Looking back… (See what I did there?)
What a week!
The Giant Toa Enduro event kicked off the EWS season and we were treated not just to the outstanding consistency of winners Wyn Masters and Cecile Ravanel through the Whakarewarewa forest, but what Brett Tippie described as the “World’s Best Hecklers Corner”.
Despite torrential rain in the early part of the week, the sun came out, the trails dried and festival goers were treated to a nail-biting Pumptrack Challenge which saw Aussie BMX legend Caroline Buchanan and local ripper Keegan Wright snatch victory from reigning Queen of Crankworx, Jill Kintner and podium regular, Adrien Loron.
A packed schedule on Friday saw the IXS Downhill, Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style and Spank Whip-off run consecutively giving the audience one of the most exciting days of gravity riding ever to take place in the Southern hemisphere. No sooner had Australians Tracy Hannah and Jack Moir topped the podium in the DH event, riders were facing off for the Dual Speed and Style. To win this year really did require both speed and style and Adrien Loren narrowly missed out again when Jakob Vencl took the win in front of a packed crowd.
Darkness fell and the lights went up on the pyramid of dirt that had been artfully sculpted for the occasion in front of the biggest crowd ever seen at a Crankworx Whip-Off. Reed Boggs and Casey Brown were crowned winners, in front of a vocally appreciative crowd before the Mons Royale tent played host to Crankworx revellers until the early hours.
The Crankworx Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza is the highlight of Crankworx Rotorua and Kelly would no doubt have been thrilled to see the level of stoke in the crowd and the progression in technical skill on show from the riders. There’s no doubt that Nicholi Rogatkin’s tour-de-force performance means he is now the man to beat.
The festival of radness that is Crankworx wrapped up 9 days of action in Rotorua with the Crankworx Rotorua Air DH. The Mr Black trail snakes its way down Mount Ngongotaha – a ribbon of golden hero dirt punctuated by sculpted hits and flowing bermed corners. Local rippers riding the same course as the pros made for a fitting finale as mountain biking’s global community came together for one last shred session.
The course suits riders who can be smooth, fast and scrub. In the end, the winners were Canadian, Vaea Verbeeck and Kiwi, Matt Walker.
As the gates close on Rotorua and we look toward the European legs of the tour, Matt Walker and Caroline Buchanan lead the points in the King and Queen of Crankworx table.
Next stop – Innsbruck
Speaking of Europe, we’re stoked to announce that we’re extending our partnership with the Crankworx family and will be at the inaugural Innsbruck event as the title sponsor of the Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style. The spectacular venue at Mutters above the alpine city is currently taking shape and we hope we’ll see you there in June.
Signing off after an incredible week in Rotorua NZ.
The team at Mons Royale.