Crankworx Innsbruck: Official Full Event Report

Full event report as Johansson, Scott, Lemoine and Slavík also triumph in MTB spectacular.

Mountain biking’s Downhill elite wrapped up five days of memorable Crankworx competition as Loris Vergier (FRA) earned his first win, while 19-year-old phenomenon Vali Höll (AUT) pushed through the pain to repeat on the track she earned her first elite women’s win on last year. Here is all you need to know:

– Temperatures soared in Innsbruck all week, hovering around 30°C at Bikepark Innsbruck for the final day of competition with high humidity adding an extra layer of challenge.

– Höll, who held off Nina Hoffman (GER) and Tahnée Seagrave (GBR), said: “I couldn’t handle the heat that well. I felt like I was going to black out because I was sweating so hard. I just wanted to keep it together and show people that I’m consistently fast.”

Nineteen-year-old Vali Höll (AUT) pushed through the pain to win the elite women’s downhill on the track where she earned her first elite women’s win last year. Photo by Boris Beyer/Red Bull Content Pool.

 

 

– Seagrave, 26, added: “I’m quite happy because it’s taken me quite a long time to get back to where I am.”

– Vergier, 25, who got ahead of Troy Brosnan (AUS) and Finn Iles (CAN) for the win, declared: “It was good to get another race in the bag and more confidence on the bike. It was a great weekend of racing. I’m looking forward to coming back. You just need to be really smooth and try and avoid mistakes, and crank some pedals where you can.”

– Canadian Iles, 21, added: “This whole week has been a lot of fun riding this course. I was a little stressed out that it was going to rain on race day, but we had perfect conditions and the track was awesome.”

– Also celebrating on Sunday were Tomas Lemoine (FRA) and Harriet Burbidge-Smith (AUS) – the current points leaders in the season-long battle for the coveted King and Queen of Crankworx title.

– Next up, Crankworx World Tour action will head back to its home base in British Columbia, Canada with Crankworx B.C. across September 6-19.

Read the full 2021 Crankworx Innsbruck report HERE.

SUNDAY JUNE 20

– Mountain biking’s Downhill elite wrapped five days of memorable Crankworx competition as Loris Vergier (FRA) earned his first win, while 19-year-old phenomenon Vali Höll (AUT) pushed through the pain to repeat on the track she earned her first elite women’s win on last year.

– Temperatures soared in Innsbruck all week, hovering around 30°C at Bikepark Innsbruck for the final day of competition with high humidity adding an extra layer of challenge for the riders.

– The Austrian, who held off Nina Hoffman (GER) and Tahnée Seagrave (GBR), said: “I couldn’t handle the heat that well. On top, I felt like I was going to black out because I was sweating so hard. I just wanted to keep it together and show people that I’m consistently fast.”

– Seagrave, 26, added: “I’m quite happy because it’s taken me quite a long time to get back to where I am.”

Tahnee Seagrave took third place at Crankworx Innsbruck this year. // Photo by Boris Beyer/Red Bull Content Pool

– Vergier, 25, who got ahead of Troy Brosnan (AUS) and Finn Iles (CAN) for the win, declared: “It was good to get another race in the bag and more confidence on the bike. It was a great weekend of racing. I’m looking forward to coming back. You just need to be really smooth and try and avoid mistakes, and crank some pedals where you can.”

– Iles, 21, added: “This whole week has been a lot of fun riding this course. I was a little stressed out that it was going to rain on race day, but we had perfect conditions and the track was awesome.”

 

– Also celebrating on Sunday were Tomas Lemoine (FRA) and Harriet Burbidge-Smith (AUS) – the current points leaders in the season-long battle for the coveted King and Queen of Crankworx title.

– Also celebrating on Sunday were Tomas Lemoine (FRA) and Harriet Burbidge-Smith (AUS) – the current points leaders in the season-long battle for the coveted King and Queen of Crankworx title.

– Next up, Crankworx World Tour action will head back to its home base in British Columbia, Canada with Crankworx B.C. across September 6-19.

SATURDAY JUNE 19

– Swedish MTB star Emil Johansson continued his remarkable rehabilitation from autoimmune disease to record his fourth Crankworx Slopestyle victory in a row at Innsbruck on Saturday afternoon.

Emil Johansson won the Innsbruck Crankworx Slopestyle contest. Photo by Boris Beyer/Red Bull Content Pool.

– Two years ago, Johansson returned to Crankworx competition in Innsbruck after his illness and his second place made a statement: he wasn’t just back, he was stronger than ever and here to win.

– Saturday’s first-place finish in the Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle now marks the fourth win in a row for Johansson, who celebrated his 22nd birthday in style on Sunday.

– His winning score of 97.5 came from a trick-heavy run, with both regular and oppo tricks, linked with precision to see off American Nicholi Rogatkin (95.50) and Italian Torquato Testa (93.25).

