Photos by Anthony Smith and Bruno Long
Words by Brice Minnigh
The fifth-annual Crankworx Whistler Whip-Off World Champs went down on Thursday, attracting the biggest-ever crowd of spectators and the most talent-stacked field of riders in the contest’s short history.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights:
Not only is Cam McCaul one of the world’s most influential mountain bikers, he’s also becoming one of the world’s most entertaining mountain-bike commentators. And with Andrew ‘Needles’ Neethling by his side, there was little chance that the Whip-Off World Champs would not be done justice. Photo by Anthony Smith.
Over the past several years, Andreu Lacondeguy has proven that he is one of the planet’s most versatile mountain bikers. With a background in everything from BMX to dirt jumping to downhill and big-mountain riding, he can turn up to almost any contest and be a podium threat. And the most recent Red Bull Rampage champion once again showed his ability to impress a crowd, winning the 2015 Whip-Off World Champs with style. Photo by Anthony Smith.
Now in its fifth year, the Crankworx Whistler Whip-Off Worlds have become an institution in their own right, and each year the crowd of rowdy fans gets bigger and wilder. For Thursday’s contest, there were easily a couple thousand spectators, a few hundred bikes, dozens of horns and a whole lot of stoke. Photo by Bruno Long.
Dark horse contestant Dennis Langenstam qualified in first for the Whip-Offs earlier this week and was definitely a crowd favorite on Thursday. But with the tight competition in Thursday’s finals, his performance only earned him an honorable mention. Photo by Bruno Long.
For many riders, the Whip-Off Worlds are a glorified excuse to jump on the Crazy Train with your friends. And for standard bearers like Kurt Sorge and Geoff Gulevich, they can be treated as a warm-up to home-grown events such as Sorge’s upcoming Hoff Fest. Photo by Bruno Long.
Tyler ‘T-Mac’ McCaul is both a style master and a previous Whip-Off Worlds winner, but on Thursday he only managed a fifth-place finish—which is, in itself, clear evidence of how tight the competition was this year. Photo by Bruno Long.
When you enter the Whip-Off Worlds on a klunker, as did Lars Sternberg, you’re no longer required to get sideways—just hanging on and surviving is enough to drive the crowd mad. Photo by Anthony Smith.
In contrast with previous years, when there were only one or two women competing in the Whip-Off Worlds, this year there were several female competitors—and the Crabapple Hits aren’t getting any smaller. For the third year in a row, Casey Brown took top honors for getting the most sideways. Photo by Bruno Long.
The founder of the Whip-Off Worlds, photographer Sven Martin, isn’t scared to stand in the middle of the jump to make sure he retains the proper vantage point for judging a whip. And Thursday’s winner, Andreu Lacondeguy, isn’t scared to give Sven a flat top. Photo by Anthony Smith.