Best of Crankworx Rotorua 2018 – Video & Photo Epic

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

 

Five Rad Days in Rotorua, Part 4

The fourth of our Five Rad Days in Rotorua got started with some serious off-bike adrenaline, as we jet-boated, bungee-swinged, sky dived (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 tomorrow.

Velocity Valley is where you head if you’re looking for a serious thrill off the bike. The misty morning tells the tale of a wet afternoon to come.
5ooo,000 horse power! (Well, lots anyhow). Feeling the mad g-forces in the Agrojet at Velocity Valley.
It’s crazy feeling taking on the faux sky dive.
This is the face of pure fear. Shitting bricks on the Swoop giant swing.
Just next door the Crankworx site is Ogo, Rotorua, the original downhill ball rolling crew.
There’s only one way in…
“What do you mean there’s rain coming… It’s Slopestyle day bru!”
Probably wouldn’t look this green if it was part of a downhill track amiright?!
Meanwhile, back at the Crankworx site. That moment when you realise you’re still not quite as good at jumps as Brett Rheeder…
Unfortunate scenes with racing coming in on and off all day at Skyline. The crowds huddle, waiting for gaps in the rain for the Slopestyle boys to drop in.
The feeling when you’re stoked on seeing pro riders and all, but the weather is kinda bumming you out!
While we all waited at least we could still checkout the downhill riders in practice.
Bit of Karate Kid for the trail crew. Tarp on, tarp off…Tarp on, tarp off…
If you can beat them, join em?
A tease of blu skies that never quite made it to us…
Certainly some interesting looks going around this Crankworx… Riders being good sports with the fans as always.
The rain stopped and tools were rushed to the course to fix up some muddy spots the rain had left.
Everybody getting into it, even Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson!
Finally the patient fans got a chance to see some riders coming though.
Most riders were just getting used to the new course and conditions, but Brett Rheeder was stomping tricks on most features in his ‘warm ups’.
Even straight airs somehow look rad when these guys pull them off.
Thomas Lemoine pulling off a 360 on possibly the sickest looking Canyon frame we’ve seen.
Defending champ Nicoli Rogatkin getting comfy with some tailwhips before the rain came again and unfortunately postponed the event which now, weather depending, will be run Sunday arvo after the downhill!
The Deep Summer Photo Challenge has become a ket part of the Crankworx experience. Four photographers have three days to put together an inspiring montage of Rotorua mountain bike life. The crowds loved it, seeing their town through the lens of some incredible shooters.
Eat St, the main food strip in town, was flooded with riders and mountainbike fans watching the Deep Summer slideshow.
The well deserved winner for the night, Laurence Crossman-Emms alongside Rotorua local Connor Mahuika who feautred in Laurence’s presentation!
No better way to finish a day at Crankworx than heading to Eat St to have a few bevs and laughs with ya mates!

Five Rad Days in Rotorua, Part 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. Yiew!

