Imagine Finn Iles lining up at the start gate of a dual slalom race against Bas van Steenbergen at SilverStar. Andréane Lanthier Nadeau charging for the win against Coldstream’s own Vaea Verbeeck in downhill racing at Kicking Horse. Mark Wallace challenging Jesse Melamed for Enduro supremacy at Sun Peaks.
Believe it. It’s going down July 27 to Aug. 14. Crankworx is bringing the action from its home in British Columbia to you, pioneering the return of live mountain bike racing in 2020.
The CLIF Crankworx Summer Series (CCSS) is bringing mountain bike fans something to froth over – 25 of the world’s best mountain bike athletes, three iconic destinations, four races per stop, 12+ hours of mountain bike action, all culminating in one overall CLIF Crankworx Summer Series title.
Vernon’s own Casey Brown, Brett Rheeder van Steenbergen are all racing in the elite division.
“We are truly blessed here in British Columbia,” Crankworx GM Darren Kinnaird said. “Not only do we have some of the most amazing mountain biking anywhere in the world, but we have some of the world’s best mountain bike athletes that have grown up here or have made the choice to make B.C. their home. Some of the biggest brands in mountain biking call B.C. home. We are all so lucky to be able to live in Beautiful B.C. Now more than ever.”
The CCSS will be a made-for-TV, multi-stop series showcasing epic riding destinations in B.C. While Crankworx Whistler’s cancellation was announced in May, B.C. has continued to fare well in terms of its management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now elevated to Phase 3, the B.C. Restart Plan allows for travel within the province.
“We are thrilled to partner with this initiative that will expose British Columbia’s most talented riders, many of which have developed out of Cycling BC’s high performance program and cut their teeth racing on the BC Cup circuit,” said Cory Ostertag with Cycling BC, who has sanctioned the series. “The silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic is the observed growth in popularity of cycling. We are looking forward to the impact that the CLIF Crankworx Summer Series will have on our community by inspiring new riders to explore the province’s spectacular mountain bike venues.”
With careful and meticulous regulations in place, the CCSS will bring together a mix of top pros and up-and-comers, including some of the best riders from Crankworx, the UCI DH World Cup and the Enduro World Series, all competing across multiple disciplines.
The disciplines that will make up the CCSS include: downhill, dual slalom, enduro, and air DH.
“I couldn’t be happier!” said Whistler-based Iles, who’s one of the top ranked downhillers in the world. “I haven’t been able to race since last year and I’m really looking forward to getting back between the tape again. It will be fun to go head to head with riders from all different disciplines week after week. I really appreciate Crankworx for giving us this exciting opportunity.”
“I moved to B.C. years ago because it simply has the best riding and so many amazing places to see and ride,” said the reigning Queen of Crankworx Vaea Verbeeck, who calls Coldstream home. “We’ve done our best to embrace the positives of being at home more and finally getting a chance to explore more of the amazing destinations we have around us, which we only get to see a little of during the usually busy summers. Spending more time in B.C. this summer is a dreamy scenario and I’m excited to share it with everyone.”
On offer for fans will be live race coverage, event highlights, weekly recaps, and more, all bringing fans along for the ride for the ultimate MTB roadie. The CLIF Crankworx Summer Series will be available live on crankworx.com, pinkbike.com and EDGEsport (available to view through TV, online and digital services).
With no spectators, remote production, and strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place, the CCSS’ No. 1 priority will be to ensure rider, staff and community safety. But with restrictions easing as a part of Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan, the risk of resurgence is real. That’s why the CCSS is taking every precaution with procedures to protect all involved.