Sky-high event pitch

Bright and Falls Creek in Crankworx World Tour sights

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - By JUSTIN JENVEY

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.

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