Registration for the 2009 Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival are on part with last year, and Whistler Blackcomb is once again expecting most events to sell out.
"That's the expectation, without a doubt," said Crankworx manager Jeremy Roche. "Traditionally most of our registration is much closer to the event, but we're at the same pace as last year and things are definitely picking up as we get a little closer."
Only the Monster Energy Slopestyle and VW Trick Showdown are invitational events. The other competitions - the Dual Slalom, Womenzworx, Kidsworx, the Air Downhill, the Giant Slalom, the Canadian Open Enduro and the Canadian Open Downhill - have open registration.
The Canadian Open Enduro is a new event this year, based on super D races. Some more details were announced this week, including the fact that riders will be starting at the top of Garbanzo and finishing in the village, with between 400 and 600 feet of climbing along the course to balance out the 3,800 vertical feet of descending. The fastest times are expected to be in the 25-minute range.
"While we expect the perfect bike for this race will be a 140 to 150 mm travel all mountain bike, we would not be surprised to see 20 pound cross country bikes duking it out with 38 pound downhill rigs with 200 mm travel," said summer events coordinator Seb Fremont.
Some of the courses will also be a little different this year. For example, Tyler Morland is working with crews to build new sections of the Canadian Open Downhill course, much of it directly under the Fitzsimmons Chair.
The course for the annual Monster Energy Garbanzo Downhill could also be a little different this year with new sections of trail in the upper park. The course is still being finalized but it could include Original Sin, Blue Velvet and In Deep up top.
There are also a few outside events that are returning this year. The fourth annual Ken Quon Memorial cross country race is taking place on Aug. 9, while Kidsworx and Trialsworx take place on Aug. 15-16 with some of the top trials riders in North America and the world taking part.
Also back is the Canadian Cheese Rolling Championship, which takes place on a steep hill above Base II. The grass was cut this week for anybody looking to train for the downhill run.
For more information or registration, visit www.crankworx.com.