Trek Race Shop athletes hauled in 10 medals and 6 wins at one of mountain biking's greatest celebrations
Crankworx is a celebration of physics-defying mountain biking, one of the biggest events of the year to see just how fast or high humans can go on two wheels.
And during this holiest of weeks, Trek Race Shop athletes were out in full force, hauling in six wins — five of them in downhill racing on the new Trek Session — and 10 medals in all. Athletes ranging from precocious 15-year-old Tegan Cruz, to burgeoning slopestyle legend Emil Johansson, to women’s freeride legend and pioneer Casey Brown took home hardware.
Johansson’s slopestyle win — his fourth Crankworx title in a row — deserves special mention for how it established him as one of the discipline’s dominant forces. (If you haven’t yet, you really should watch his winning run here.) But there were plenty of eye-popping performances to go around, starting with a high-profile Trek Factory Racing newcomer.
Loris Vergier dominates men's elite downhill
Vergier’s World Cup debut with Trek Factory Racing didn’t go as planned in Leogang. His final run got off to a blistering start, but quickly stalled due to a puncture early on the course.
A week later, Vergier raced Crankworx and finally got a clean run. The result was a 1.282-second win over Leogang winner Troy Brosnan. To put Vergier’s performance in perspective, just 0.353 seconds separated Brosnan from fourth place Loic Bruni.
You can watch Vergier’s full run on his Instagram page. The man is FAST, and anxious for more now that he has notched his first big win of the season.
Vali Höll leads gold medal youth movement
Even though she’s just 19 years old, Vali Höll should need no introduction. She is one of the fastest downhill riders in the world at any age, a point she emphasized by winning the women’s pro race by more than two seconds over second place Nina Hoffmann.
Like Vergier, Höll was searching for a bit of redemption in Austria. In Leogang, she took silver after falling near the end of what looked like a gold medal run. On a VERY fast track, the Austrian rider delivered for the home crowd and grabbed her first win of the year.
Höll headlined a banner weekend for the RockShox Trek Race Team. She also took third in the dual slalom event earlier in the week. And her teammate, Tegan Cruz, won two gold medals in U17 downhill and dual slalom as one of the youngest riders at the entire competition. (Notably, he was also one of Crankworx’s most sleeveless riders.)
Finally, Fox Racing’s Jackson Goldstone added to his silver medal in the junior event in Leogang with a U19 gold in Innsbruck. The former Crankworx Rotorua Whip-Off champ is just 17 years old. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to what he can do.
Casey Brown lights up whip-off and dual slalom
Crankworx is made for Casey Brown, and the former Queen of Crankworx once again put on a show, taking home silver medals in the dual slalom and whip-off.
In the dual slalom, Brown missed out on gold by just 0.349 seconds over the course of two runs to Australian Harriet Burbidge-Smith. In the whip-off, she was edged out by Robin Goomes.
No Crankworx recap would be complete without mentioning Trek Factory Racing’s very own high-flying bird, Kade Edwards. He took ninth in the men’s dual slalom, and sixth in the speed and style. More importantly, he also had one of the biggest sends of Crankworx (albeit with a rough landing) on his way to a bronze medal.
With that, Crankworx had a bit of everything for everyone — great racing, great spectacle, and a joyous atmosphere for the return of one of mountain biking’s best events.