Crankworx and FMBA Launch Slopestyle World Championship
Unified series now represents the pinnacle of Slopestyle mountain biking
The sport of Slopestyle mountain biking is entering a new era. The Crankworx World Tour and the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) are excited to be launching into the 2018 season in unison. Starting this year there will now be one elite-level series of Slopestyle mountain biking events.
The Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) will replace the FMB Diamond Series and the Crankworx Slopestyle World Tour. SWC events on the Crankworx World Tour will represent the pinnacle of the sport.
“We were running two separate elite series’, and eventually had to ask ourselves, ‘Why?’” says Crankworx World Tour General Manager Darren Kinnaird. “Both Crankworx and the FMBA are integral to the sport, but when it comes to how we recognize the athletes that are competing at the highest level, it makes sense to have one elite-level championship series. Having the SWC will make it easier for fans to follow along and be more logical for our athletes who are competing on the FMB World Tour circuit on the hunt for a coveted spot to compete on the sport’s biggest stage at Crankworx.”
The FMBA as the governing body of the sport will continue to operate the FMB World Tour, a classification system of events comprised of Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond level events, and produce the FMB World Ranking through which young talent can break in and rise up to the SWC. In order to ensure riders can make the leap, the FMBA has remodeled the points system for Gold and Silver events, awarding more points at these contests.
“I think having Crankworx and the FMBA working side-by-side will really progress the sport,” says Tarek Rasouli, President of the FMBA. “Crankworx Whistler was one of the main reasons we created the FMB World Tour back in the day and we’ve been partners for a long time now. We recognized though that having two separate series’ rankings complicated things on multiple levels. It felt natural to sit down together and work in unity from now on.”
Overall, more than $200,000 USD will be awarded throughout the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship season, with the Slopestyle World Champion claiming his crown at the end of the season at Red Bull Joyride in Whistler, Canada. Meanwhile, the mystique of the Triple Crown of Slopestyle lives on - Crankworx will continue to offer an additional $25,000 prize to any athlete who can win three out of four Crankworx Slopestyle competitions in one season.
14 spots will now be up for grabs for SWC events. The top six riders according to the SWC Standings from the previous year automatically qualify for all SWC events. This year the top six riders from last year’s FMB Diamond Series will automatically qualify for the SWC’s premiere season. These six pre-qualified athletes will be joined by the next best six riders according to the FMB World Ranking six weeks before an SWC event. The two final spots will be awarded to FMB Wildcard entries who can win their spot on the start list by competing at designated FMB Gold events taking place before an SWC event. Additionally, winners of Red Bull Joyride, Slopestyle’s ultimate event, will be granted lifetime entry to SWC events.
The six riders who pre-qualify for the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship in 2018 are:
Emil Johansson (SWE)
Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)
Szymon Godziek (POL)
Ryan Nyquist (USA)
Brett Rheeder (CAN)
Diego Caverzasi (ITA)
“Crankworx and the FMBA creating one overall title doesn’t only simplify the sport for fans but also legitimizes and builds it in the direction we need,” says Brett Rheeder, one of the sport’s most decorated competitors. “My greater goal as an athlete in the sport is to push mountain bike Slopestyle to the Olympics. I feel that with the progressive riding level, event coverage and now with Crankworx and the FMBA working together, it will help get the attention the sport needs in order to do so.”
The FMB World Tour is heading into its ninth season. A preliminary FMB World Tour Event Calendar covering the rest of the 2018 season is expected to be released soon.
The first Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship event of the season will be the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in New Zealand.