Last week, Crankworx returned to the Austrian mountain town of Innsbruck to kick off the 2021 Crankworx World Tour. The international mountain bike festival visited Innsbruck last year, but this year's event kicks off a summer of racing that's (mostly) back to normal.
What started as a humble event at the then just-built Whistler Bike Park in 2004, Crankworx has grown up from its Canadian roots to become a worldwide enterprise. Innsbruck was the first event of the 2021 Crankworx World Tour, and later it will visit British Columbia and New Zealand.
A large number of events took place from downhill to slopestyle and dual slalom, giving riders to chance to post points on the King and Queen of Crankworx leaderboard. Here's a look back at all of the action from Austria.
The long weekend of riding kicked off with a signature Crankworx event: the Whip-Off. At Crankworx's original event in Whistler, the Whip-Off takes place on the infamous Crabapple hits jump line in the bike park, but Innsbruck has built a massive jump that's a perfect venue for big air.
The event takes a jam-style format, with judges eliminating riders throughout the session. The judges score riders based on "amplitude, style, degree of whip past 90 degrees and, most importantly, the return of the bike to a straight position down the fall line."
At the end of the day, downhiller Kaos Seagrave took victory in the men's competition, while Robin Goomes was victorious in the women's competition.
Next up was dual slalom, an event where riders race head-to-head on parallel tracks that feature berms and jumps. In Dual Slalom, multiple qualifying rounds take place, with riders being eliminated. It all comes down to a final two riders to determine who gets the gold medal.
It was Tomas Slavik and Harriet Burbidge-Smith who were able to find the most opportunities for speed on the course.
You might not think of pump track riding as being a competitive racing discipline, but Crankworx has run the Pump Track Challenge for a number of years now. The event takes a similar format to Dual Slalom, with multiple elimination rounds before a final matchup.
This year, the French dominated the unique race. Mathilde Bernard took her third Pump Track Challenge win in the women's category, and on the men's side, Chaney Guennet took his third pump track victory on the Innsbruck track.
The Speed and Style event is one for the freeriders. Think of it as a giant dual slalom course with slopestyle jumps thrown in. There is a similar elimination process as dual slalom, and the 'style' jumps serve as a chance to deduct time from the clock. Jordy Scott and Tomas Lemoine were victorious on the day.
Crankworx always puts together a solid slopestyle course, and this year in Innsbruck was no different. For winner Emil Johansson, it all came down to his second run. A pedal slip botched his first run, but he put it all together during his second chance to earn a winning score of 97.50. The podium was rounded out by Nicholi Rogatkin and Torquato Testa.
Downhillers didn't have to travel far as their previous race was just to the East in Leogang. Despite a disappointing crash at the Leogang World Cup, Vali Holl was able to take the win in Innsbruck in her home country. Frenchman Loris Vergier beat out Leogang winner Troy Brosnan to show that he too is on pace this season.
Each event at Crankworx offers points for the overall King and Queen of Crankworx title. After Innsbruck, Tomas Lemoine and Harriet Burbidge-Smith are sitting at the top of the tally heading into the rest of the season.