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18 June, 2022

Toby to crank it up

THE renowned downhill mountain biking trails in Smithfield have been chosen as the next stop in the world-renowned Crankworx world tour and is set to bring hundreds of the world’s best riders to the tropical north.

By Rhys Thomas

Local born mountain biker Toby Greenwood is preparing himself to tackle Crankworx as it makes landfall in Australia is October. PHOTO BY GRANT VINNEY PHOTOGRAPHY.

Although it is an international event, riders can nominate to participate in the different categories if they think they have what it takes and local mountain biking champion Toby Greenwood has accepted the challenge. 

Although Toby moved away from the region to pursue university, he has vowed to return to tackle Crankworx and hit Smithfield’s trails in preparation for the event on 5-9 October. 

The 19-year-old champion got his start in bike riding like any other child, learning under the watchful eye of his parents.

 However, unlike the vast majority, Toby decided to pursue bike riding further and more than just as a humble mode of transportation, first starting in BMX before moving to mountain biking at age 12. 

Toby competed in multiple national championships before a Covid-forced halt, winning the U16 National Championship and coming third in the U17 championship in 2018. 

“I found mountain biking a lot more interesting because you're out in the environment, whereas BMX is quite repetitive in that the tracks are always the same,” Toby said. 

“Additionally, dad was doing a lot of mountain biking with some of these friends when I was younger. 

“It was just something that I did over the school holidays for the month and it sort of took off from there.” 

Toby made the switch to enjoy a more free and unrestricted approach to riding as he fell in love with the uncertainty and excitement mountain biking can bring. 

He said not really knowing what is around the next turn keeps him on the bike and riding down mountains. 

“It is quite dangerous when you think about you are out there by yourself in the middle of nowhere,” he said. 

“You can also be very creative in your riding, everyone has their own unique spin on how to tackle a given portion of the track.” 

The gravity enduro and downhill rider revealed that while riding, he enters what he calls a “flow state”’ – a mental state of extreme focus where everything and anything on his mind is nothing but the track before him. 

“It is almost like you have a synergy with the bike and it feels like you are one with it and everything just sort of comes together,” he said. 

“For me it is a euphoric thing where you are just floating through the bush and it is a really cool experience – you have a GoPro recording and you feel like you are riding really slow and then you watch the GoPro and you are absolutely flying.”

What is Crankworx?
Crankworx is a multi-stop series of mountain bike festivals hosted around the world, bringing together the best mountain bikers across the globe to compete in elite-level competitions in a variety of disciplines. Beginning in Whistler, Canada in 2004, the event has grown to include countries such as Austria and New Zealand, with Cairns being the recent addition to that prestigious list. Coveted in the European circuits, the event has now chosen the revered Smithfield downhill tracks to host their latest event in their world tour, set for October 5-9 this year. The pro events in Cairns will include slope style, downhill, dual slalom, speed and style and pump track.

For Crankworx, Toby will be competing in the elite category against some of the best riders in the world on the world stage.

Toby believes that Crankworx coming to Cairns is a testament to not only the quality of the trails in the area, but also the pedigree of the riders.

“I think Smithfield is actually one of the best downhill trails within Australia – Smithfield was amazing for me, it really has everything to offer in terms of cornering, jumps, technical, just anything,” he said.

“The fact that Crankworx is coming to Cairns where we are from, is quite exciting – it really highlights the kind of riding we have up there as well as really solidifying Cairns as quite a good place to be for that riding scene.

“It also brings in a lot of attention from the mountain biking community all over the world which I think is a good thing and it can really put us in the spotlight.”

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