We joined back up with Mountain Bike Rotorua today for a guided MTB ride in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa forest. Hire bikes galore, get ’em dirty.
Our rad ride guide Wade, apart from chosing trails to ride based on what style of riding we wanted to tackle, also gave some really interesting insight into the commercial logging forest that has been adapted into such a huge MTB destination in NZ. This place just goes to show mountain bikers and commercial logging can co-exist.
A friend from the States joined us today, riding through some prime climate and perfect light. It was hard to keep the camera in the bag.
Wade, our guide, leading the way down.
Our photographer / media squid Do-Mini-Chook sending it with a full camera pack.
One of the best parts of Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forrest is the diversity of trails, 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 forest, with options for the most gnarly pros, all the way through to beginners and little shredders. It was awesome to see so many kids out there today!
Perfect loam chutes walled by green.
The little pockets of light that shine through the Redwood’s canopy make for some amazing looking gems of nature.
Wade our guide shredding down the trail network he has enjoyed riding for over 15 years. He’s been ripping around this place since the very first track in the Redwoods, ‘Old BMX Track’.
Being on a guided ride is a great way to have a perfect day on the bike, without stressing over trail maps and worrying if you’ll make it back to homebase. Alongside this, it’s great to be shown lesser known spots that you might not hear abut, like this winding grade 3 trail that follows a natural cold water creek, that rises out of the ground chrystal clear and flows through the forest.
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.
A traditional carving, created by a wrong-doer completing community service, a great initiative to put people who have done minor wrongs to good use, creating new trails for the community to enjoy.
Yet another great spot to stop and take in the beautiful surrounds
Did we mention the cool light on interesting artifacts, EVERYWHERE?!?!
Our American vistor officially approves of the Redwoods as well as our guided ride with Mountain Bike Rotorua.
From the trails, we headed trackside, to the perfect berms and booters of the Dual Speed and Style. This event is a funny beast – the name says it all – pretty much a head to race, with bonuses for tricks. That makes it just as awesome to watch as you’d expect. Barry Nobles head to head with Kiwi rider Joe Simpson, who advanced to the next round over the American rider.
Crowds flood the gnarly, dusty flat corners that lead into the final feature
Nothing better then heading to Crankworx on a Friday night in Rotorua for the Mons Royale Dual Speed & Style.
R-Dog bringing the style points.
Kaos Seagrave seemed like an easy winner in a lot of eyes, but ended up his Dual Speed & Style campaign in the 1/8 final.
Martin Soderstrom. So much style! Busting some rad 360 tables over the heads of the crowds and Lake Rotorua.
Races were won and lost in this technical flat turn component of the course.

Crowds weren’t 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!
Martin Soderstrom 1st, Joe Simpson 2nd, smiles all round.
Joe Simpson. Thanking the home crowd and having a blast!

Soak it up boy!

What a day for Joe Simpson!
With Speed and Style in the bag, the crowds massed around the whopping Whip Off booter. Adrian Loron spending some time with fans before joining in on the Whip Offs.
The groms are out in force. Stoked!
The scene is set for some big, nasty whips.
Straight from his win on the Dual Speed & Style, Soderstrom pulled out some incredible whips alongside a plethora of riding steez.
No shuttles for the whip off! Riders scramble back up to the drop in to get as many whips in as possible, as the Whip Off is a jam format competition.
Media swamp the MASSIVE Whip Off jump.
To be honest, the wooden drop to gain the right amount of speed looks just as gnarly as the actual whip jump!

 

Friday done right, whipping into the weekend with your mates!
Dave McMillan looked unreal all night with his super lazy, steezy whips.
Some familiar faces on this year’s Whip Off podium, alongside some new additions including Kiwi female shredder Vinny Armstrong.
The usual culprits took out the top spot in an event they excel in. Casey Brown and Ryan Howard do it again.
Rain poked its head in the door, but left immediately after being so intimidated by the phat whips being thrown down.

Dave McMillan x Kaos Seagrave. Bloody brilliant!

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.

Crankworx Rotorua 2017 Wrap-Up

Stoke levels were high at Crankworx Rotorua.
Stoke levels were high at Crankworx Rotorua.

This year, Crankworx Rotorua played host to no less than seven different events, as well as numerous riding clinics and the huge expo area that’s open to the public everyday, showcasing the latest and greatest from brands across the world.

Competitors and spectators received a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony.
Competitors and spectators received a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony.

Let’s take a look back at all the action over the past week- is it too early to start getting excited for next year? 


Pump Track Challenge Highlights:

The Pump Track Challenge is always a crowd favourite due to its tight racing, which makes for awesome spectating.

Keegan Wright edges out Barry Nobles in front of a full house.
Keegan Wright edges out Barry Nobles in front of a full house.

This year’s event saw the best pump track course yet at Crankworx Rotorua, as well as a big field in both the men’s and women’s categories.

Jill Kintner was edged out by none other than Caroline Buchanan.
Jill Kintner was beaten in the final by none other than Caroline Buchanan.

New Zealand young gun Keegan Wright took out the men’s category, whilst Caroline Buchanan took out the women’s in a great start to what’s set to be a big year of mountain biking for Caroline. Check out some of the best shots from the event below!

