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Crankworx Freeride MTB Festival Launches

August 4, 2005 – Today the second annual Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival launched five days of non-stop, gravity-fed, downhill action.

Crankworx showcases Whistler as the ultimate downhill biking playground by combining gargantuan stunt sessions and mind-blowing speed events with the world’s best mountain bikers competing for cash and prizing totaling over $30,000. The event line-up also includes fun races for all ages, live music acts, patio parties and roving street entertainment.

Today’s activities offered the opportunity to meet the athletes set to display their skills and nerve in the next five days. A poster signing with top athletes including KONA’s John Cowan, and pros from Hayes, Marzocchi, Sram and more took place from 4-6pm in the Bike Expo area. The Bike Expo is set to run for the duration of Crankworx and is located in Whistler Village.

“This year the Bike Expo is big and busy,” says Eric Fremont, Crankworx Event Manager. “People checking it out during Crankworx are going to find the latest and greatest innovations from top bike companies and, if the timing is right, sponsored riders may be hanging out at the tents as well.”

The Jim Beam Air Downhill takes place tomorrow, Thursday, August 4 at 1-5pm. This year’s course is three times the length of last year’s and starts at the top of the Park’s newest machine-built trail, Freight Train. The action will continue down A-Line, sending riders down 3,400 feet of vertical and over 200 plus tables, drops, berms and rolls.

Friday, August 4 will see qualifying rounds for the Pro Invitational Slopestyle, presented by Full Throttle, and finals for the Nissan Biker X at 5:30pm. The re-designed Biker X course has bigger doubles, berms, drops and tables. “With 150 riders battling it out, four at a time on 45-pound bikes, this event is a crowd favourite and unbelievably exciting to watch,” says Fremont.

Saturday evening’s Slopestyle will, once again, take centre stage. Spectators will be overwhelmed as riders launch themselves onto manmade features including a 30-foot trailer and sky-high scaffolding and teeter-totters. If Paul Basagoitia’s prize-winning performance of a backflip to a 20-foot high scaffold followed with a tail whip out is any indication, spectators and judges should prepare to witness astounding feats of athleticism.

Sunday will wrap Crankworx with the Garbanzo Enduro Downhill and the KONA Jump Jam taking place in the new Jump Farm, freshly built and designed by John Cowan. Other competitive Crankworx events include a legendary WORCA (Whistler Off Road Cycling Association) Loonie Race and GLC party on Thursday night and a village-based kid’s race on Saturday. Roving street entertainers, concerts, and the illustrious Dangerous Dan and his aerial stunt riding Flow Show will round out the action.

The second annual Crankworx, August 3-7, 2005, is presented in partnership by Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. At centre stage of Crankworx is the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Bike Park. With over 200 km and 3,600 feet of lift-serviced gravity-fed, adrenaline-fueled descending trails, the Bike Park is the unequivocal leader of lift-accessed mountain bike parks in the world.

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