Editorial | Why Crankworx is What The Australian MTB Scene Needed

It’s taken a moment but we’ve let the dust settle from a mad week in Cairns and one of the biggest mountain biking events to grace Australian shores. Crankworx Cairns 2022 was a jive, it was a vibe and it was a sea of smiles for each and everyone that experienced it. Quite simply, it was exactly what the Aussie MTB scene needed…..

By Mike Branch

With a purpose built course at the base of the Kuranda DH track, Crankworx Cairns took a leap into Australian mountain biking history. It was only fitting that World Trail and Glen Jacob’s played a role in the development of the course and the build. A company and a man that have paved the way for nearly every major moment in Australian mountain biking for the last 20 years.

The team at Crankworx have been delivering world-class mountain biking events across the globe for some time now and the recent addition of the Cairns stop brought with it something a little special – a chance for World class mountain biking to reach Australian shores again.

It’s been a long time since we saw an event of this magnitude hit the great Southern land and not since World Championships in 2017 have we had an international level event of this size come to Cairns.

Sure we have had the Enduro World Series grace the trails of Derby, but does it have the same glitter and glitz? Does it bring the same stoke and opportunities for our young riders?

Arguably not, but it is fantastic to now have both the EWS and Crankworx making a home for themselves in Australia. Australia has been a nation that over the last few years has not truly seen the opportunity for young riders that we have had in the past, particularly in the gravity mountain biking side of racing.

The addition of a large scale event like this is something that can only birth opportunities for our riders and a chance to push for something greater. 5 days of racing with some of the nations best riders against some of the very best in the world – sounds like a recipe for success.

Crankworx Cairns 2022 was an event that ran smoothly, saw riders, racers, families, industry and media from all over the nation come together for a week of epic competition. It was a chance for us to engage the whole mountain biking community and a chance for us to build our biking culture.

It gave tourism for Cairns a hefty boost and supported the local clubs and trail builders in a way many have not in the past. The bi-product of this is greater access to competition and better trails, all while improving the level of our riders. In all honestly it’s what we have been begging for as a nation of riders.

There is no greater event in Australia at the moment and no greater opportunity for our youth, no greater chance to have a go against the very best in the World and maybe, just maybe come out on top. Crankworx has a tradition of shining a light on the emerging talent of every nation it touches and Australia was no different, racers like Jayce Cunning are a prime example.

Is Crankworx Cairns exactly what Australia needed? In our opinion we’d have to say yes. We have lacked large scale competition on a national front, Crankworx has brought with it a solution to some of our problems with national competition in the gravity field and added the ability for our nations best to compete with the very best in the world.

Crankworx is back in Cairns May 17-21, 2023 and will be the first stop for the Crankworx World Tour. It was a pleasure covering the event and we will be back in force next year in Cairns, until then keep the brakes wide open…

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