Cody Kelley turns the style up to 11.
Cody Kelley turns the style up to 11.
Sage advice from pump track master Adrien Loron.
Sage advice from pump track master Adrien Loron.

Dual Speed and Style Highlights:

Dual Speed and Style is an event unique to Crankworx that draws together racers from all disciplines, as well as trick maestros competing in the Slopestyle, resulting in an interesting mix of approaches.

With time bonuses on offer for tricks, Dual Speed and Style sees some interesting match ups.
With time bonuses on offer for tricks, Dual Speed and Style sees some interesting match ups.

For 2017, the riders were praising changes made to the course that allowed for more speed and bigger jumps throughout.

The course was in absolutely prime condition.
The course was in absolutely prime condition.

Oceania Whip-Off Championship Highlights: 

The Oceania Whip-Off Championship was held under lights this year, and more riders than ever before lined up to get sideways off the massive step up.

Riders turned it on in front of a huge crowd at the Whip-Offs.
Riders turned it on in front of a huge crowd at the Whip-Off.

Young American Reed Boggs took out the main event, but there was so much style on offer that we don’t think we could’ve picked a winner! Have a look at some of the best shots, and see how many Aussies you can recognise.

Jackson Davis flies the VANZAC flag.
Jackson Davis flies the VANZAC flag.
These aren't your regular media squids.
These aren’t your regular media squids.
Reed Boggs and Casey Brown took the wins.
Reed Boggs and Casey Brown took the wins.
And it's not hard to see why.
And it’s not hard to see why.

Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza Recap: 

Crankworx slopestyle contests are arguably the highest profile events in our sport, attracting an audience within the mainstream media, and offering serious prize money.

The Kelly McGarry designed course once again played host to some insane trickery.
The Kelly McGarry designed course once again played host to some insane trickery.

The Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza at this year’s Crankworx Rotorua lived up to the hype. With Brett Rheeder and Thomas Genon out with injury, and Brandon Semenuk failing to get his run dialled, it was Nicholi Rogatkin who took the win ahead of some rising names in the sport.

Brandon Semenuk boosts through the trees.
Brandon Semenuk boosts through the trees.
It doesn't get much better than this.
It doesn’t get much better than this.

Rotorua Downhill Highlights:

The downhill track in Rotorua is a steep, gnarled mess at the best of times, but this year wet conditions made it a true test for all riders.

Loic Bruni mistimed the pond jump just a tad in practice.
Loic Bruni slightly mistimed the pond jump in practice.

Australian young gun Jack Moir came out on top in the men’s, dominating in the wet conditions in a strong showing of early season form, and securing yet another win from an Australian rider at the first Crankworx stop for 2017. Tracey Hannah made it an all-Australian affair on the top step by taking out the women’s.

Shark Attack Jack took the win in the downhill.
Shark Attack Jack took the win.
Two Australians on the top step.
Two Australians on the top step.

Air DH Recap:

The last event of Crankworx Rotorua 2017 was the Air DH event. Held on Skyline Rotorua’s Mr Black trail, riders jumped and pumped their way down the buttery smooth track that is similar to Whistler’s famous A-line.

Richie Rude shows Mr Black who's boss.
Richie Rude shows Mr Black who’s boss.
We think it's fitting to finish up with yet another shot of Casey Brown sending it- were excited for Les Gets already!
We think it’s fitting to finish up with yet another shot of Casey Brown sending it- we’re excited for Les Gets already!

Crankworx Rotorua is growing year by year, and once again it’s got us pumped for a big season of racing! The next stop on the Crankworx calendar is Crankworx Les Gets in June, and we can’t wait.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016 Deep Summer Photo Epic

The Deep Summer Photo Challenge dropped into Crankworx Rotorua for the first time in 2016, making the most of the cultural and geothermal hotbed of New Zealand. With incredible natural landscapes and an extremely strong mountain biking culture, the invited photographers found everything they needed to compose a stellar slideshow.

Casey Brown at the whip-offs.
Casey Brown at the whip-offs.

Over the course of the challenge, five mountain bike photographers had three days to put together an epic slideshow. Slideshow presentations then lit up the evening at Rotorua Skyline Gravity Park after the Crankworx Slopestyle Finals – and a massive crowd was able to experience deep summer in Rotorua through five different lenses.

