Crankworx World Tour pedalled into Innsbruck for the third time to celebrate the heart and soul of gravity-defying mountain biking. The festival brings together the world’s top mountain biking athletes and the sport’s biggest fans for a week filled with jaw-dropping competitions in various disciplines, workshops, kids events, and opportunities to test the latest and greatest in mountain biking gear.
See Crankworx Innsbruck 2019 from my perspective:
This event continues to grow in popularity as mountain biking gains traction around Innsbruck. Bikepark Innsbruck did a spectacular job hosting the competitions with a wicked downhill trail, and pristine pump track, dual slalom and slopestyle courses. The crowds showed up in full force to create an electric environment that helped charge up the riders during competitions.
Fans of the sport were also treated with the opportunity to interact with their favorite riders throughout the event – many of their sponsors hosted autograph sessions, but the riders were also spotted interacting with their fans throughout the venue. To my surprise, all the athletes were extremely approachable and down to earth, even taking time to pump up the fans during the competitions.
Epicenter of Mountain Biking
If mountain biking was a country, Crankworx would be its capital city. It became very clear to me that Crankworx is where the world of mountain biking gathers. It’s not just the riders that come from every corner of the world; the fan base is just as diverse, if not more. Throughout the event I met fans from throughout Europe, North America, Australasia, Africa, and Latin America.
Most surprisingly, I met many people from Latin countries like Nicaragua, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia; I was there representing Honduras. I also met many people from Southern California, my former home. This was extremely surprising to me because I don’t meet many Latinos or SoCal natives since moving to Innsbruck. I really enjoyed hearing the many accents and slang from different parts of the world.
Huge props to Crankworx and all the riders out there reppin’ hard FERDA GIRLS! I was really happy to see the women’s first place races in Pump Track and Dual Slalom headline both events at Crankworx Innsbruck. Crankworx played it cool and didn’t make a big deal out of this, but I will. This is a HUGE step in promoting female athletes in mountain biking, something other extreme sports, and sports in general, are yet to catch onto. It was also a breath of fresh air seeing Crankworx put the women athletes in the spotlight without an attempt at sexualizing them for attention.
Beyond shining the spotlight on the ladies, who absolutely killed it out there, Crankworx also hosted Girls Ride with a PRO Session and Girls Tech Talk powered by OutdoorChicks, and the Women of Crankworx Autograph Session. Having coached a girls basketball team many years ago and been disappointing by the lack of support we experienced, I can’t even begin to express how happy seeing all of this made me. It’s obvious that these efforts are making a difference because so many girls were out there ripping it on the downhill and pump track.
Every day was filled with competitions, contests, demos, kidsworx and side events. With so much crammed into the schedule, the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) was real. Daily GoPro giveaways here, an autograph session there, samples throughout, swag bags everywhere, food and drink stands with too many options to choose.
After all of that, bars and clubs hosted party nights after each day of competition. Raggeaworx at P.M.K. was followed by the Pumptrack after party at Jimmy’s, Kater Nosta hosted the Mons Royale Speed and Style party the following night, then Moustache/ Dachsbau wrapped it up with the Crankworx after party on Saturday night. If anyone had the stamina to attend all the competitions and party nights, I need to know how – and please train me for next year!
For next year’s event, I hope Crankworx Innsbruck can include local bands and DJs to perform between the competitions to help keep the crowd pumping and engaged. With so much local talent available, this should be easy to accomplish. I also hope that Mountain Reggae Radio can make a return to the event as they were one of the top contributors to past events with their signature megaphone, crowd engagement and local vibes. If the cost of booths is too expensive for them, we should get a GoFundMe campaign going for them. All my respect for Martin Misof for putting out so much good energy and getting everyone hyped during the competitions.
Food at Crankworx Innsbruck
The food trucks at Crankworx Innsbruck were BANGING! I was seriously thinking about doing a mukbang video to justify eating everything there.
Kaos Crew brought the flavor and heat with their smoke cheese beef wraps. The pulled beef was so soft and juicy that it nearly melted in your mouth and the crunchy outer wrap added the perfect texture and mouth feel to go along with it. I ordered mine spicy, which gave it the perfect amount of heat to pair with a Zillertaler beer to cool off.
The Jungbull truck was also a crowd favorite at the festival. They had spit-roasted young bull shoulder in strips and pulled, covered in barbecue sauce. I went with the strips because I’m a bit of a barbecue snob. My friends got the barbecue and said it was really good, but I’m yet to meet an Austrian that really knows and appreciates barbecue as the art form that it is. The strips were served on a Semmel and topped with a coleslaw spiked with horseradish. I still regret not getting that second sandwich that would have surely ensued in a food coma!
Crankworx Innsbruck is the second of three stops for the Crankworx World Tour. Check out all the race results and King/ Queen of Crankworx standings here.