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KOKANEE CRANKWORX 2007

New events, Block Party, live webcast drawing card for festival

WHISTLER, BC, July 31, 2007 – Nine days of adrenaline, action and entertainment have come to an end, but Kokanee Crankworx 2007 will definitely be an event to remember. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park smashed rider records; the first ever WomenzWorx gave new credibility to women’s riding; TELUS and Rip.TV hosted Whistler’s first ever live webcast of the Kokanee Slopestyle finals; and riders displayed a spectacular array of talent.

“This Kokanee Crankworx was the most successful yet,” says Jeremy Roche, General Manger of Kokanee Crankworx. “With excellent musical acts from all over the region, incredibly talented athletes from across the globe and exciting events, the festival has grown from a grassroots gathering to a world-class event in only a few short years.”

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park hit all-time records, with the most ever riders in one day (2,197), three consecutive days of 2,000-plus riders, and most riders in the bike park in one week (12,383). A total of 14,495 riders hit the bike park during the festival, which ran from July 21 to July 29.

WomenzWorx debuted this year with discounted women’s riding clinics, free bike park lift ticket give-aways, and The Gala, a girl’s only freeride competition. A total of 90 ladies attended Women’s Wednesday during Kokanee Crankworx – breaking previous turn-out for the weekly girl’s only riding clinic that includes bike and armour rental, instruction, and après. Next year’s WomenzWorx promises to be even bigger and better.

The TELUS Dual Slalom and Canadian Open DH Competition also debuted during the mountain bike festival. Crowds filled the sidelines as they watched the dust fly during the fast-paced head-to-head competition during the TELUS Dual Slalom. Meanwhile, the Canadian Open DH event drew racers from all over North America. Due to their popularity, both events are expected to return next year.

The Kokanee Crankworx Block Party, which took place on the evening of Day 6, featured live music, parties at three venues, and a special premier of a new mountain bike movie, Have You Seen It? Hundreds gathered in Skier’s Plaza and on the patios to watch the movie.

The Kokanee Slopestyle final, the festival’s marquee event, attracted a crowd of approximately 20,000 to Whistler Village to watch the action on the sidelines and the Jumbotron screen. Meanwhile, Rip.TV and TELUS produced Whistler’s first ever live webcast of an action sport. In total, there were more than 5,000 unique requests for the webcast on Saturday, July 28, with a total of 130, 014 listening minutes. Viewers spent an average of 25:59 minutes watching winner Ben Boyko and the other finalists huck backflips, 360s, tailwhips and suicide drops off challenging features, including the 22-foot Jumbotron Drop.

Saturday’s events were a thrill, impressing even veteran athletes.

“This year’s Kokanee Slopestyle competition was amazing because there were three young Whistler guys who were only just getting noticed in 2006. But, this year, Alex Pro (Prochazka), Brandon Semenuk and Kyle MacDonald were all major contenders,” said Richie Schley, a Whistler pro mountain biker who co-hosted the Kokanee Slopestyle Finals. “They were right in there with all the veterans, throwing down just as gnarly tricks. It was really great to see our young guys do so well in the competition. Brandon walked away with third place, Alex with sixth place and Kyle in eighth place.”

Whistler athletes came out in full force and more than 13 finished in third place or higher in the events.

A quick glance at the start lists shows the international attention Kokanee Crankworx has attracted. There were riders from South Africa, Spain, Andorra, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States, Switzerland, Brazil, Germany and Canada. It’s clear that this event is gathering steam every year.

An economic impact study conducted in 2006 by the Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association found that the Whistler Mountain Bike Park is the most visited mountain bike park in North America and that Kokanee Crankworx continues to grow, with 23,000 visitors traveling to Whistler solely to attend the festival in 2006.

“The 2007 Kokanee Crankworx festival marks a real coming of age for mountain biking on the international stage,” says Ian Dunn, Director of Marketing for Tourism Whistler. “We are at the forefront of an industry that has great growth potential and the success of this festival reflects Whistler’s world-wide leadership as a mountain bike destination.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIAI_lC6jxc

“This year’s Kokanee Slopestyle competition was amazing because there were three young Whistler guys who were only just getting noticed in 2006. But, this year, Alex Pro (Prochazka), Brandon Semenuk and Kyle MacDonald were all major contenders,” said Richie Schley, a Whistler pro mountain biker who co-hosted the Kokanee Slopestyle Finals. “They were right in there with all the veterans, throwing down just as gnarly tricks. It was really great to see our young guys do so well in the competition. Brandon walked away with third place, Alex with sixth place and Kyle in eighth place.”

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