The EWS returns to Crankworx Rotorua after a one year hiatus- it's all happening!
The EWS returns to Crankworx Rotorua this year after a one year hiatus- it’s all happening!

Deep Summer returns to Rotorua in 2017 with new photographers and a new location, and we can’t wait to witness it live in just a few weeks time- hopefully you’ll be there too! In the meantime, grab yourself a brew, pop the quality onto 1080 and check out all the action from last year!


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Simeon Patience:

Simeon Patience took the win at the Crankworx Rotorua Deep Summer Challenge, and it’s not hard to see why with his amazing blend of Rotorua’s unique landscape coupled with stellar looking trails.


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Sean Lee:

Australian Sean Lee is a name to watch out for in the future. For last year’s Deep Summer Challenge he teamed up with the Australian contingent of the Vanzacs crew.

Sean took out the people’s choice award, and it’s not hard to see why with his brilliant work showcasing all that Rotorua has to offer, from natural, technical trails, to carpet smooth jump lines. If you don’t have time to watch the full video, skip straight to four minutes for some pure magic.


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Zach Faulkner:

Zach Faulkner’s entry really focuses on the Rotorua community, and how the mountain biking lifestyle just plain fits with everyday life in this beautiful part of the world. It’s not all about the gnarliest lines and biggest jumps, it’s about having a good time on awesome trails with your mates.


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Callum Wood:

Callum Wood’s entry really showcases the talent that is on show at Crankworx Rotorua. It’s one of the things we love so much about the event, being able to go for a ride in the morning, and watch the world’s best riders do their thing with a beer in hand for the rest of the afternoon.

Crankworx Rotorua is just a few short weeks away, and to find out more about how you can join us there, head over to the Crankworx Rotorua website.

Crankworx Announces a Fourth Tour Stop for Innsbruck, Austria

The Crankworx World Tour, born out of Whistler’s 10-day celebration of gravity-mountain biking, will grow to add another international location for summer 2017: Innsbruck, Austria.2016-7-5_MTB Muttereralmpark-2_lowres__

Innsbruck is the only city in the world to have hosted three Olympic Games and have a history with the kind of competition Crankworx does best: defying gravity. Having staged the famous Air and Style Contest since 1993, several Boulder World Cups, and the UCI road biking World Championships, it is the perfect place to set up the fourth Crankworx World Tour stop.

“No other summer sports event fits so perfectly to Innsbruck as Crankworx. World-class mountain biking combined with a festival for real bike fans all over the world – it will definitely inspire Innsbruck, the capital of the Alps, in the same way as the participants and spectators will get fascinated by Innsbruck’s unique alpine flair,“ says Karin Seiler-Lall, Innsbruck Tourism CEO.

The 2017 calendar year marks a decade and a half of Crankworx competition, and the third year of the Crankworx World Tour. Innsbruck will become the fourth stop of this tour, joining Rotorua, New Zealand, Les Gets, France and Whistler, the Canadian home base of the tour.2016-7-5_MTB Kühtai_lowres__

“We’ve had a vision for a while to share Crankworx with some of the best mountain destinations in the world. It has been the defining celebration of this sport for some time, but taking our community out to new international locations for fans to connect with and ride alongside the athletes has really taken it to a whole new level,“ says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour General Manager.

An ancient city with plenty of European ambiance, Innsbruck’s burgeoning trail system has also received strong reviews from those who have raced or ridden in the area.

“I have been riding a few different trails there and it’s insanely good riding. I was surprised by how many trails, good mixture—some flowy, technical and some big hills around. It’s a cool scene to go to,” said Colombian downhill star Marcelo Gutiérrez, who earned his fourth Garbo DH win this week.2014_627

Innsbruck offers a unique combination of urban and alpine lifestyle, and will likely combine both elements in its Crankworx stop, potentially even working in competitions like the pump track into the inner city scene.

