Crankworx Whistler Starts TODAY!

In less than a decade, Crankworx has become the authoritative free ride festival. A supercharged magnet for the world’s best riders and the definitive domestication of dirt in the service of epic endurance, supreme flow, monster air and gravity-fuelled mountain biking. Over ten fearless days in August, the venues at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park serve as a modern day Colosseum to the world’s best mountain bike athletes. For more information, go to the official Crankworx website.

There are a ton of events throughout the week:

Friday August 10th

Fat Tire Crit

When the dirt-adorned descend into Whistler Village with their mountain bikes for the Fat Tire Crit, it’s the nearest thing Whistler has to a Running of the Bulls – crowds pressed into a cobble-stoned circuit enlivened with unpredictable sprints, the snort of wild things out of their native environment being flushed through winding chicanes, and everyone’s pulses racing. Winning the Crit requires more tactical and technical mastery than savagery, making the Fat Tire Crit a crowd-pleaser, as racers fall prey to the “lap or be lapped and tapped out” law of rider Darwinism and fight right to the finish. Great opportunity to view the approximately 800 metre loop around the Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Bud Light Concert Series: Young Empires

This Canadian four-piece set the blogosphere in a spin after posting a set of home demos shortly after forming in early 2010. The e-attention created an international demand for YE’s high-energy live set, bringing the band to the UK, US, and South America. Young Empires debut release “Wake All My Youth” (2012) is being spun on rock radio across the country and has also been added in high rotation on Top 40/Pop stations in Toronto and Vancouver.

Bud Light Concert Series: Arkells

Renowned for their energetic live shows, Arkells recently won a 2012 Juno Award for Group of the Year. Their debut record, “Jackson Square”, garnered the band a top 10 Canadian rock radio hit with “Oh, the Boss is Coming!” and a Juno Award for New Group of the Year in 2010. Arkells recorded their sophomore album “Michigan Left” at legendary Bathouse Studios in Kingston, Ont. Since its release in 2011, the new album has featured a top-ten radio hit with “Whistleblower” and earned the band the 2012 Juno Award for Group of The Year.

Saturday August 11th

Canadian Open Enduro

If variety is the spice of life, then 2012’s redesigned Canadian Open Enduro is Crankworx’ garam masala. A blend of five Whistler trails, the rally-style mash-up of DH and XC riding creates a flavoursome event that rewards the generalist over the specialist. A sampler of the sweetest singletrack in Whistler, where racers must choose one bike to serve for all legs, ride without any outside assistance, and link up stages within a specific time allocation, but are only timed during the five competition stages. A 3 hour event, with just 30 minutes on the clock, the Canadian Open Enduro, a feature stop on the North American Enduro Tour, is a test of endurance and versatility and all-round mastery.

Bud Light Concert Series: Jets Overhead

Hailing from Victoria, BC, Jets Overhead have been invited to play at seminal festivals including Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, and the World Expo in Shanghai. Their songs have charted nationally at rock radio in Canada and have journeyed bravely into TV land, appearing in major network shows like House, Bones, and Pretty Little Liars.

Their third full-length album, “Boredom and Joy” will be officially released this summer.

Bud Light Concert Series: Said The Whale

In the five years since Said The Whale formed, the band’s hook-heavy, pop-rock sound has propelled them to successes that include a nationally televised documentary, a JUNO Award victory, and a seemingly endless series of tours around the globe. With their latest album, “Little Mountain”, Said The Whale has crafted a multi-stylistic tour-de-force. In an age of overnight internet sensations, theirs is a true grassroots success story that has allowed the group to take its place among the Canadian indie rock elite.

Sunday August 12th

Garbanzo Downhill

A vertical marathon. The Garbanzo DH is a gruel-fest, a magnet for masochists, a 3400’ top-to-bottom toll-taking test of mountain biking legitimacy. The unrelenting 12km descent requires sustained intensity, as riders match stamina, smoothness and strategy to stay on their game for one long lonely ride through 3 bioclimactic zones and shifting conditions, with only pain and the mountain’s mood swings to accompany them. A killer link-up, the Garbanzo DH course snakes through some of the most aggressive terrain the Whistler Mountain Bike Park has. The Garbanzo DH is a leg-busting stand-up-and-pedal test-piece.