– Testa had the highest score after the first runs, however Rogatkin and Johansson bounced back from disappointing first runs to renew their thrilling rivalry with the Swede coming out on top again.

– Johansson said: “It’s been more than a year, so to be back and to see everyone, but also be able to get a full, real show together has been amazing. After crashing in the first run, it’s always a bit stressful going into the second run, knowing that you only have one chance. So to be able to pull off a run that I’m satisfied with feels amazing.”

– Rogatkin, 25, revealed: “I feel amazing about the opposite cashroll. It’s a trick that I’ve worked really hard on. I’m way better at working on big rotations, big, exciting tricks. I was super super super motivated to do a big run in the second run. I’m over the moon right now.”

– Testa, 27, added: “It feels super good, because the other podium was in Rotorua in 2017. So it’s already a couple years that I didn’t do podium in Crankworx. So, super stoked to be back here and to be back on the podium, especially after a long break like this one. So it’s fantastic.”

 

Erik Fedko did his Indian air seat grab in the Slopestyle competition at Crankworx Innsbruck. Photo by Boris Beyer/Red Bull Content Pool

– Other notable moments included Erik Fedko (GER) taking fourth with a 91.5, after a stylish run featuring some of his signature tricks like the 360 Indian air seat grab, while coming in fifth with a 90 was Frenchman Timothé Bringer who continued to show he’s a force to be reckoned with.

FRIDAY JUNE 18

– Friday night’s Speed & Style competition was packed full of world-firsts, progression, winning streaks and game-time double backflips as Jordy Scott and Lemoine came out on top.

– The women’s field was the biggest the event has seen with Kiwi freerider Robin Goomes throwing down a backflip during qualifying, the first by a woman at Crankworx, then followed up with five more.

– While Goomes consistent backflips were not enough to get her onto the podium after losing out to Burbidge-Smith for bronze, her performance has signalled a change in the sport.

– American Scott defeated 2019’s Queen of Crankworx, Vaea Verbeeck, in the gold-medal round, a rematch from their battle in the same event at Crankworx Rotorua 2020.

– Scott, who celebrated her 20th birthday on Thursday, said: “It’s pretty crazy. I feel like a pioneer of a discipline. I hope to keep it going, but there are so many people coming up.”

– Frenchman Lemoine has won the last three Speed & Style competitions across the Crankworx World Tour (Innsbruck 2021, Innsbruck 2020, Rotorua 2020) after he saw off Thomas Genon with a double backflip.

– Lemoine, 24, revealed: “I’m still in shock. I’ve been doing a lot of double flips recently, but I’ve never done it in a race. It’s so stressful to go so fast and push so hard for it”

THURSDAY, JUNE 17

– For the second year in a row, the French dominated the RockShox Pump Track Challenge Innsbruck on Thursday evening as Mathilde Bernard took her third Crankworx Pump Track win, while Chaney Guennet made it three wins in Innsbruck, having also won the event in 2017 and 2018.

– Bernard was continually clocking the fastest overall laps to knock out the 2019 Queen of Crankworx Verbeeck in the quarters, 2020 Rotorua Pump Track winner Scott in the semis, and ultimately the number one seed Kialani Hines (USA) in the gold medal round.

– Guennet’s rise to the top in the men was consistent, but certainly not easily won as he edged through his quarter-final against Matthew Sterling (USA) before beating Lemoine for the gold.

– Guennet said: “It feels different each time. Last year I finished second, and this year first. It’s been a long time since I finished on the top step so, it’s perfect. It’s nice to share a good moment with friends (Lemoine and Adrien Loron), especially on a good track with good conditions.”

– Tomáš Slavík got his 2021 King of Crankworx title hopes off to the best start possible when he got better as Thursday morning progressed to edge out Kiwi Eddie Masters in the men’s Dual Slalom final.

– Czech veteran Slavík, 34, said: “It was insane. We were so much over the limit. I was pushing as hard as possible. I was still watching Eddie with one eye. Dual Slalom at its best. We got so much faster.”

Tomas Slavik was one of the top riders of the weekend. Photo by Boris Beyer/Red Bull Content Pool

– In the women, former BMX world champion Burbidge-Smith saw off Höll in the semi-finals then defeated Canadian Casey Brown in the final to make the plane trip worthwhile.

– Burbidge-Smith revealed: “Casey was pretty much the first woman that I saw when I moved to mountain biking a couple of years ago, so it was really cool to be in the final with her. I was super chill all day and really confident on the white side, so I just needed to neaten up the black flags.”

– Bronze medallist Höll revealed: “It’s quite spontaneous that I joined this. I normally don’t ride other bikes than my DH bike. I was surprised it was actually working that well. I had a really strong battle with the winner before coming to semi-finals. I wasn’t too far off and it was so much fun.”

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