This is the 5th year that Innsbruck has hosted Crankworx. I have been to every event apart from the 2020 edition (due to heavy restrictions and very limited press passes that year). I missed it a lot, so I was very happy to hear that I could film again this year!
Crankworx Innsbruck 2021 Video Recap
From insane whips, first women’s backflips, top quality DH racing plus shapes unknown to geometry in the Slopestyle, the 2021 edition of Crankworx Innsbruck had everything you could hope for from a weekend of rowdy mountain biking!
The Crankworx Innsbruck MTB Festival
This year, there are three locations on the Crankworx World Tour: Rotorua in New Zealand, Whistler in Canada, and Innsbruck here in Austria. The Innsbruck stop is the most urban on the World Tour schedule.
The combination of the city, mountains and Bikepark Innsbruck is hard to beat, especially with the supporting infrastructure that is getting better year on year.
This year’s festival was strange to say the least, with lots of unknowns right up until the last minute. Despite the global pandemic that still prevents many events around the world from happening, Crankworx was able to run safely, just without the thousands of spectators that would usually attend pre-2020.
However changing government regulations did allow some bike-lovers to attend in the end, so long as they had a negative test, which was great for the atmosphere and gave everyone a little taste of ‘normal’.
Whipping off to a wicked start
The first day and first event is one of my favourites. High above the city next to the lake on the Muttereralm is the Whip-Off course.
Riders from across the world push their limits to whip out their rear wheel to the side, for as far and as long as possible before landing. There were some close calls and some crashes, but in the end Kaos Seagrave won with one of the most spectacularly insane whips every seen in mountain biking!
It was good to see local rider and fellow filmmaker / photographer Peter Kaiser getting 2nd place, well done mate!
Pushing Mountain Biking’s Limits
Each year the riders get better and better, whether that is riding faster and harder in the Downhill competition or showcasing more complex tricks in the Slopestyle.
Something not to take lightly is the way the women are smashing all previous limits!
2021 was the first year to include a women’s category in the Speed & Style. This led to Robin Goomes throwing the world’s first female back flip in the Speed & Style competition, which was absolutely amazing! The level of riding from the women this year was another huge step up from last year, which shows their hard work in the training sessions paid off.
Singing in the Rain
While this year’s Crankworx was blessed with some of the best weather we’ve ever had for Crankworx Innsbruck, including 30°+ temperatures and glorious sunshine, the mountains can throw some crazy weather at any time, and we experienced an epic thunder storm on Friday shook the show. This was the perfect moment for a middle section for the video.
The electric clouds rolled through the valley and Muttereralm had a great view – I caught a few lightning strikes on Nordkette, lovely stuff. Then the hail started and I ran for cover!
Whilst producing the music, I grabbed some different samples that linked to the change of vibe. The storm didn’t last too long so the speed and style finals could still go ahead.
We were lucky that this was the only disruption to the pro finals throughout the whole week. To be honest with temperatures as high as 39 C in the sun, we needed a storm to cool things down. Onwards and upwards!
See you at Bikepark Innsbruck again for Crankworx next year!
So another epic Crankworx in the books. I know I say it to myself every year, but this was really my favourite and I can’t wait for next year. But in the meantime you can of course shred Bikepark Innsbruck yourself all summer long!
See you next year!
All photos © Ashley Wiggins unless otherwise stated.