Crankworx World Tour is just past the half-way point but Emil Johansson’s already made it a year for the record books. The Swedish slopestyle sensation won Crankworx Cairns’ slopstyle event. It’s a record-tying 11th Crankworx slopestyle event for Johansson. That brings the 23-year-old level with Canadian freeride legend, Brandon Semenuk.
“Semenuk is a phenomenal rider, he is one of the most influential riders in the legacy of our sport,” Johansson said of matching the 11-win record. “Growing up looking up to him and many other riders thinking that one day I would be in the same position as they were with the medal count for Crankworx, it’s too big to grasp, honestly. It’s a big accomplishment for me.”
The win in Cairns was also a moment of redemption for Johansson. In 2022, the Trek rider crashed during his first competition run in Cairns. That sidelined him from the competition, ending his multi-year Crankworx win streak.
“Last year I didn’t really get to do what I was looking to do here, it’s definitely been haunting me a bit ever since,” Johansson admitted in Cairns. “So, to be able to put a run down, despite struggling with the weather conditions with the sun and stuff, feels awesome!”
Johansson narrowly beat Poland’s Dawid Godziek, with a best-run score of 91.50 for the Swede versus Godziek’s 90.25. After a high-scoring first run all but guaranteed Godziek a podium finish, he pulled out the big guns in an attempt to best the dominant Johansson with a world’s-first attempt. The 28-year-old came close, but couldn’t quite hold on to his second-run attempt at a cash-roll (360 front flip) windshield wiper (tail-whip to tail whip back). Despite the fall, Godziek was content with his Cairns performance.
“Couldn’t be more stoked to almost stomp both runs, super stoked to try the world’s first on the last run. I tried it a few times at home and it looked like it was ready to go to contest, but it is a different situation at the contest when you go to the last jump and your legs are super tired and you can’t even pedal to get the speed.”
France’s Tim Bringer threw a massive double backflip over the on-off box on his way to securing the final podium position in third.
Canada’s Griffin Paulson and Ben Thompson finished 11th and 13th, respectively in the Crankworx Cairns slopestyle. Paulson scored 60.25 on his second run while Thompson’s 43.75 on his first run would be his highest score.