Thursday at Crankworx up in Whistler entailed two main events. Slopestyle Qualification/Best Trick and the Pumptrack challenge. First off was Norco Factory Team Rider Sam Dueck at the Slopestyle. On Sam’s second run he pulled a massive backflip off the whale-Tale then a Superflip on the next booter. Making his way down the course, he then Tail-Whipped off the final step-down and caught a gust of wind bringing him down. Sam was okay, a little swore but pleased with the run besides the small tumble. Plus, the run was enough to bring him through to Saturday’s Semi-Final. 16 riders move on to Saturday where the field will again be reduced down to a total of 8 riders for the final. Way to go Sam!
After the slopestyle qualification, The Pumptrack Challenge kicked off. Pumptrack is a bit of a newer competition but it is a lot of fun to watch. The corners are tight, the speeds high and the energy is awesome. For the event Bernard, Fionn, Nick and Angie were all representing Norco on the course. The field of riders was about 50 deep and Norco’s top finisher was Fionn Griffiths in 4th for the women.
Whistler is home to a whole lot of great things. Whether you are looking at skiing, boarding, golfing, eating, lift-access mountain biking or even cross country – Whistler is the place to be. On this note, one of the local weekly events around the city is the Thursday Night Twoonie Race. Located at various locations around Whistler, every week anywhere from 100 – 250 riders will show up ready to race. The best part – it only costs a Twoonie ($2 if you aren’t Canadian).
This past Thursday, The Norco Van was packed up with some new 2011 product and we headed out to take part. For the race, Norco set up a tent showing off some new bikes while Norco Engineer PJ, Factory Team rider Nick Geddes and myself (marketing) put some coin down – literally, to take part in the race. With 150 participants on the start line the theme seemed to be a bike in the 100-120mm range. These were XC bikes.
With this in mind, us three were mounted upon two Ranges (160mm) and one Shinobi (120mm 29er). Compared to the competition we seemed a little over-biked; but, with the new A.R.T suspension platform and sub 30lb bikes we were up for the challenge. Off the start line, the course took the pack 150 strong up a gravel road that never seemed to end… For this, I stepped down the Range’s Fox 36 Talus to 120mm, flicked on the pro-pedal and set off. The first kilometer or so I spent reeling in the riders ahead trying to gain some places before the top of the climb. Nick was already ahead of me on a range but at around the 2/3 mark up the hill PJ caught up and passed me with the big-wheeled Shinobi. Once we reached the top of the climb, it was time to cut across the ridge through a rolling trail before dropping down. The descent was actually one of two choices, there was an easier – longer route, or a steeper – faster route. Seeing as how I was riding a 160mm bike, when it was time to start down the fork went back to full travel, the shock was opened up and down went. The descent was steep, rocky and loose but the bike soaked it up and allowed for a few more places gained. After a time of 42 minutes I came across the line in 12th place. PJ was a couple ahead in 10th and Nick broke the top 10 in 9th place.
As everyone was rolling in, the best part of the weekly event started up. At the finish was Burritos courtesy of Dups Burritos and pints from Fanatyk Co Bike Shop. Thanks to both for putting on an awesome event!
School’s almost out! But young Whistler riders Ian Morrison and Norco Factory Team Rider Nick Geddes have to get away from the books every so often. They both may get an A+ in Procrastination 101 but one of them is buckling down to do well in academia as well. Check out the video, great shooting and incredibly stylish, fast riding.
Whistler’s Crankworx festival is 10 days of activity that leaves the spectators in awe with world renound riders pushing the boundaries of cycling beyond what anyone would have believe possible a mere 5 years ago. Crankworx is more than just 10 days of incredible mountain biking though, it is also home of Canada’s largest consumer expo, trials demos, product launches, video premiers and more.
One of many highlights of the crankworx festival were the world famous Ryan Leech Trials Demos. Ryan was set up in the village next to the norco tents where approximately 25 2010 bikes were on display. Ryan conducted a total of 12 demos through the week. Each show attracted hundreds of spectators. Those who watched the show also were able to stick around for autographed posters and DVDs afterward. A lucky few from each show walked away in style with some brand new Ryders Eyewear.
On the trials front as well Crankworx hosted Trialsworx a trials competition taking place in the scenic Whistler Village. Norco’s one and only Dylan Korba took time away from the Boneyard to compete in the competition. As usual we were all left wondering, what can’t this guy do?
Norco World Team rider Fionn Griffiths is no stranger to ascending the podium but crankworx must have been wearing her out as she was up there all week. With a 2nd in the Dual Slalom, 1st in the Air DH and a 1st in the Canadian Open Enduro Fionn was representing the Brits at the top. Norco Factory Team Up and comer Nick Geddes also climbed to the top in the Enduro beating out all the other junior men by nearly a minute.
The biggest event of the Crankworx festival in undoubtedly the slopestyle competition. With all the big names showing up such as Semenuk, McCaul, Watts, Lacondeguy and more we all knew we were in for a show. In front of all 10,000+ fans lining the course, Watts pulled off the victory while Lacondeguy took best trick pulling out of his moto-bag a 360 Flat Spin Superman! All I can say is that I am impressed…
Another year in the books and already looking forward to next year!