird added “Our season is all about creating the ultimate experience in mountain biking, with that in mind, we have re-imagined what Crankworx Downhill is for 2023. We’ve got the opportunity to bring some of the world’s best to race in these amazing locations. We’ve got a dream team in the booth, elevated coverage, and a unique new award for athletes to chase in the 1199 Award. We hope that fans will have as much fun, whether they are trackside or watching on Red Bull TV, we are stoked with what we have planned for DH in 2023.”

Sam Blenkinsop exits the start gate on his Norco downhill mountain bike

World Cup winner Sam Blenkinsop will compete at Crankworx 2023 (Image credit: Crankworx)

Crankworx Downhill season kicks off in four weeks in Rotorua, with a stacked roster of elite DH racers set to tackle the downhill track set in the Rotorua jungle. Stay up to date with all the latest details including tickets over at crankworx.com (opens in new tab) and get a flavor of the events with the highlights from Whistler, 2022 below.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.


An award-winning photographer, when not riding a bike, he can be found at the side of a cyclocross track or a downhill mountain bike world championship shooting the action. Paul has been the founder, editor and senior writer for Proper Cycling magazine that has seen him travel the world interviewing some of the biggest names in mountain biking and writing about some of the biggest cycling brands.


Rides: Scott Spark RC Team Issue, Ribble 725, Bergamont Grandurance Elite


Height: 176cm


Weight: 85kg