After five years in the making, the world’s most watched mountain bike event is coming to Cairns.

Smithfield Mountain Bike Park has been named as the fourth stop for the 2022 Crankworx World Tour, which will also be visiting Innsbruck, Whistler and Rotorua.

The October event is expected to draw 34,000 spectators across five days, along with 220 volunteers and 1,200 athletes, including a very excited local rider Mick Hannah.

“Crankworx has such a fun atmosphere with riders from all over the world as well as all levels and ages of riders,” Mick said.

“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.”


The mountain bike park, which boasts trails through the world’s oldest rainforest, has been hosting World UCI Mountain Bike Championships since 2014.

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

“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,” he said.

“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.”

The fun-filled festival has been locked in for two years.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said along with drawing visitors to the region directly, it will also showcase Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to the world.

He said a quarter of the event footage to be televised globally will be devoted to showcasing what the region has to offer.


“This will be 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,” he said.

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government under Austrade’s Recovery for Regional Tourism program, an initiative of the $1-billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.

Collaborators also include Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Cairns Regional Council, AusCycling, Yirrigandji Traditional Owners, James Cook University and Cairns Mountain Bike Club.

The 2022 Crankworx World Tour schedule now includes:

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

More information can be found on the Crankworx website.

The Cairns announcement follows a push for upgrades to the Smithfield Mountain Bike Trails, while another major new cycling event for Cairns and Port Douglas, the Gran Fondo Tour, is coming to the region in September.


Main points

  • Crankworx has announced Cairns as a fourth stop on its World Tour
  • The event will be held over five days in early October
  • It will be televised to almost 20 million people globally
In addition to an anticipated 31,000 bed nights for our region, Crankworx will deliver a worldwide audience with the global eyeballs on Cairns.