Wednesday August 15th

Air Downhill

Imagine a herd of gazelle hopping through the Serengeti with a pride of lions in pursuit. Drop it into the forest and ramp up speed and style and you’ve got one of the wildest downhill races on the planet. 100 jumps, just as many berms and tail whipping samurai like Brian Lopes skipping to victory.

Deep Summer Photo Challenge

Now in its fourth year, the Deep Summer Photo Challenge, turns six different lenses on the some of the best mountain bike action and terrain in the world. The Deep Summer Photo Challenge does not ask a career-long body of work from the contenders. It demands a slice of big-scale action captured in a small segment of time. With three days to shoot anywhere in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park or Valley, the constraint of time is as inspiring as it is unforgiving.

This year, the Deep Summer Photo Challenge will take place under the stars at the spectacular Whistler Olympic Plaza, a state of the art facility for hosting arts and culture events. Priority seating and close sightlines to giant HD screens will be on offer with a limited number of ticketed seats available for $20. The area beyond the ticketed seating will be available for spectators to take in the Deep Summer Photo Challenge free of charge.

Thursday August 16th

Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by Rock Shox

At the dirt laboratory, 85 flow-rats master the maze, a 20 second course chock full of berms, doubles and gaps. The ultimate stripped-down skill showcase, riders duel back-to-back without making a single pedal stroke, in a test to harness horizontal momentum with speed, flow and flair. The first 60 pro men and 25 pro women to register will hustle through a time trials elimination round to form the finals field of 32 men and 8 women. Will reigning title-holders Mitch Ropelato (US) and Jill Kintner (US) rock-and-roll their way to three in a row, or is 2012 their time to be outpumped?

Teva Best Trick Showdown

Riders bring out their best tricks including double tailwhips, 720’s, flipwhips, and 360 lookbacks. A mouthful? Sure. But wait until you see it. With world-class slopestyle riders invited to participate, and a rider judged two-line jam format, the Teva Best Trick Showdown has but one purpose: drive riders to bend the known universe of mountain bike possibility.

Friday August 17th

Giant Dual Slalom

Rivalry at its most naked, the Dual Slalom’s crowd-pleasing format pits two competitors, side by side, with the clock’s second hand as the guillotine dropping to eliminate one rider per round. A bike-handling battleground, the finely sculpted track of jumps, berms, rhythm sections and drops pits fourcross specialists against gnar-chasing downhillers. Riders take one run down each side of the course. The fastest combined time wins. Each lap through the track raises the stakes and works up everyone’s appetite to win.

Saturday August 18th

Red Bull Joyride

Prepare for Red Bull Joyride, fusing elements of slopestyle, dirt jump and North Shore mountain biking. Joyride will culminate into one gravity-fed, season-defining freeride mountain bike competition. The course, which is 100 per cent inspired and designed by professional mountain bike athletes, incorporates as much of the natural terrain as possible, lined with gargantuan man-made features.

Canadian Cheese Rolling Championships

For the love of Canadian cheese, the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival returns to Blackcomb Mountain! Watch competitors race and tumble downhill after a speeding wheel of cheese to win Whistler Blackcomb season passes and the cheese they were chasing!

Enjoy the hilarious races, sample and buy delicious cheese, made from 100% Canadian milk, at the cheese farmers’ market, learn all about cheese in the seminar tent, and keep the kids entertained with loads of free activities, races and games. Take a free ride on the Excalibur Gondola up to Base 2, and get ready to say CHEESE ROLLING! FREE event.

Sunday August 19th

Jeep Canadian Open DH

A technical test-piece – one run of Whistler’s rooty single-track, steep rock drops and air features, straight down, no mercy. The Canadian Open DH course demands blazing guns and laser focus, especially as riders encounter the stoke-soaked atmosphere of Heckler’s Rock. The loud rowdy half-naked fans stage their Occupation, making this premiere downhill race truly a course or character and renown. Will this year’s riders break the three minute mark?

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