Behind the Mic: Crankworx Whistler with Micayla Gatto

Micayla Gatto interviewing a rider at Crankworx

Behind the Mic: Crankworx Whistler with Micayla Gatto

Crankworx Whistler brings together the best in mountain biking, so it’s easy to see why athletes, fans and mountain bikers flock here for the festival. But you know what’s really awesome? You don’t need to know a thing about mountain biking to enjoy it. The high-action and visual impact of the impressive human feats can draw anyone in.

What’s more, Crankworx doesn’t stop at the trails, there’s photography and film events, bike demos and Kidsworx. So, if you’ve been curious about mountain biking or if you just want to get wrapped up in the excitement of this part of mountain culture, you can dive in.

Here to lead us through all things Crankworx Whistler is mountain bike athlete, artist and Crankworx broadcaster, Micayla Gatto.

Micayla Gatto hiking in Whistler

Athlete, artist, broadcaster and ultimate Crankworx insider, Micayla Gatto. PHOTO BRUIN ALEXANDER

You’re a couple of seasons into your career as a broadcaster, what skills from racing do you think helped you crossover?

MG: 2019 marks my second year as a broadcaster for Crankworx / Red Bull TV through Boombox Group, and I’m learning more every event! I think the way I look at challenges and try to set myself up for success is directly related to my experience as a World Cup racer. I also think having the ability to take a deep breath and remain calm in stressful situations has come from training and racing as an athlete.

What is your favourite event to report on?

MG: Oh man, it’s so hard to pick just one!! I love Pump Track because of the intimate setting, having it at night, as well as the fun-vibes Pump Track inevitably draws out of the athletes. However, if I had to pick just one, I’d have to go with Slopestyle [Red Bull Joyride]. The uniqueness of each individual rider, the structure of the event, and the story-lines that go with such high-risk riding makes interviewing the athletes a lot of fun.

INSIDER TIP: For the best possible viewing point, you can purchase tickets to watch Red Bull Joyride (Slopestyle) from the VIP Experience zone.
Red Bull Joyride at Crankwork Whistler

The dramatic jumps and nail-biting action at Red Bull Joyride makes the event a crowd favourite. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Who do we need to watch this year? Any underdogs or new riders coming up that may surprise us?

MG: I always think a face to watch is Emil Johansson. He’s had a super rough time with illness and injury, but has seemed to get back on the podium and back up to competing at the level he (and all of us) loves.

Two riders go head to head at Dual Slalom during Crankworx Whistler

Crankworx is full of upsets and surprises, you never know who will come out on top. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

As a spectator, what event can you absolutely not miss and where’s the best place to watch it from?

MG: As a spectator I’d say the Pump Track or Slopestyle [Red Bull Joyride], as well as the Dual [Slalom] Speed and Style, are great events to watch, however even the longer races such as the Canadian Open DH can be watched from the comfort of the GLC or Longhorn, due to the amazing camera coverage and jumbo screens situated right at the bottom of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

RockShox Ultimate Pump Track Challenge course in Whistler

The RockShox Ultimate Pump Track Challenge is the only after dark race at Crankworx. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

What is your favourite thing about being a part of this mountain bike festival?

MG: The people!! From the racers to the fans, Crankworx always brings an insane amount of energy to Whistler Village, and, since there are so many different events to watch and attend, the party never stops for 10 days straight. It’s a dream come true to be part of it.

Two riders whip-off at Crankworx Whistler

The Official Whip-Off World Championships is always a high energy event. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Any advice for first-time Crankworx go-ers?

MG: Take it easy! There are so many events and parties to attend and partake in that it’s easy to get burnt out. You don’t want your first Crankworx experience to be stopped short because you went just a little too hard. Stop riding when you feel you’re losing focus, and keep the rubber side down!

You can keep up with Micayla and her behind the scenes coverage of Crankworx on Instagram @micaylagatto.

Micayla Gatto interviewing a rider at Crankworx

Micayla will be bringing you competitor thoughts and reactions live from the festival. PHOTO BRUIN ALEXANDER

Crankworx Whistler is on from August 9 – 18, 2019 with events happening daily. Check out the schedule and learn more about the events at Whistler.com.

Nikkey

Nikkey

Nikkey got her start in Whistler as an outdoor guide and the habit of talking about the place has clearly stuck. Whistler’s general laid-back lifestyle and immediate access to fun is what’s kept her around. When not hanging out on the Whistler Insider team Nikkey works as a freelance creative for outdoor and wellness brands. Nikkey’s favourite Whistler animal is the marmot- she just wants to pinch those fluffy cheeks! (but never would because she respects wildlife and really likes having her fingers attached to her hands.)

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