Over the festival’s 15 year history, Crankworx has been witness to a long list of historic moments. New tricks, new events and all manner of high speed racing. While the festival continues to push the envelope for the limits of whats possible on a bike, its also helped drive several milestones in women’s mountain biking.

Shifting Perceptions is a new, three part video series looking at what’s changing for women in mountain biking, who the athletes are who helped drive these changes, and what’s next for the sport.

Part One, Spark to Flame looks at where the sport came from and how it got to where it is today.

Featuring Jill Kintner, Anneke Beerten, Claire Buchar, Georgia Astle, Kialani Hines, Vaea Verbeeck, Casey Brown and Miranda Miller, the series starts off by meeting some of the women who’ve helped drive this change in mountain biking.

Claire Buchar / Fraser Britton
Claire Buchar racing the 2018 Crankworx Whistler Garbanzo DH. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx 2018

“We’re not trying to be, like, ‘we’re special’ or anything like that,” says  Whistler’s Claire Buchar, the proud owner of dozens of hard-earned medals and trophies from Crankworx, World Cup races and National Champs. “We’re part of the scene. I think the end goal is just to be a part of mountain biking, whether you’re a guy or a girl.”

Casey Brown Fraser Britton / Crankworx
Revelstoke’s Casey Brown in the Whip-Off event. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx

“The women who compete at Crankworx are awe-inspiring athletes, full stop,” says Crankworx General Manager Darren Kinnaird, adding “We want people to view them as the heroes they are. Female mountain bikers are amazing riders. That’s all it needs to be about.”

Crankworx has been part of this change, providing a venue for these incredible athletes to compete. In 2015, the Crankworx World Tour was one of the early proponents of equal prize money for men and women. The series backed up its financial commitment with the more public move to put women and men together on all Crankworx podiums.

RELATED: Shifting Perceptions looks to the arriving generation of female racers

Tune in soon for See it to Believe it, the second installment of Shifting Percetions. Featuring Canadian world champion Miranda Miller and national champion Vaea Verbeeck as well as American rising talent Kialani Hines, See it to Believe it will look at what drives these athletes to succeed through the highs and lows of sport.

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