April 29, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Cairns will host a new stop on the Crankworx World Tour mountain biking event, which started in Canada in 2004 and has grown to deliver a four stop series, with Cairns now in the mix.

The Australian leg will take place at Smithfield Mountain Bike Park, which has previously hosted several international mountain biking events, including three in the last decade.

The Crankworx event, which also takes place in Whistler, Canada, Innsbruck, Austria and Rotorua in New Zealand, is expected to bring 1,200 athletes, 220 volunteers and 34,000 spectators to the event in early October. It will also generate millions of dollars in publicity for the destination, with a quarter of the footage to be televised around the world for the event to be dedicated to promoting the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region.

Crankworx organisers have been working with Australian stakeholders on bringing the event to Cairns since 2018.

“The collaboration among stakeholders including Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Cairns Regional Council, AusCycling, Yirrigandji Traditional Owners, James Cook University and Cairns Mountain Bike Club has been crucial to bringing Crankworx to Cairns,” said Crankworx World Tour Managing Director Darren Kinnaird.

“Crankworx Cairns will give our athletes an additional fourth competitive stop and will bring the ultimate mountain biking experience to our fans in Australia while showcasing the Wet Tropics Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef to mountain biking fans around the world.”

Queensland’s Assistant Tourism Minister and the local member for Cairns Michael Healy said the event would coincide with a marketing push to bring international visitors back to the region following the near two-year border closure prompted by the pandemic.

“We’re at the start of a golden decade of opportunity ahead of Queensland’s 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Healy.

“Events like Crankworx Cairns demonstrate our region’s ability to host world-class events and remind international audiences of our stunning visitor attractions and experiences.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen confirmed the event would be held in Cairns for the next two years, although other stops added to the world tour series have remained fixtures for significantly longer, suggesting there may be opportunity for a longer hosting opportunity if things go well.

“This prestigious mountain biking event will be held in Cairns for the next two years positioning the region as an iconic mountain biking and adventure tourism destination and cementing its reputation for hosting international sporting events alongside a stunning reef and rainforest backdrop,” Olsen said.

“In addition to an anticipated 31,000 bed nights for our region, Crankworx will deliver a worldwide audience with the global eyeballs on Cairns further driven by a partnership with Red Bull Media House to broadcast five live finals globally and a post event 60-minute telecast to 17.8 million viewers.”

The event has received funding from the federal government’s Recovery for Regional Tourism program, administered by Austrade.