Crankworx Innsbruck 2021 kicked off the race to the 2021 Slopestyle World Championship, and what a kick-off it was. This elite-level series of Slopestyle mountain biking events always brings out the best of the best, but we were certainly treated to quite the show as riders made their return to the big event after such a challenging year.
Riders pulled out all the stops during this Slopestyle event to showcase their talent and how hard they have been training throughout lockdown, bringing in scores that were beyond belief. After some serious runs had been laid down, featuring opposite cashrolls, 360° windshield wipers, and opposite 360° bar spins, the results were close...
With six riders already pre-qualified for all SWC events in 2021 - Emil Johansson, Nicholi Rogatkin, Erik Fedko, Tomas Lemoine, Torquato Testa, and Jakub Vencl - we especially wanted to catch up with those who are fighting to stake their claim on a spot on the start list with points accumulated over the season. After they had the opportunity to process the event, we wanted to get their take on their Slopestyle run and how they’re feeling about the rest of the season.
“I’m so stoked to have land[ed] both of my runs during Crankworx Innsbruck because it was a tough winter. I broke my left knee and I couldn’t ride as much as I normally do. So, I’m so stoked to have landed both my runs and have enough points to reach sixth place. For the next events with Crankworx, I will try to do a bit bigger of a run to reach the top five.”
“I’m super happy with my riding in Innsbruck and I really feel like I improved myself a lot during the long off-season. I want to get a few more clean runs in the bag and work myself closer and closer to the podium.”
“I am happy about [my] run. Innsbruck [has] never been a course where I feel confident. After a long time off Slopestyle, due to a shoulder injury and Covid-19, I am stoked to do events again. They help a lot to improve my riding.”
“I was really happy about my first run, I [made] a few mistakes but I still managed to [score] a 90-point run. It was hard to know what to do because I had a delicate place in the ranking [where] I needed some points for the world ranking, but I wanted to send everything. I chose to keep some and do a safer run. Now I can’t wait for more events and we will see what happens.”
“I definitely aimed for a more perfect run at Crankworx Innsbruck. During practice and before the week of competition I felt great on my bike and was able to do all the tricks I wanted in practice. Unfortunately, in both of my final runs I overshot the triple whip a little bit, [to] just quite make it over the next jump, and I didn’t have enough speed for big tricks into the whaletail. Nowadays, this is enough to get a lower ranking as everyone is sending it in their final runs and the level is insanely high! Nonetheless, I will try to attend every gold and diamond event I can this year and hopefully get the run I always wanted in Innsbruck!”
It sounds like we’re in for quite the show of competition as we progress throughout the season, with riders continuously wanting to outdo themselves and improve upon their past runs. We’ll definitely be counting down the days until the next Crankworx FMBA SWC event when we get to see all of these athletes push the boundaries of this sport.