“As Crankworx grows, we’re learning the locations and cultures we visit like to put their own spin on the festival and it’s definitely added to how we perceive mountain biking and its fans. We’ve been influenced by our stops in Rotorua and France, and never cease to be surprised by the number of fans who make the journey to other international stops, inspired by the athletes they’ve seen compete,” says Kinnaird.

Exact dates for all of the 2017 Crankworx World Tour stops will be released in the fall of 2016.

Crankworx Les Gets: Rutted Mud’s Greatest Hits

Love it? Hate it? Riding in the mud can be a blast or a curse depending on your frame of mind or perhaps just access to a good laundry. The Crankworx downhill is the event that the rain won’t put an end to, it’ll just make for a bit more of a show.

We took a quick look at the lower section of the course during practice, and this is what we saw. 30kg mud-laden bikes with minds of their own, and plenty of laughs.
_LOW2532 _LOW2815 _LOW2811 _LOW2809 _LOW2801 _LOW2799 _LOW2789 _LOW2783 _LOW2779 _LOW2773 _LOW2772 _LOW2740 _LOW2728 _LOW2707 _LOW2699 _LOW2695 _LOW2686 _LOW2667 _LOW2657 _LOW2647 _LOW2644 _LOW2633 _LOW2621 _LOW2583 _LOW2572 _LOW2571 _LOW2550 _LOW2535

Crankworx Les Gets: Handing Over The Slopestyle Keys to the Clouds

If rain is good luck on your wedding day, what does it mean for relentless storms to hammer a massive mountain bike festival over and over again? Well, arguably while the rain makes for great racing on a downhill bike unfortunately events like the Pump Track Challenge and Slopestyle just can’t go ahead once the rain drops drop.

High up in the French Alps, the iconic town of Les Gets is heaving with activity for the second stop of the Crankworx tour, following Rotorua and leading up to the big bang of Crankworx Whistler. Les Gets has played host to countless events and is steeped in racing history, namely the 2004 World Champs where Steve Peat binned it within sight of the finish line while two seconds up. It was French legend Fabien Barel who snagged that one, and he’s actually racing here on his new Canyon Sender and looking quite cool about the trying conditions.


Not-quite a Slopestyle

The Slopestyle event always hangs by a thread, the wooden features and enormous jumps just won’t work out if there’s an air of unpredictability with the weather. While practice went on under slightly sunny skies at times, there was simply not enough consistency in the speed in the surfaces and the riders couldn’t get comfortable with it. It’s been raining here non-stop for a month.

The best efforts by the event crew and construction team would also prove to be a blessing and a curse, with sections of the Slopestyle being repaired to retain good speed, it also wreaked havoc on the riders as the course was constantly changing. Brett Rheeder was a victim of a new section of timber board put down to cover a soft section of the dirt, overshooting the step up and bailing out, while his bike fell from 20ft up to destruction.
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Votes went down, and the call was to cancel the Slopestyle competition entirely, big bad news indeed! The remedy was to run a best trick comp in a casual jam style over the final jump to keep the day alive. And while the Slopestyle cancellation was a heavy blow, it was quickly forgotten when riders started throwing down their best and the crowds went bonkers once again.

When it comes down to one jump, and your best trick the big guns come out. Nicholai Rogatkin is a spinning wildman, with two attempts of his signature twister trick taking the cake and walking away with the cash.

Brett Rheeder’s super steezy opposite corked 720 was certainly perfect and landed him a third place, a sign that he was ready for a tight slopestyle battle. And Antoine Bizet’s opposite cash roll was a sight to see and nailed him the second spot on the podium.

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Crankworx Rotorua – Full Event Highlights

In its second year, Crankworx Rotorua put on a mighty show of awesome gravity racing with so many huge events on the doorstep of some of the world’s finest riding. Here’s how it went down.


A KIWI AND A QUEEN WIN BIG AT CRANKWORX ROTORUA ON DAY ONE.

Young gun Matt Walker and 2015 Queen of Crankworx the first winners of the five-day festival.

Fast trails and a good time vibe left athletes smiling as they pulled in from a pedal-heavy GIANT Toa Enduro at Crankworx Rotorua.

