The first full day at the 2008 Crankworx Colorado has lived up to my expectations. It would be hard to have a bad day that begins with a few good chair lift-assisted runs on freshly prepped Kona demo rigs (thanks Scott and Willy.)
The afternoon was completed with mind-blowing performances from the industry’s up-and-coming stars. The big air best trick event started at 3 p.m., and was broken down into two 45-minute sessions. Session one was on the upper section of the slopestyle course, minus the rock drop-in and wall-ride. The focus of this initial section was a huge dirt jump, followed by a wooden kicker to transition.
The riders then had the option of hitting the last feature on the course, an eight- to ten-foot step-up to yet another small kicker. Riders who sessioned this last feature were merely entertaining the spectators, as there were no points awarded for stunts on this section.
The second and final portion of today’s open jump jam consisted of yet another huge drop to transition, immediately followed by a gap to a skate park-influenced quarter pipe, sans coping. The highlight of the day was seeing Cameron McCaul effortlessly execute a superman backflip over the drop.
These young professionals routinely execute the most technical maneuvers with what appears to be the greatest of ease. The sport of slopestyle mountain biking is reminiscent of traditional freestyle aerial skiing, in that the contestants progress and feed off of each others’ stoke. This is definitely not the Tour de France. As always, in an event like this it is impressive to see the beating that these riders take in their quest for the best trick.
One of the highlights of the day was watching Tammy Donahugh from Fort Collins, Colorado, the only female shredding the course. The MC’s, Kyle Ebbett and Brad Ewen, repeatedly worked the crowd into a frenzy, documenting the event in such a way that even non-bicycle enthusiasts understood what was going on.
Tomorrow is the big day for cross country, downhill and slopestyle. There is a buzz in the air and everyone is excited for tomorrow’s slopestyle main event. The Spanish Lacondeguy brothers have been delayed in their travels but are expected to dominate the event upon arrival. Stay tuned for more updates.
(Adam’s friend Kevin’s knee after attempting to emulate the pros…)