smithfield mountain bike park

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The ultimate guide to Crankworx Cairns

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TNQ Writer

The inaugural Cairns stop on the Crankworx World Tour is almost here. While the dirt is still getting turned and sculpted in the rainforest, we’re here to help you get prepared for the ultimate five-day bike festival and understand the ins and outs for all things Crankworx.

It’s been several years since we’ve played host to a major world series mountain bike event, but we’re no strangers to it. Like the Mountain Bike World Champs in 2017, it’s all going down at Smithfield MTB Park, situated right behind James Cook University.

Flow explore Tropical North Queensland prior to Crankworx

What makes the Cairns venue so unique is the way the team from World Trail have carefully designed the courses to sit within the canopy, using the natural gradient on offer, and finishing all courses into the same area, bringing the action right into the event village.

Crankworx have five action-packed days planned out, with the world’s best athletes on show, training and racing all day long. From the time the venue opens, there’ll be plenty to see and do. The mornings and early afternoons are often used for respective training sessions; done so at a slightly more leisurely pace, but all building up to the main events in the evenings.

Watch the action at Smithfield Mountain Bike Park

For those joining us for full days, bring your walking shoes, as a lot of the courses will have spectator access allowing you to walk up the sides of the tracks and see more of the action.

For those who can’t join us here, all the best bits are going to be streamed across the world live on RedBull TV.

The Schedule

Wednesday 5th October:
4:30 pm – 5:45 pm – Trek Official Australian Whip-Off Championships presented by POC

Thursday 6th October:
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Speed & Style Cairns – (Round of 32 & Round of 16)
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm – Speed & Style Cairns – Finals (live)

Friday 7th October:
10:30 am – 12:30 pm – Crankworx Cairns Downhill – Group B Finals
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Crankworx Cairns Downhill – Group A Finals
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm – Crankworx Cairns Downhill – Elite Finals (live)

Saturday 8th October:
9:00 am – 11:00 am – Crankworx Cairns Slopestyle – Training
11:00 am – 1:30 pm – Crankworx Cairns Slopestyle – Finals (live)
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Crankworx Cairns Pump Track Challenge – (Round of 32 & Round of 16)
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Crankworx Cairns Pump Track Challenge – Finals (live)

Sunday 9th October:
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Specialised Dual Slalom Cairns – (Round of 32 & Round of 16)
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – Specialised Dual Slalom Cairns – Finals (live)


Tracey Hannah & Glen Jacobs

Part of what makes Crankworx so unique is how the festival combines multiple different events and genres into one good time, bringing with it some of the world’s best athletes from across the board whom you’d not often find in the same place at once.

While there’ll be many to watch, Cairns’ favourite home time hero’s, Mick and Tracey Hannah will be back in action on home soil, battling it out with the likes of Sam Hill in the Downhill, and Dani Beecroft in the Dual Slalom.

To find out more on who’s coming and when to see them in action, the full rider lists can be found here.


There’s going to be a whole host of things to see and do within the festival over the week, from seeing the latest tech in the expo zone, to athlete signings and demo rides. Expect to see a full selection of food and hydration options on site as well.

The fun doesn’t end here though, and our top tip for Crankworx is finding the balance. Make time to ride, and blend the experiences the region has on offer with the festival.

While there will be some trail closures in place, many others will still be open within Smithfield, or make the journey over to the Atherton Tablelands. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is only just around the corner, and is too unique to miss, or make a day and head out to the Great Barrier Reef.

Quench your thirst at Hemingway's Brewery

It’s going to be hot, so make sure to stay hydrated. While there won’t be breweries on site, there’s plenty on offer within Cairns, and are definitely worth a visit. A great guide to our breweries can be found here.

And what would a tropical mountain bike experience be without cooling off in a swimming hole. Cairns is peppered with swimming holes and waterfalls, with many trails leading right to them.

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