Coming into the event, GIANT rider Josh CARLSON (AUS) was riding strong, but New Zealand’s Matt Walker proved the unexpected victor, seeling the deal on the final stage, after placing eighth the year before and following fellow Kiwi, Carl Jones, in the cumulative standings for much of the race.25563854361_06aeef3193_z

“I was hoping for maybe a top 10 or top five, but to win is a bit of a surprise. I’ve been putting in quite a bit of hard work in the off season now and I guess it’s paying off, so I’m really happy,” said Walker. “It’s been a hard day, quite long tracks and it hasn’t suited my preparation, I guess, but I’m stoked on how today has gone. I’ve been having a lot of fun—it’s good times all round.”

Sharing the limelight, 2015 Queen of Crankworx Anneke BEERTEN (NED), proved her mettle, charging in to win with royal confidence.25563818391_7b75a55deb_z

Beerten admitted she is thrilled to have the monkey off her back, so to speak, with a win worthy of her 2015 success right out of the gate. She even dubbed the rough, off-camber trail of K2 easy, saying it was relaxing as it was short, making it less physically taxing for her, though its twists and turns bucked seasoned Kiwis Carl Jones and Brooke MacDonald right off. Overall, the day left her challenged, particularly on Stage 3.

“It was really physical, long, not a lot of flow at the bottom, so you had to work pretty hard,” she said, describing the stage from the finish line. “I thought (the race) was pretty cool… We had enough time between transfers. It was nice, with the whole group of girls we had riding together, the vibe was amazing.”25656530615_b36f092cf0_z 25029759723_b2fa1ed412_z 25563835711_a0594c0602_z 25029761463_d1d25e058b_z 25537770562_12b0eee609_z

Now an Enduro World Series qualifier, the race attracted a tenacious crowd of New Zealand riders who filled the ranks of the top five nicely with Eddie MASTERS, second, Sam BLENKINSOP, third, and Carl JONES, fifth in the men’s field. Beerten was the sole international rider in the women’s top five.

The Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by Spank finished out the night on a high note – actually a very similar high to the year before. Ryan “R-Dog” HOWARD (USA) and Casey BROWN (CAN) repeated their wins, despite a monster new whip hit, which could have thrown a wrench in their programs.25664207655_5aa8b488e8_z 25638020266_b6518024fe_z 25664175365_632e5bee76_z

Howard said he figured the number of runs he logged and his double-trouble approach, whipping left and right, likely dialed it in, Brown might have had to step up her game to compete with one of the deepest female fields the event has ever seen were it not for her phenomenal skills.25638056276_ef657a10fa_z 25037409283_2b007bd0a1_z 25363320560_c1eda116dc_z 25664165815_78d572b90c_z 25638015286_75e04d2c69_z

“A lot more women came out this year and we were sending it on this jump. That’s an intimidating jump for anyone. It makes me so excited to see that,” she said.

The original creator of the event, judge Sven Martin, noted the purpose-built jump really pushed the riders and lead to some pretty amazing sideways actions with a big step-up, built for more risk, higher pop, and a sweet berm at the end to skid and spray the spectators.

“Every year it gets crazier and this was maybe the craziest year,” he said, noting R-Dog was considerably more sideways than one usually sees.

Men’s Results, GIANT Toa Enduro:
1. Matt Walker (NZL) 00:35:06
2. Eddie Masters (NZL) 00:35:31
3. Josh Carlson (AU) 00:35:34
4. Sam Blenkinsop (NZL) 00:35:42
5. Carl Jones (NZL) 00:35:42

Women’s results, GIANT Toa Enduro:
1. Anneke Beerten (NED) 00:40:38
2. Rae Morrison (NZL) 00:40:52
3. Annika Smail (NZL) 00:41:14
4. Vanessa Quin (NZL) 00:43:01
5. Katie O’Neill (NZL) 00:43:28

Men’s Results, Official Oceania Championships presented by Spank:
1. Ryan (R-Dog) HOWARD (USA)
2. Tyler McCAUL (USA)
3. Sam BLENKINSOP (NZL)

Women’s Results, Official Oceania Championships presented by Spank:
1. Casey BROWN (CAN)
2. Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI)
3. Karin PASTERER (AUT)

 


FIVE YEARS AWAY AND SLAVIK STILL STEALS THE WIN 

Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style delivers the first female winner in the sport.

