[Press Release] – 2023 Downhill season is set to be one for the history books, with big changes rolling out from all sides. Today, Crankworx announced their up-leveled plans for downhill mountain bike racing, including the following:
- Rob Warner as the voice of Crankworx DH in 2023, with co-host Eliot Jackson.
- Crankworx DH action on Red Bull TV at all four stops (in addition to Crankworx’s other core disciplines).
- Elevated coverage of all Crankworx DH races, with more cameras to capture more of the action for fans following along from home.
- Crankworx World Tour Downhill Championship titles, to be awarded to the M/F riders with the highest points total over the course of the Crankworx season.
- The launch of the 1199 Award, an all-new prize in downhill mountain bike racing. Named in honour of Stevie Smith’s legendary points total, the award puts CAD 10,000 up for grabs, for male and female pros respectively, for a racer who can crack 1199 points over the course of their Crankworx DH season, thereby completing the Quest for 1199. If the feat is not achieved in a year, the prize money carries over, and the pot grows. Full details below.
- In 2023, a four-stop Crankworx World Tour DH Championship series bookended with firsts. In March in Rotorua, racing will kick off with a first-ever broadcast from the Whakarewarewa and Tītokorangi forest in Rotorua. In July in Whistler, the Crankworx DH season will wrap with the first race on the new 1199 track in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. More details to come on both.
- With prize money up for grabs at all four Crankworx DH races, plus the overall and the 1199 prize pot, a total of approximately CAD 130,000 is up for grabs for elite downhillers competing at Crankworx in 2023.
“Crankworx is all about creating the ultimate experience in mountain biking,” says Darren Kinnaird, Managing Director of Crankworx. “With that in mind, we have re-imagined what Crankworx Downhill is for 2023. We’ve got the opportunity to bring some of the world’s best to race in these amazing locations. We’ve got a dream team in the booth, elevated coverage, and a unique new award for athletes to chase in the 1199 Award. We hope that fans will have as much fun, whether they are trackside or watching on Red Bull TV, as the athletes who come to compete at Crankworx do. We are stoked with what we have planned for DH in 2023.”
The 1199 Award (also referred to as “the 1199”) will be awarded to a rider whose outstanding performance over the course of the Crankworx Downhill season pushes them to achieve a points total in excess of 1199 in the 1199 Award Standings. The first rider (male and female) to reach 1200+ points in the standings, thereby completing the Quest for 1199, wins the 1199 Award, and a prize of CAD 10,000.
The Quest for 1199 is open to all pro men and women.
If the feat is not achieved in a season, the prize money rolls over to the following year, until the 1199 points total is surpassed, and the award is claimed. The prize pot grows and the stakes get higher every year the award is not claimed.
1199 is a reference to Canadian downhiller Stevie Smith’s legendary points total from his 2013 overall World Cup title.
Points are up for grabs at all RockShox Crankworx Downhill races over the course of the season. There are four races in total, staged in the following locations:
- Rotorua, New Zealand
- Cairns, Australia
- Innsbruck, Austria
- Whistler, Canada
The points structure and rules are detailed here: 1199 Award
The goal is to introduce a new challenge in downhill mountain bike racing, award Crankworx’s fastest and most consistent racers, while amplifying the legacy of one of the disciplines most legendary riders. In addition, it’s to celebrate the road to Whistler on the Crankworx World Tour. With the Whistler Mountain Bike Park track created in Smith’s honour as the final race of the season, some years the Quest for 1199 will come down to the Whistler track. In those cases, the quest is both a push to go beyond 1199 points, and a push to master the 1199 track.
Crankworx Downhill season kicks off in four weeks’ time in Rotorua, with a stacked roster of elite DH racers set to tackle the storied trail set amongst the Rotorua jungle.
Stay up to date with all things Crankworx: www.crankworx.com