27 Mar 2018

Once again Rotorua delivered the goods allowing the world's best gravity mountain bikers to battle for victory in the first stop of the 2018 Crankworx World Tour. We've compiled all the best video highlights plus our hot tips for Rotorua mountain biking holiday, right here.

We spent Five Rad Days in Rotorua catching all the action of Crankworx, shredding mind-blowing trails and going Full-Kiwi-Adventure-Mode!

Day 1

Day 1 in paradise was spent shuttling the trails of the Whakarewarewa forest, zip-lining through the canopy and we wrapped it all up with a mountain bike trivia night.

Early mornings aren’t so bad when you have epic views of Rotorua’s famous geothermal steam rising from lake Rotorua
On the way up at the Redwoods thanks to Southstar Shuttles
Lachie McKillop heading down the Redwoods downhill track
Jackson and Dave McMillan with the sweet timing.
Snakes on a train.
Dave with a nice turn bar towards the bottom.
Located the other side of the hill from the Crankworx site, the Rotorua Canopy Tours are a great place to check out if you’d like a few hours off the bike.
More epic views, this time from above trail level.

Day 2

After kicking off day 2 by throwing ourselves down the rapids of Kaituna River, with its six-metre waterfall, we headed out to Skyline to see riders throw down in the Dual Speed and Style Qualifiers before the crowd-pleasing Pumptrack Challenge under lights.

Beautiful scenes with huge flocks of birds travelling in packs over the edge of Lake Rotorua
The bus + rafts on the way to the Awa (Māori word for River)
Duel Speed & Style Quali’s went down today with some rad riders throwin tricks in with some serious speed.
R-Dog with a steezy 360 on the final hit on the course
Dusty ruts on flat turns in the slalom portion of the track
The new track location & 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.
Barry Nobles looking strong early on, but getting knocked out due to the super fast, technical new pumptrack built by Empire Of Dirt NZ
Jill Kitner rolling through with another win under her belt, in for a good shot at this years queen of Crankworx

Rockshox Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by Torpedo7

Day 3

Our third day in mountain bike paradise began with another trip to the Redwoods, this time with a guided ride from the team at Mountain Bike Rotorua, to make sure we didn’t miss any tasty bits. With a belly full of Roto loam, it was back out to Skyline, to join the frothing masses for the Dual Speed and Style finals, before the big wigs sent it sideways under lights in the Whip-Off Champs.

Our rad ride guide Wade, apart from chosing trails to ride based on what style of riding we wanted to tackle, but also gave some really interesting insight into the commercial logging forrest that has been adapted into such a huge MTB destination in NZ
Our guide leading the way down
One of the best parts of Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forrest is its diversity in trail selection which is something we were reminded of today. There is such a huge range of routes to take, weaving in and out of the 80+ trails through the forrest, with options for the most gnarly pro’s, all the way through to beginners and little shredders
Wade our guide shredding down the trail network he has enjoyed since the very first track in the Redwoods, ‘Old BMX Track’ 15+ years ago
The upside of this particualr trail is a super chilly & refreshing drink top up and maybe even a quick dip if it’s really hot
Barry Nobles head to head with Kiwi rider Joe Simpson, who advanced to the next round over the American rider
Crowds werent just huddled down the finish straight, but spread all the way up the hill to the start gates
The local crowds favourite came super close to the top step, but unfortunately due to a fall in the first run of the finals, he wasn’t able to make up the time. However, he was still pretty stoked with 2nd and gave the crowd something to cheer about!

Mons Royale Dual Speed & Style

Straight from his win on the Dual Speed & Style, Soderstrom pulled out some rad whips alongside a plethora of riding steez
Friday done right, whipping into the weekend with your mates
Canberra’s Dave McMillan looked unreal all night with his steezy whips
Dave McMillan x Kaos Seagrave
Some familiar faces on this years whip off podium, alongside some new additions including Kiwi female shredder Vinny Armstrong

Day 4

The fourth of our Five Rad Days in Rotorua got started with some serious off-bike adrenaline, as we jet-boated, bungee-swinged, skydived (kinda) and got sent flying down a hill inside a massive, inflatable golf ball thingo! It was quite the way to start the day! We’d hoped the morning’s madness would just be warm up for an afternoon of action at the Slopestyle, but you can’t fight the weather, and rain has seen the main event pushed back to Sunday.

Mad g-forces in the agrojet at Velocity Valley
Crazy feeling taking on the faux sky diving ride, with some classic NZ hills in the background
Just next door the Crankworx site is Ogo, Rotorua, the original downhill ball rolling crew
Unfortunate scenes on and off all day at Skyline as we all waited for gaps in the rain for the Slopestyle boys to drop in
If you can beat them, join em?
Defending champ Nicoli Rogatkin getting comfy with some tailwhips before the rain came again and unfortunately postponed the event.
Stoked crowds keen to see what the amazing Crankworx Deep Summer Photo Challenge photographers created for this epic part of the Crankworx experience
The well deserved winner for the night, Laurence Crossman-Emms alongside Rotorua local Connor Mahuika who feautred in Laurence’s presentation!

Deep Summer Rotorua 2018 – Winner – Laurence Crossman-Emms

Day 5

The upshot of the Slopestyle being postponed Saturday was that it meant we had a MASSIVE final day at Crankworx, with both the downhill and Slopestyle taking place. It couldn’t have been more perfect; the mud made the downhill a thrilling battle to survive, and then the sun came out enough to leave the Slopestyle course in prime condition.

Crankworx Rotorua Downhill

Muddy, Rutted, Greasy, Sick! These are just a couple of the many words used to describe todays conditions
Taking th top spot for the women was Tahnee Seagrave, taking this gap even in the less then ideal conditions
Loic couldn’t take the win today in tough conditions!
Talking out the top step of the podium for the mens, Kiwi rider Sam Blenkinsop
YIEWWWW!

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza

Slopestyle has now become a very special, sacred part of Crankworx, Rotorua, with the event being run in the memory of our lost friend, Kelly McGarry
The starting feature, complete with New Zealand wood carving!
Brett Rheeder in his winning first run, reclaiming the title of winner from way back at the beginning of Crankworx in Rotorua
Nicoli loading up his unreal triple tail-whip!
Your 2018 Crankworx, Rotorua Slopestyle Podium!
1st Brett Rheeder
2nd Thomas Genon
3rd Diago Cavezasi
It’s ya boy… Brett Rheeder!
The winnings + the steed that took Rheeder to victory