Crankworx World Tour an Alternative to UCI Racing??

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2/19/2015 4:12 PM

Crankworx just sent this press release about their new World Tour which is providing overall titles for a variety of disciplines like slopestyle, pumptrack, speed and style and DOWNHILL. 3 venues (rotorua, les 2 alpes and whistler) and legit courses, this seems like a step in a direction to make a viable series outside the UCI. is that their long-term goal? i have no idea, but it's rad to see some legit prize money and options for downhillers and it seems like the crankworx franchise just keeps growing.

the full PR
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CRANKWORX SET TO SHAKE UP MOUNTAIN BIKING WITH

‘THE CRANKWORX WORLD TOUR’

New year, new challenges, new game-changer for gravity-fed mountain biking
WHISTLER, B.C. Feb. 19, 2015– Crankworx is ready to shake up gravity mountain biking with the launch of the Crankworx World Tour.

In August, Crankworx Events Inc. announced it would add a third location to its global brand, opening the door for the 12-year-old festival to become a three-stop world tour staged in Rotorua, New Zealand, Les Deux Alpes, France and its Canadian hometown of Whistler, B.C.

Several disciplines within the tour will now hold Crankworx Series titles, including the marquee event of Slopestyle, with athletes vying to win each event and the overall title.

“Crankworx Whistler has always been what Slopestyle is to me; they’ve always had the raddest course. To see a series that has similar courses is what I've always wanted to see,” says Brandon Semenuk, three-time Red Bull Joyride champion. “Instead of riding a bunch of other courses, I’m just going to do the Crankworx events because that’s what I’m most stoked on.”

Should Semenuk, or any other athlete, win all three Crankworx Slopestyle events, he will be awarded the all new Triple Crown of Slopestyle and earn an unheard of $50,000 in prize money.

The Downhill, Pump Track, and Dual Speed & Style disciplines have also been awarded Crankworx Series distinction, creating the Crankworx DH Championships, the Pump Track Challenge Series and the Speed & Style World Championships.

In addition to these individual competitions, an overarching battle to crown the King or Queen of the Crankworx World Tour will wage all season long as one man and one woman strive to become the best all-round mountain bike athlete. Crankworx Whistler has always recognized an outstanding male and female athlete with a coronation at the conclusion of its festival. The new King or Queen of the Crankworx World Tour ups the ante to recognize the male and female rider whose skill and versatility dominate on a global stage, and the prestigious title comes with $25,000 for both King and Queen.

"For me personally, having competed in so many different disciplines, the fact that Pump Track, Dual Slalom, DH, and Enduro all go towards an overall (title) should really play to my strengths. It's a race within several races, and seems like an overall skills omnium—which is a cool concept,” says Jill Kintner, two-time Queen of Crankworx Whistler and four-time Crankworx Whistler Pump Track Champion.

Prize money for athletes who make the podium at all Crankworx festivals will be the same for men and women in 2015.

“It was just time. There are amazing things happening on two wheels right now and we should be able to recognize women for the feats they accomplish on an equal footing to men,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour manager. “Hopefully, this will encourage more women to get involved in competitive mountain biking.”

The Crankworx events included in the race to be named King or Queen are:

Crankworx Rotorua: Australasian Whip-Off Champs, Mons Royale Dual Speed &Style, Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS, GIANT Toa Enduro, Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle

Crankworx Les Deux Alpes: Official European Whip-Off Championships, Les Deux Alpes Pump Track presented by RockShox, D.S.&S., Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle, Les 2 Alpes Downhill part of the iXS European Cup

Crankworx Whistler: Fat Tire Crit, CLIF Bar Dual Speed & Style, SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized, Fox Air DH, Official Whip-Off World Championships, Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, GIANT Dual Slalom, Canadian Open XC, Canadian Open DH presented by iXS, Garbanzo DH, Slopestyle at Crankworx Whistler

Crankworx runs March 25-29 in Rotorua, July 9-12 in Les Deux Alpes, France and culminates a 10-day celebration of mountain biking in its Canadian hometown of Whistler, B.C.
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2/19/2015 4:34 PM

One can dream....

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2/19/2015 5:08 PM

Most radical part: "Prize money for athletes who make the podium at all Crankworx festivals will be the same for men and women in 2015."

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2/19/2015 5:57 PM

Sounds like it's taking over the FMB World Tour too

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2/19/2015 6:10 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/19/2015 6:11 PM

Time will tell. If there were a couple more and the teams fully got behind it… The UCI would wanna look out.

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Sunshine & Slippery Trail

2/19/2015 6:18 PM

I personally believe that the way Crankworx is run is the best way to grow the sport. Crankworx becomes one huge party and is able to attract not only mountain bikers, but people who aren't familiar or participating in the sport. That leads to new riders, and that leads to more riding opportunities. I hope Crankworx will continue to grow and add more stops. I want to see Crankworx take over as the premier world level DH series!

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2/19/2015 6:50 PM

It does not seem there is any DH series title? If there is, there does not seem to be any reward or incentive for teams only a bonus if someone wins all four DH events (including AirDH) so it seems nothing more than a bit of hype.
Much the same for slope. You only get the title if you win all three. Lame. That is not by definition the title of triple crown. Grand slam maybe but not triple crown.
And for king and queen of CWX equally vague and suspect. with the plethora of events, many that World Cup racers can't attend because of conflicts.

Seems like they are almost creating bonus and titles for things with slim chance of happening. (except semenuk winning all three maybe)

Why not have individual series titles in Slope, Whip, Pump, DH, Speedstyle etc, that would be more of a series...

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2/21/2015 10:37 AM

For an organization like Crankworx to create a 3 stop "mini" World Tour is a great step in the right direction for gravity MTB, although it's a baby step it is a step. They have to get their feet wet to see what works to hold events with multiple disciplines that will hold overall titles held in 3 different continents with bitchin' courses, thats a lot of logistics and infrastructure to set up. Granted there were 2 separate Crankworx events before but not with series points and overall championships for both men and women with equal prize money at stake.

Sponsors and companies want to see their name and product out there in the public eye and I think the Crankworx events are great vehicles to do so at, these are family events to watch and enjoy plus the locations are "destinations" to visit. The rest of us wanting see a new top tier downhill MTB series it is our duty to help support and show why there should be one, the UCI shouldn't be the only game in town that calls the shots for a discipline (DH) that is on their back burner. If they(UCI) don't want to make riders feel important in their organization then maybe its time for them to reevaluate. This new series will hopefully light a fire under their butt or maybe blow it out for them, they can make that call.

Good luck to this new series and I hope it takes off with more venues as it grows and teams put this on their schedules as the next big thing in DH MTB racing. No one likes to be late for the party. Change is good, time is forever, but goddammit give me back my gnarly DH tracks and not these tamed down "park" courses.

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