Sky-high event pitch
Bright and Falls Creek in Crankworx World Tour sights
ONE of the world’s biggest mountain bike events could be headed to the High Country – with Bright and Falls Creek flagged as potential locations for an Australian stop on the Crankworx World Tour.
Crankworx officials visited Bright last Monday and Falls Creek on Tuesday as organisers looked to add a fifth round to the current four-stop, season-long ‘gravity’ mountain bike festival.
Cairns is also being explored as one of three Australian candidates to host a five-day long event in late March or early April, 2019.
Alpine Shire Council economic and community development manager Elaine Burridge said Crankworx was set to provide feedback to the council and communities in the coming weeks.
“We will have some kind of indication within the next couple of weeks as to where things go from here,” she said.
“At the moment all three spots are in the mix and Crankworx will inform us as to who should put in a bid for the event and that’s obviously something that will be done individually.
“The bids have to be in by mid-March so we’ve got a whole heap of work we need to do with considerable dollars required to execute this event.
“Tourism North East is already assisting Alpine Shire Council and Falls Creek with what funding we can get out of the state government via the Regional Event Funding pool.”
Crankworx began in the Canadian alpine resort Whistler 15 years ago and has grown to become the largest competition of its kind in which the world’s best riders battle it out in downhill, pump track, dual speed and style, and slopestyle disciplines.
Ms Burridge said the event could bring tens of thousands of people to the region and provide a huge economic boost.
“If we can pull this off and secure this event for our region it will be massive,” she said.
“New Zealand’s World Tour stop in Rotorua in its first year attracted 8000 people, between participants and spectators, and by year three 35,000 people attended.
“If Bright or Falls Creek were to win the bid it would be a win-win either way because we obviously leverage off each other.
“It’s really exciting just to be in the conversation.”
If Bright was to host a Crankworx World Tour stop Ms Burridge said the Alpine Events Park would be used as the event village, with Mystic Hill targeted as one course site while alternative locations would be needed to accommodate disciplines like the slopestyle.
Crankworx World Tour, in its fourth year in 2018, opens in New Zealand’s Rotorua in March each year and stops in Austria’s Innsbruck and the French town of Les Gets in June before wrapping up at Whistler in August.
“(The organisers’) intentions are to make a decision on the bid in time to announce it at Rotorua, so it will be a fairly quick process,” Ms Burridge said.