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Cranworx gets Rob Warner commentating and a new 1199 DH award

New tribute to Stevie Smith brings CWT downhill prize money to $130,000

Testing Whistler's 1199 track Photo by: Chris Pilling

Crankworx made two big announcements today. First, iconic mountain bike commentator Rob Warner will join Eliot Jackson in the booth for the Crankwrox World Tour this season as one part of a plan for better downhill coverage at the series. Second, the new 1199 Award, a tribute to late Canadian racer Stevie Smith, adds a $10,000 incentive to the Crankworx downhill series.

1199 Award pays tribute to Stevie Smith

Crankworx’ roots are in Whistler, so it is fitting that the now-global series would give credit to Stevie Smith as it looks to take its downhill series to the next level. After all, Smith is responsible for elevating Canadian downhill, with his World Cup overall title starting a chain reaction that has led to much of the country’s recent success internationally.

The 1199 Award will give $10,000 to the first elite man or woman to accumulate more than 1199 points in a single season of Crankworx downhill events. The name, and marker, is a reference to Smith’s winning points total from his groundbreaking 2013 World Cup overall title. If no rider surpasses 1199 points, the prize money will roll over to the next season, increasing the pot until someone succeeds in winning The 1199.

Racers will have four chances to earn points with one downhill at each of the four Crankworx World Tour stops. Added to the existing awards, The 1199 brings Crankworx total DH prize money to $130,000 across elite men and women.

Testing 1199 track in whister
Riders testing the 1199 track in Whistler. Photo: Chris Pilling

1199’s first DH race

With the new title on the line, this year’s Crankworx World Tour DH calendar will build towards a very special finale. The final downhill event in the 2023 CWT will be the first downhill race held on the new 1199 track in Whistler Bike Park. While the Enduro World Series (now Enduro World Cup) christened the upper part of the track last year, launching several Canadians onto the podium, 2023 will be the first downhill event and first race on the full course. Whistler’s 1199 track is also, of course, a tribute to Smith’s ’13 World Cup title.

Rob Warner and Finn Iles relax in a hot spring in Colombia
Rob Warner and Finn Iles relax while filming Warner’s web series back in 2019. Photo: Max Goldzweig

Rob Warner and Eliot Jackson join Crankworx

The other big news for Crankworx racing will be the presence of iconic downhill commentator Rob Warner, who will join Eliot Jackson in the booth this year.

The duo’s move from World Cup to Crankworx DH commentating is just part of Crankworx’s effort to step up its downhill series. Crankworx will broadcast all four downhill races live on Red Bull TV for the first time this year (along with continued coverage of other events). Along with Warner and Jackson, CWT is upping the coverage with more cameras and the 1199 Award.

“Crankworx is all about creating the ultimate experience in mountain biking,” says Darren Kinnaird, Managing Director of Crankworx. “With that in mind, we have re-imagined what Crankworx Downhill is for 2023. We’ve got the opportunity to bring some of the world’s best to race in these amazing locations. We’ve got a dream team in the booth, elevated coverage, and a unique new award for athletes to chase in the 1199 Award. We hope that fans will have as much fun, whether they are trackside or watching on Red Bull TV, as the athletes who come to compete at Crankworx do. We are stoked with what we have planned for DH in 2023.”

2023 Crankworx World Tour starts March 18 in Rotorua, New Zealand.