More than 15,000 people are expected to line the side of the course for this year’s Kokanee Slopestyle, the crown jewel of the Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival and a made-in-Whistler event that has a global following.
This year, thousands more fans who can’t be in Whistler will be able to watch the slopestyle finals online as a result of a joint partnership between Whistler-Blackcomb, Telus and Rip.TV. Rip.TV is a broadband action sports network that covers mountain bike, snowboard, ski, skateboard, BMX, surf, and motocross events live, as well as hosting its own online shows that features the professional athletes.
“With this addition, mountain bike fans from around the globe will have a first-time opportunity to experience the action as it happens,” said Tim Bieber, CEO of Rip Media Group. “This is a pivotal moment in the history of Kokanee Crankworx and we are excited to be leading this innovative charge forward.”
The Crankworx festival gets underway on Saturday, July 21 and wraps up on July 29. The top professional downhillers and freeriders will be in town to compete in seven competitions. More than $44,000 in prize money is up for grabs.
As well, there is a full slate of concerts on the Monster Mainstage, an on-mountain, industry expo, and other attractions in the village.
Volkswagen Biker Cross — July 20-21
The Volkswagen Biker Cross opens this year’s Crankworx festival with competitors being seeded by their qualifying times, and racing against three other riders in each heat of the finals. All the action takes place on the Biker Cross course at the base of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, with lots of room for spectators.
Athletes can train from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 20, and the course will be closed for training from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Athletes will get two runs, with only the best run counting, between 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The finals will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Awards will follow.
Garbanzo Enduro Downhill — July 21-22
The course for this race has not been picked, but competitors will race from the top of the Garbanzo Express chair to the valley for a vertical drop of close to 1,100 metres. The fastest competitors take just under 15 minutes to complete the course.