By Jessie Foster
WHISTLER – Whistler is home to countless world-class events throughout the summer season, but none of them quite like Crankworx. Mountain bikers everywhere are proud to call this hubbub a meeting space for good friends, creativity and pushing personal boundaries within the sport. The terrain is complex to say the least, with everything from jagged rough-you-up cliff drops to precise, meticulously laid obstacle courses and pump tracks that make beginner riders everywhere shake in their elbow pads. Crankworx boasts a massive range of competitions such as Dual Slalom, Canadian Open DH, Official Whip-Off World Championships, all sorts of Enduro challenges, Garbanzo DH, Fox Air DH, Joyride and more. These events showcase a gargantuan range for top athletes around the globe to come together, have a bit of fun, and give it their all to take home titles such as Queen and King of Crankworx, which will be awarded at the end of the 11 days of training and competing.
Casey Brown has been a powerhouse on two wheels since she started dreaming of becoming a professional mountain biker at the ripe age of 14. She has been competing ferociously in Crankworx since 2006 and has seen the evolution and cultivation of the event into the beautiful mecca it has become today.
“Crankworx is great because it’s so many different disciplines coming together at once. It’s the one.. well four times a year now, that you get to reunite with all your friends,” said Brown.
Brown has been winning titles and conquering podiums since the early days of the competition. She has been named the unofficial Queen of the Whip-Off, due to having won the women’s category in almost every one of these events hosted by Whistler.
“(Crankworx) had a lot of phases, they’ve gone through a lot of different kinds of events, tried different things and now they’ve got a system down where I think they’re really figuring it out and maturing as an event.”
One of the many ways Crankworx uses forward thinking is awarding equal prize money to both women and men. This practice is rare amongst many world-class sporting events and is a huge step in the right direction for female athletes everywhere.
To become the King or Queen of Crankworx, points get tallied from all the events in a season and prizes get dished out, including $20,000 for first place and $10,000 for second. Casey Brown is hoping to come away with silver overall this year right behind her competitor Jill Kintner. Going strong for its 15th year, Crankworx has taken place in Rotorua (New Zealand), Innsbruck (Austria) and Les Gets (France) before making its way back to its birthplace of Whistler this month. Grab onto your dusty tail-feathers because it’s guaranteed to be a bumpy ride.
rankworx takes place in Whistler, BC August 10 to 19. To get on board with the shenanigans visit https://www.crankworx.com