Great news for those of you who love the Portes du Soleil Bike Parks – Crankworx have confirmed the European leg of the world-famous bike festival is coming to Les Gets for the 2016, ’17 and ’18 seasons…and if that wasn’t enough the Criterium du Dauphiné is also rumoured to be featuring a stage in the town too…
Crankworx has been around almost as long as mountain biking itself; with the first iterations of the competition coming into being alongside the opening of the Whistler Bike Park in Canada back in 1998. The festival as it stands today formed for the 2003 season, when Paul ‘Bas’ Basagoitia famously borrowed a bike to win the first ever Crankworx Slopestyle contest.
When the European leg of the festival launched in 2012, Les Deux Alpes (L2A) was picked as the resort of choice, based on its large open terrain, established mountain bike park and buzzing Summer scene. Having played host to 4 legs of the festival in 2012, ’13, ’14 and ’15, L2A’s contract has come to an end, meaning exciting times ahead for the Portes du Soleil.
Being the biggest mountain bike festival series in the world, Crankworx pulls some serious numbers. Over the week you can expect to see as many as 300 of mountain biking’s top male and female athletes descend on the town for events including the downhill, Air DH, dual slalom, whip-offs, and – arguably the highlight of the event – the Red Bull Joyride slopestyle competition. All this action pulls in thousands of riders from across the world, not to mention many more on the various event live streams.
It’s been a few years since the PdS featured a major international biking event, after the Chatel Mountain Style – one of the toughest events on the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour – ceded relevance to the rejuvenated Red Bull Rampage in Utah.
That said, many of the world’s top riders still treat the area as an ideal hub for their Northern Hemisphere season, with the resort’s various bike parks providing more trails than just about anywhere else in the world; so it’s high time the circus came back into town. It’s been over a decade since the MTB DH World Cup featured a stage in Les Gets; however with the huge amount of recent investment in the resort and the wide range of accommodation and riding facilities – not to mention ease of access – Les Gets looks set to deliver quite the show…
The Criterium du Dauphiné road race is yet to be confirmed, however with the Tour de France (and Etape du Tour) already coming to Morzine, Summer 2016 is looking to be one hell of a season for the Portes du Soleil!