Crankworx 2017 has been one for the record books, expanding to four festivals spread over three continents and wrapping up with a nine-day extravaganza in the epicentre of mountain biking that is Whistler, BC.
Every year we think slopestyle can’t get any crazier, but then it does! We’re talking Nicholi Rogatkin throwing 1,080-degree cash-roll spins and the likes of Brett Rheeder and Emil Johansson casually chucking 720 opposite tailwhips. This summer, though, we saw the return of the king – Brandon Semenuk – to the top step of the podium.
After being absent from Crankworx Les Gets and Crankworx Innsbruck, the fivetime Red Bull Joyride winner rocked up in Whistler, dropped in first and set the bar at an unbeatably high level with a half cab o the first drop (a first in MTB competition) followed by a ton of spin and tailwhip variations.
Elsewhere at the festival, Colombian powerhouse Marcelo Gutierrez stormed his way to a fifth consecutive win in the marathon-length Garbanzo DH, while Troy Brosnan continued his Crankworx winning streak with a four-second lead in the Canadian Open DH. The course was dustier and rougher than ever, but definitely quieter, since the shutdown of ‘Heckler’s Rock’ after last year’s topless, beer-swilling antics got out of hand.
In the women’s events, Tracey Hannah smashed both downhill races, but the Air DH title was taken by Jill Kintner, who won the pump track and dual slalom challenges too to retain her ‘Queen of Crankworx’ crown.