It’s that time of year again. Freeride fans have started crossing the days off their calendars and stocking their fridges with enough beer to make their loved ones think they’ve got a serious problem. Red Bull Joyride is approaching.
That’s right, this Saturday is the one we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the pinnacle of the Crankworx Whistler showcase and a course where names are made and precedents set.
A wise man once said, “It’s not a major event until there’s been a streaker.” He was probably wrong, So, just in case you’re not already excited – which could only mean you’ve been slacking on beer duties – we’ve put together a list of the 10 best bits from the 10 years of slopestyle at Crankworx so far.
but Crankworx even had that box ticked by 2009.
These videos will take you on a journey through time…
2004: Paul Basagoitia Borrows A Mate’s Bike And Takes Home The Opener
As a BMX freestyler, Paul Basagoitia didn’t have a lot of experience coming into the first slopestyle comp at Crankworx. The rider didn’t even have his own mountain bike. But one of his mates did.
After securing a lend of the bike, Basagoitia went on to slam a sick run and win the event. Roll on the endless sponsorship phone calls…
2005: Darren Berrecloth’s 360 Heard ‘Round The World’
The second slopestyle comp at Crankworx was defined by one moment: Darren ‘Bearclaw’ Berrecloth pulling a 360 off the ladder bridge, over a 60ft gap, and landing it perfectly.
Watch the video above… the crowd loved it. This hit new ground.
2006: The Invitational Slopestyle Turns Open
…And Cam Zink stomps it. His trick of the day? A backflip X–up one-footer. Pretty sick stuff.
This was also the year the Lacondeguy brothers came to the fore – and they’d end up making quite an impact on Crankworx history… (see 2008).
2007: 16 Year Old Semenuk Steps Up To The Podium
You would think that after hitting a 360 off the 22ft Jumbotron, Ben Boyko would be the talk of the day at the 2007 Slopestyle. He did win it, but another rider stole the show.
That would be Whistler local Brandon Semenuk, who at 16 years old beat off a field of experienced pros to take third place on the day. He would earn a spot on the Red Bull team as congratulations.
2008: Andreu Lacondeguy Pulls The First Ever Mountain Bike Double Backflip In Competition
Crankwork’s Slopestyle is known as ‘The Boneyard’ because a hell of a lot of riders break their bones there trying new tricks. When they actually pull the tricks off though, it can get pretty special.
In 2008 Andreu Lacondeguy made head turns with the first ever double backflip seen in mountain bike competition. This would also be the year Crankworx became the first freeride comp streamed worldwide – and Andreu sure made it worth a viewing.
2009: Crankworx Slopestyle Gets Its First Streaker
A wise man once said, “It’s not a major event until there’s been a streaker on the course.”
That man was probably wrong, but Crankworx even had that box ticked by 2009, when this guy ran the length of the course naked and the jumbotron captured every little bit of it on the big screen. Every little bit.
2010: Cam Zink’s Ultimate Comeback Story
This is one of the truly great stories not only from Crankworx, but from around the sporting world.
After winning the event in 2006, Cam went through all sorts of injuries, having two knee surgeries and an abundance of other issues. In 2010 he fought back to his best to reclaim his title.
A true comeback tale. Check out the sweet feature on his 2010 win above.
2011: Red Bull Take The Reigns And The Local Boys Run Rampant
2011 was the birth of Red Bull Joyride and the year that the Canadian locals refused to let anyone share their limelight.
Whistler’s Brandon Semenuk took the win again while B.C born Anthony Messere, who is currently leading the Diamond Series, became the youngest rider to ever hit the podium at just 15 years old.
When we were 15 we were still trying to work out who the hell Pythagoras was and how to throw a paper aeroplane the length of a classroom. The latter we learned at the expense of the former.
2012: The Unknown Belgian Steals The Show
Every year the show seems to get bigger and better, and one of the main selling points is that there is always plenty room for a surprise.
Two years ago, this proved true as a virtual unknown Belgian rider Thomas Genon won the event and was duly signed up to the Red Bull ranks. He’s still growing on the MTB slopestyle circuit now.
2013: Record Scores And Record Turn Outs
Last year saw the Slopestyle rack up a Whister record turn out as more than 25,000 people turned out in the Canadian setting.
What did they get to watch? Rather fittingly, a record high score from Brandon Semenuk as the local lad claimed his second title.
Super Swede Martin Söderström would take second and Sam Pilgrim hit third. Who knows what wonder lays ahead this weekend as the 2014 edition of the historic event draws close…