Last week saw the arrival of the legendary Crankworx to Innsbruck, Austria, the first time the event has ever been held in Europe outside of France. From it’s origins as the climax to the season at Whistler bike park, Crankworx’s multi-discipline format now tours the globe as a 4-date series. The core of Crankworx is it’s gravity-fed races, the variety of which happening in close proximity gives some of the MTB world’s leading athletes a chance to try their hand at something a bit different.
The Enduro World Series’ Cube Action Team rocked up on their big rigs for the Downhill race at Innsbruck. Above you see current EWS leader Greg Callaghan the current EWS leader relishing the chance to race on a full 8 inches of travel with no pedally transfers.
Besides the Downhill, on Friday evening the pump track racing brought the spectators back onto the hill for some berm banging action.
Lining up for the start were some of the world’s finest Downhill racers. Here we can see Laurie Greenland, from the MS Mondraker Team, swapping his usual Summum for a more suitable, chuckable hardtail.
The MS Team also had their Austrian Team Member and local hero Markus Pekoll on course.
Matt Walker from the Cube Global Squad focused in the Corner of the course.
Thomas Slavik, a real specialist for such races took home the Victory, in front of all the Guests.
The Austrian Alps provided a perfect backdrop for this event.
The Slopestyle has always been Crankworx’ blue riband event. These attract the very finest talent from all over the world and the offer some of the fiercest and more spectacular competition in all of mountain biking.
Nicholi Rogatkin (seen here in practice) was the overall winner of the FMB World Tour and a hot pick for Crankworx Innsbruck.
His first finals run threw down several high level tricks, but it was only enough for second place behind Brett Rheeder after the first round.
Fired up and with gold within his reach, Nicholi laid down a run that Pinkbike have already called “One of the most ferocious runs the world has seen” cashrolls, triple tailwhips and a full 1080 twister, the run had it all, if you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour.
His howl of joy on cleanly landing the final trick said it all and sure enough the judges soon handed down the full 96 points needed to take the lead with just Rheeder to go.
The longest minutes for Nicholi as he waits for Brett Rheeder’s final run.
Brett’s run was nearly flawless but in the end a score of 95.66 was close but not quite close enough, Rogatkin takes one of the closest and most spectacular slopestyle competitions in recent memory.
A classic victory pose after an exhausting weekend, Nicholi is now the only man with the Triple Crown still within his reach.. no pressure then.
Here is his amazing winning run:
We are looking forward the upcoming contests!