Five Rad Days in Rotorua, Part 2 Bloody fantastic morning light yet again! This is place is special, no doubt. Beautiful scenes with huge flocks of birds travelling in packs over the edge of Lake Rotorua. This is what mountain bikers around the world do when they hear Crankworx, Rotorua is on again… Migrate in huge packs to come see all the action! Before heading to the Crankworx venue, it was time for a dip in the Kaituna River, one of New Zealand’s most famous rafting destinations. Throwing ourselves off a six-metre waterfall in a raft only moments after breakfast felt like a very Kiwi way to start the day. Directly opposite Skyline and across Lake Rotorua you’ll find Kaitiaki Adventures where you start and finish the rafting experience. Getting suited up by our friendly guide Henry for the suprisingly warm waters of the Kaituna river We arrived at Skyline just in time to catch the Dual Speed & Style Qualifiers. Even though it was just qualifiers, riders were still throwing it down in a big way, crazy tricks with some serious speed. Ryan R-Dog Howard with a steezy 360 on the final hit on the course against the Rotorua Lake backdrop. R-Dog on the back wheel. The dusty flat turns in the slalom portion of the track are just as crucial to nail as the rest of the course. Kidsworx is such a great part of the event, fostering then next generation of shredders. Knee down and tipping ‘er in at Kidsworx. Last light falls across Rotorua before the Pumptrack kicks off. Barry Nobles looked strong early on, but was knocked out of contention. The fast, technical new pumptrack built by Empire Of Dirt NZ was definitely challenging riders once the pace cranked up. The new track took out many of the top riders with its gnarly g-forces in the tight fast, first turns. Brett Tippie and the crowds getting into the party vibes. This event has such a good feel! They may look like stars, but all those bright white things in the sky are actually moths! Hey.. It’s not just humans who dig mountain bikes. Kyle Strait (looking sick in his fresh DHaRCO kit!) alongside the local crowds favourite, Michael Bias, battling it out for 3rd place, which the Kiwi took from Strait with much joy from proud New Zealanders Jill Kitner rolling through with another win under her belt, in for a good shot at this year’s Queen of Crankworx. Thomas Lemoine was looking quick all night, even when he threw a cheeky bar spin in at the end of a run! The new track location and layout for the Rockshox Pumptrack Challenge, presented by Torpedo 7 was a major success, enabling a lot more people to get a good view of the track and providing some high intensity riding with the new, super fast pumptrack. After practicing slopestyle during the day, Lemoine transitioned seemlesly into race mode, taking the win over Chaney Guennet. After a mammoth evening, the crowds head home, and so do we. Bring on Day 3 of the Five Rad Days in Roto.