The world’s biggest mountain bike freeriding event – Crankworx – will be held in Innsbruck for the first time in 2017. The event will bring action at its very best with top bikers from all over the world, a festival-like programme of accompanying events and an exhibition area showcasing the latest gadgets and trends.
Crankworx Innsbruck 2017 will take place between 21 and 25 June. When the successful bid was announced, Karin Seiler-Lall, the Managing Director of the Innsbruck Tourist Board, was excited about this opportunity: “Crankworx offers Innsbruck the chance to further develop in the field of biking and, in doing so, to meet the long-standing desires of this large and growing scene. The event can also be seen as a driving force for developing infrastructure that will be available for use by locals and tourists alike on a sustainable long-term basis.”
And it seems they’re delivering on this aspiration. As well as the Cranworx competition programme, there’s a range of activities for visitors, plus new schemes to ensure access to as many trails as possible.
Thinking of visiting? Here’s what to expect…
Action-packed Programme from 21st – 25th June 2017
Most of the competitions and the programme of supporting events will take place at Bikepark Innsbruck (Mutteralmpark). Plans are also in place to further develop the local infrastructure for the second Crankworx event in Innsbruck in 2018. Here’s the plan for 2017:
With the Whip-Off Championships kicking off on the evening of Wednesday 21st June in Mutters (finale from 6.00 pm), a spectacular start to the weekend is guaranteed. The primary aim in the Whip-Off is sending the back end of an airborne bike as far forward to the right or left as possible (“whipping”), before straightening up and landing the jump. Style, timing, body control and a fair amount of nerve are required for a win in this class.
On Thursday 22nd June, fans get to hang out with stars such as Tomas Slavik, Adrien Loron and Mitch Ropelato at the finale of the Dual Speed & Style competition, taking place in Mutters from 4.30pm. As riders line up head-to- head at the start, they must battle their opponents and the clock while trying to perform the most stylish, spectacular run possible – a kind of “double masters” in gravity mountain biking. Competing at breakneck speed over a variety of obstacles, it’s a combination of parallel slalom and slopestyle, which demands absolutely everything from the participants.
With no pedalling allowed, the Pump Track Challenge, from 7pm on Friday 23rd June, really separates the wheat from the chaff. In this event, participants must demonstrate their finest riding skills – completing the circular track without ever making a pedal stroke and building up speed only by pumping their bikes up and down to the finish line. Speed and flow until the best time wins.
Saturday and Sunday sees the greatest of all disciplines in gravity mountain biking on the agenda: the Crankworx Innsbruck Downhill in Götzens on Saturday and the Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle in Mutters on Sunday.
Whether organisers have succeeded in designing a world-class trail is to be determined by the spectators and athletes themselves at the Crankworx Innsbruck Downhill race from 11.30am on 24th June. There is only one way to the finish line: pedal to the metal from top to bottom. Rapid runs and exhilarating thrills are guaranteed.
The grand finale and most prestigious competition in the Crankworx Innsbruck event series awaits fans in Mutters from 3.30 pm on Sunday 25th June: the Slopestyle. In this challenge, athletes pull out all the stops to display gravity mountain biking in all its electrifying glory, demonstrating exactly what can be done on cannon logs, dirt jumps, drops and hips – freeride mountain biking at its finest. The only limit here is gravity.
For all information on Crankworx, the programme, accommodation in Innsbruck etc. head to: http://www.crankworx.com/festival/innsbruck/
Top rider Gutiérrez is excited about Innsbruck
Top rider Marcelo Gutiérrez (top 10 in the UCI Downhill rankings) said that he is looking forward to the upcoming Crankworx Festival in Innsbruck during a local appearance where he tried out certain sections of the planned route:
“I’ve been coming to Innsbruck for several years now and always love returning to the city. I’m delighted that Crankworx is coming to Innsbruck. The city already offers a multitude of mountain biking opportunities and Crankworx will make them even better. The event will be good for the local scene and the quality of local mountain biking opportunities. It’s also a chance for Crankworx to become even bigger. Crankworx Innsbruck represents a fantastic opportunity for all involved.”
Sample the fun yourself
While stars such as Slavik and Gutiérrez hurl themselves down the trails at Bikepark Innsbruck, other keen bikers can take advantage of a range of excursions, which have been put together to showcase the entire biking region of Tyrol.
“Kidsworx” will offer diverse workshops for children. Trendsetters on the mountain bike scene will also have the opportunity to showcase the latest bikes and gadgets.
Daytrips can be now be booked at https://www.innsbruck-shop.com/de/crankworx.html. Options are:
- Bike Republic Sölden,
- the EinEinser Trail in Stubaital,
- Bikepark Tirol in Steinach,
- Kirchberg in the Kitzbühel Alps,
- Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss- Ladis
- 3-country Enduro Trails at the Reschenpass
In each case, not only is the day ticket for the bike region included, but the transfer there and back with your own bike is too. Trips start at €63 (price varies depending on the size of the bike park and distance from Innsbruck).
A VIP Ride around Innsbruck (contribution of €29) takes riders out with professional guides to discover the very best riding in Bike City Innsbruck. Excursions and VIP Rides can be booked at: https://www.innsbruck-shop.com/de/crankworx.html
One ticket, all the fun
Thanks to the Bike City Card, Innsbruck has succeeded in bringing all trail networks around the Tyrolean state capital together. From 25th May 2017 onwards, four trail areas (including unlimited lift use and bike transport) will be accessible with just the one ticket: the Nordkette trails, Bikepark Innsbruck in Mutters/Götzens, Bikepark Tirol in Steinach as well as the EinsEinser Trail in Stubaital. Upon their completion, the trails in Axamer Lizum will also be included. Available for one to five days and valid for seven days from the date of purchase, it promises full flexibility, and moving between trail networks on the same day is also possible. Day tickets start at €36 and are available from all participating cable car companies and Innsbruck Information. More information at: www.bikecity-innsbruck.com
Many hotels in Innsbruck and the surrounding area have tailored their services to offer mountain bikers, downhill riders and road cyclists all of the extras they need for a biking holiday. For example:
- Sports breakfast (fruit, muesli, etc.) for the healthy eating fans
- Bike storage room (lockable and insured against theft) for your pride and joy
- Bike stands in front of the hotel (for hanging around at the front until someone notices your amazing bike!)
- Designated washing area with a hose and brushes (For washing off the hero dirt)
- Information corner for bikers with bike maps, tour tips, cycling magazines, current alpine weather forecasts and information about the region
- Small bicycle repair pack (who left their spares at home…)
- Facilities for washing and drying bike clothes
This story was paid for by Innsbruck Tourist Board