The second stop on the Crankworx World Tour will run in France this weekend.
In the second running of the mountain-bike festival at Les Gets, numerous storylines will continue as intensity builds toward the August finale here in Whistler.
Firstly, riders will try to accumulate points in the King and Queen of Crankworx standings as they chase not only glory, but also the $25,000 prize that goes along with it.
New Zealand's Matt Walker built an early cushion at home in Rotorua on the men's side, though France's Adrien Loron is only 80 points back and Czechia's Tomas Slavik, the defending champion, is 90 points back. On the women's side, things are a bit closer, as Australian Caroline Buchanan is 25 points up on defending champion Jill Kintner of the U.S. and Canadian Vaea Verbeeck.
"(New Zealand) wasn't perfect, this time, (but) I have faith in the amount of work I put into training and my riding ability for the rest of the series," Kintner said in a release. "It's good to have a challenge, and it will motivate me to refine my skills, and put what I learned to use."
Crankworx general manager Darren Kinnaird is glad to see a close competition heating up between the two stars.
"It is really cool to see so many women in Crankworx riding at such a high level, with more women competing in more disciplines than ever before. At the pinnacle of it all you have the legendary Jill Kintner and BMX crossover superstar Caroline Buchanan battling it out for the queen's throne coming out of Rotorua," he said in the release.
Meanwhile, since there are four slopestyle events, all athletes are still in the running for the Triple Crown of Slopestyle. American Nicholi Rogatkin holds the early advantage after wowing the judges in Rotorua.
Action in France began on June 14 with the Official European Whip-Off Championships with Anthony Rocci and Canadian Casey Brown claiming the victories. On June 15, the dual speed and style event will run, while June 16 will see the pump track challenge. The weekend ramps up the excitement with the Les Gets DH on Saturday, June 17 and the Air DH and slopestyle events on Sunday, June 18.
For more information and live webcasts, visit www.crankworx.com.
Iles back on top
Finn Iles returned to the top of the podium in Leogang.
After getting edged by Great Britain's Matt Walker in Fort William, the two flipped spots at the June 11 downhill.
Iles defeated Walker by about 2.4 seconds, with Kade Edwards of Great Britain finishing nearly five seconds back.
WBFSC sends seven skiers to provincial teams
In what's already been a banner year for the Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club (WBFSC), the club announced earlier this week that seven of its competitors will fly their provincial flags starting next season.
That lucky seven is a new record of pickups from the club.
Moguls skiers Ava Dunham, Maya Mikkelsen and Jesse Linton will join the B.C. team alongside fellow WBFSC alums Sam Cordell and Jackson Parsons, while Raine Haziza will wear Ontario's colours.
It's a brotherly affair on the slopestyle side as Kai Smart will join brother Luke on the team, while Chase and Anders Ujejski earned promotions together.
As well, WBFSC moguls alumbus Sofiane Gagnon will join the national C team for next season.
Tough Mudder this weekend
The Tough Mudder obstacle race is returning to Whistler Olympic Park this weekend, June 17 and 18.
This year, organizers added a competitive element with the Tougher Mudder option as runners could sign up to receive an official time and challenge for prize money.