Two weeks spent in Leogang was an amazing way to begin our European adventure. After the deeply intense two weeks it was very nice to get some time to hangout and ride in a more chilled out environment. The drive through the Austrian Alps was amazing, from what I can remember I fell asleep for quite a lot of it… that being said, still beautiful :) Upon arrival in Innsbruck we drove up to Mutters, which was where the Crankworx event was being held. It was a smaller town right above the city in which the main bike park lived!
We had some accommodation troubles at first but got it sorted quickly. No huge deals, just some confusion and poor planning. We ended up staying right on the hill which was actually quite great. Rideable distance, although in the mornings I would get my dad to drive me as it was quite a large hill going up! The second day around, we went into the actual city of Innsbruck itself. Boy it was way bigger than I had expected! Way more significant than I would have imagined. The history that is held in those streets is quite immense. Definitely one of the cooler cities I have ever been to. We had our fair share of “touristy” moments along the way.
Riding in Innsbruck was so much fun. Crankworx had a more chill atmosphere. Everyone was tired from the worldcup, and with other disciplined riders there it made for an extremely fun event. At this point I was getting to know a lot more of the boys as well. I made some really cool buddies from all around the world. It’s amazing how a sport can bring people together. The first event of the week was the whip-off. The whip-off is where over 40 of some of the best riders launch off a massive jump and try to get extremely sideways. Honestly, it was quite scary at first. The location of this event is so special. This jump sits on the side of the mountain, at the top of the gondola, with the alps in the background, and about 20 meters from a beautiful lake. The photos taken from this event were incredible, and I will attach some below. It was in the evening and the lighting was absolutely amazing. This was a highlight of my trip for sure!
After the whip-off, I had a few days to ride for fun, and train on the race track for the crankworx DH. I decided to attend a couple of events that were very entertaining. I cheered on my buddies and found myself “fanboying” over some of the pro riders on occasion too. Was awesome to see some friends competing in these events alongside the pros. Everybody killed it!
Come race weekend, it was HOT!! We would have to do a lap or two, then go hideout in someone's van, or wherever there was AC… This made for some dusty conditions on track as well, which is different then what we are used to back home. I really enjoy riding in dusty conditions, although sometimes I find myself hesitant as I am more unfamiliar riding in these circumstances. Anyway! Come race day I was feeling very good. I really enjoyed this race course and boy was it fast. Everything was going smooth! And my race run went smooth. There were a few key mistakes I made, but it was a decent run. Very happy to complete my first race in almost two years. This slotted me into 8th out of around 40 riders! I wanted more though. The field is deep, and there is no lack of strong riders. Overall it was an amazing week. Between the sightseeing, jumping, and racing, it was a time to remember. I will definitely be back, Crankworx Innsbruck!