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World’s top mountain biking event comes to Cairns

Crankworx, the world’s most watched mountain bike event, has announced that Cairns will be added to its World Tour in 2022 and will be held for the next two years at Smithfield’s high-profile rainforest trails.

Smithfield Mountain Bike Park will become the fourth stop for the 2022 Crankworx World Tour bringing 1200 athletes, 220 volunteers and an expected 34,000 spectators across the five days to Crankworx Cairns on October 5-9.

The mountain bike park which boasts trails through the world’s oldest rainforest hosted three international mountain bike events between 2014 and 2017.

Crankworx World Tour Managing Director Darren Kinnaird said their team had been working with Cairns stakeholders since 2018 to bring the event to Australia.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“The Crankworx festival will feature elite competition, amateur and our CWNEXT next generation racing, Kidsworx events plus a vibrant expo and festival vibe to bring mountain bike and action sports fans together to experience Aussie hospitality at its finest.”

Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said Crankworx Cairns would bring even more global exposure to Tropical North Queensland.

“The 2022 Crankworx World Tour coincides with our comprehensive overseas campaign to bring international visitors back to the Tropical North after Covid,” Mr Healy said.

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

“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.”

Cairns Regional Councillor Rhonda Coghlan said the inclusion of Cairns on the Crankworx World Tour was another string in the bow for the city’s growing reputation as a premier sports destination.

“To be part of arguably the world’s biggest mountain bike tour underlines the region’s reputation for putting on world-class sporting events,” Cr James said.

“Cairns has a long association with mountain biking, with the iconic Smithfield Mountain Bike Park, set in a spectacular rainforest environment, having hosted four international events dating back to 1996.

“The prospect of watching some of the world’s best mountain bike exponents in action later this year is quite exciting and there is no doubt that with the calibre of athlete on show, this event will attract thousands of people to our city and contribute significantly to our economy.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said one-quarter of the footage to be televised across the world will be devoted to showcasing Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to encourage visitation resulting in millions of dollars in publicity.

“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,” he 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.”

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government, under the Recovery for Regional Tourism program administered by Austrade.

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About the Crankworx World Tour
Crankworx is the ultimate experience in mountain biking. Born in Whistler, B.C. in 2004, Crankworx has evolved into a multi-stop international festival series. The Crankworx World Tour brings together the best mountain bike athletes to compete in elite-level competitions in a variety of disciplines. Crankworx World Tour festivals also host races for amateurs, CWNEXT categories for next gen athletes, Kidsworx contests for young riders, participatory events and celebrations of mountain bike culture, all while showcasing amazing destinations. For additional information, visit

The full 2022 Crankworx World Tour is:

  • June 15-19: Crankworx Innsbruck
  • August 5-14: Crankworx Whistler
  • October 5-9: Crankworx Cairns
  • November 5-13: Crankworx Rotorua

Cairns local and Crankworx World Tour athlete Mick Hannah
“I can’t even express how exciting it is to have Crankworx coming to Cairns! I was asked about what could be done to get more World Cups to Cairns a few years ago and I said it would be a better fit for Cairns to host Crankworx. Crankworx has such a fun atmosphere with riders from all over the world as well as all levels and ages of riders. Cairns is a holiday destination where people come to let their hair down and enjoy new experiences in a tropical paradise. Crankworx is a festival that embodies the mountain biking culture that is so strong in Tropical North Queensland. Cairns has hosted international mountain biking events since the early 90s and has always been one of the places to challenge the limits of what can be done on a bicycle. Back then what we now know as freeride was just mountain biking in Cairns and now we have the highest level of freeride coming to Cairns. I’m so thankful for the life that mountain biking has afforded me and to have my favourite mountain biking festival come to the place where that dream became reality is just awesome! I can’t wait!”