The world’s largest freeride mountain bike festival, the Kokanee Crankworx 2009, is ready to rip today Saturday, August 8. Now in its sixth year, the event has grown from a grassroots celebration of gravity-fueled mountain biking, to a festival spanning nine days; drawing over 300 of the world’s best mountain bike athletes, over 150 accredited media and tens of thousands of spectators. "Kokanee Crankworx is another great opportunity for Whistler to test its ability to host a major event", says Jeremy Roche, General Manager of Kokanee Crankworx. "Our pinnacle event, the Monster Energy Slopestyle, drew over 20,000 spectators to the base of Whistler Mountain last year and on Saturday, August 15 we are anticipating to host at least that many again".
The first athlete event of Kokanee Crankworx is the Dual Slalom, with time trials beginning today at 11:30am. The elimination format will see the Amateur Finals begin at 3:30pm followed by Pro Finals at 6pm. With a new course flowing beside the Boneyard, this event is spectator friendly and will showcase high-speed race action on a flowy track riddled with jumps, berms and bumps.
The Bike Expo also launches its residency at the heart of Kokanee Crankworx as it snakes through Whistler Village August 8-16. The Demo and Tech Zones will be conveniently located in sections of Lots 1 and 2, across from the Pan Pacific Hotel. Test drive top downhill, freeride and cross country bikes and components in the Demo Zone and be sure to check out the Tech Zone to check out sponsored riders as they chill out at their team trailers, and get their bikes tuned up and tweaked before their competitions. Oakley’s Rolling O Lab will also be on the scene, testing the science behind their ground-breaking technology.
Kokanee Crankworx’s big, new event for 2009 is the ultimate all-mountain challenge designed to ensure the all-mountain rider reigns supreme. The Canadian Open Enduro will let ‘er rip on Saturday, August 15 on a course where gravity will alternatively help and hinder the racer.
"This race is the ultimate test for the all-mountain rider", says Seb Fremont, Summer Events Coordinator. "The course is being designed with significant input from some of the world’s best crosscountry, freeride, downhill and enduro riders. We have consulted with riders including Jason Moeschler, Brian Lopes, Mark Weir, Andreas Hestler, Richie Schley and local ripper Matt Ryan to create a course that provides a stage for riders of various backgrounds and skills to compete on. The winner will be the rider with the most complete package of skills and fitness". The Canadian Open Enduro is a one run, mass start race based on individual categories and Kokanee Crankworx organizers expect to see downhillers mixing it up with crosscountry riders. The course will begin at the top of the Garbanzo Express and will drop 3,800 vertical feet to finish in Whistler Village. What separates the Canadian Open Enduro from a traditional downhill event is the course will be interspersed with short, energy-sapping, pedaling sections set to add another 400-600 vertical feet to the race. The fastest race times are expected to be in the 25 minute range.
Kokanee Crankworx is presented by Whistler Blackcomb and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Whistler has the world’s most diverse offering of mountain bike terrain for all ability levels, attracting all disciplines of mountain biking. With 150 miles of single-track trails throughout the valley, 5,000 vertical feet of lift-accessed downhill runs in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, jump parks, skill centres and 20-plus miles of paved Valley Trail, there’s truly something for every rider.
Kokanee Crankworx — © MyPlanet 360°