One of the biggest mountain biking festivals around is making a stop in Golden, as Crankworx hits the road the summer and comes to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
While the event normally takes place over three weeks at Whistler, COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions and safety protocols has meant that the event has had to look a bit different this summer.
Twenty-five of the world’s best mountain bikers, all based out of B.C., will be touring to three different locations over the course of three weeks, with Kicking Horse being the second stop of the Crankworx Summer Series, in a made for TV event following the cancellation of Cranworkx Whistler in May.
“Not being able to hold large events, the had to rethink things a bit to make sure something still happened,” said Andy Brown of Tourism Golden.
“We’ve been working with them for this travelling show, with the big thing being no spectators. But we want to let people know that mountain biking is still happening in B.C.”
“We are truly blessed here in British Columbia,” says Crankworx GM Darren Kinnaird.
“Not only do we have some of the most amazing mountain biking anywhere in the world, but we have some of the world’s best mountain bike athletes that have grown up here or have made the choice to make B.C. their home. Some of the biggest brands in mountain biking call B.C. home. We are all so lucky to be able to live in Beautiful B.C. Now more than ever.”
The event will take place over four days this week, with each athlete competing in all four events – downhill, dual slalom, enduro and big air downhill.
Athletes will accumulate a total score, with one champion being crowned at the end of the three week tour.
All athletes are based out of B.C. in order to keep the bubble as tight as possible, according to Brown, in order to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during the event.
He went on to say that it wasn’t a problem securing talent for the summer series, as some of the best bikers in the world call B.C. home anyways.
“I moved to B.C. years ago because it simply has the best riding and so many amazing places to see and ride,” says the reigning champions Vaea Verbeeck, who calls Coldstream home.
“We’ve done our best to embrace the positives of being at home more and finally getting a chance to explore more of the amazing destinations we have around us, which we only get to see a little of during the usually busy summers. Spending more time in B.C. this summer is a dreamy scenario and I’m excited to share it with everyone.”
This is a closed event, with no spectators allowed. There will be constant social distancing and disinfecting in place while the athletes are at the resort, with athletes travelling in pre-arranged groups.
Fans can watch online and should monitor the Crankworx, Kicking Horse and Tourism Golden websites and social media for more information on race times, rosters and how to watch.