Speed definitely blew style right out of the water in New Zealand during the Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style at Crankworx Rotorua Thursday, although the first female winner ever awarded in the sport brought her own flare to the track.

Thursday evening’s race saw Jill KINTNER (USA) top Casey BROWN (CAN) in the inaugural Dual Speed & Style women’s finals; however, it was fourcross dominator Tomas Slavik’s victorious return to Crankworx, which really stole the show.25061743533_5600192043_z

“I wasn’t expecting that I could win the race with just speed. Everyone was talking about what tricks they were going to do and I didn’t have any option; I’m a racer at heart and that’s what I do. For the next races, I hope to bring more tricks to make it even better for me,” said Slavik, who described his win as “unreal.”

It has been five years since Slavik competed at Crankworx and his approach, more dual slalom than slopestyle, proved just too efficient for the 2014 CLIF Bar Dual Speed and Style champion, Kyle Strait, who took out heavily favoured Swede Martin SOEDERSTROM (SWE) en route to second.25688389245_4929739c6f_z 25688384975_fcaec28f6f_z 25058046764_c4a41b900b_z 25688508185_38f96f925c_z 25662349996_a5821453e0_z 25387688250_b9c3bce99b_z

Speed and Style is a signature Crankworx creation, which challenges head-to-head competitors to balance the need for speed against extra points for stylish tricks, and Strait pulled out his best freestyle prowess as he tried to battle back from a 1.08 differential in the final run of the competition. Throwing down a low backflip barspin, then a double tailwhip, he pulled into the finish coral to find the cheers from the crowd were not enough. He finished .82 behind Slavik, after the cumulative total for the two runs was calculated, for second place.

The third place matchup, meanwhile, proved a hotbed of controversy after Adrien LORON (FRA) was disqualified in semi-final for a false start, forcing him to miss out on the finals. He argued he should be able to punch the gate before regrouping for a third place finish against Greg WATTS (USA).

“I did it and I was DQ’d and it happens. Few runs before, someone did it and no one said anything – no one complained about it. So I said okay, if someone else can do it, I can too,” explained Loron.

Bernard Kerr, Speed & Style World Championship in 2015, did not compete, having withdrawn due to shoulder injury.25547131452_72d4bcd1b9_z 25665867305_95053967e2_z 25573206491_654fe36d8e_z 25365018220_a5b3b95346_z 25039121333_3f42bd709f_z

Kintner, who has admitted to chasing hard for the Queen of Crankworx 2016, was thrilled to take the first female win in the sport and her first win in the 2016 Crankworx World Tour season.

“It’s cool to pioneer a new discipline. It’s not an easy event. These kickers are big and a lot different to what we’re used to. I’m glad it was just for speed, and not style, cause I’m sure Brown would have had something to say about that,” she said as the event ended.

Men’s winner:
1. Tomas SLAVIK (CZE)
2. Kyle STRAIT (USA)
3. Adrien LORON (FRA)

Women’s winner:
1. Jill KINTNER (USA)
2. Casey BROWN (CAN)


LEMOINE SECURES A CRANKWORX WIN AND KINTNER HER RIGHTFUL PLACE ON TOP

A new crowd-pleasing hero thrills the fans in the Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox

After many near wins, Tomas LEMOINE (FRA) finally has his first Crankworx gold medal, and five-time pump track queen Jill KINTNER (USA) her redemption, after an epic Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox at Crankworx Rotorua Friday night.

“I’m pretty stoked because I’ve wanted this win for so long. I’m always like third, fourth and this time I won. So I’m pretty stoked. It’s like living a dream,” said Lemoine, whose triumphant shine could only be matched by the fourth place finisher Conor MAHUIKA (NZ).25082543043_1760994172_z 25408417290_4a1312dfd2_z

A rider from the local pump track,16-year-old Mahuika spent almost as much time waving to the crowd and smiling for his new-found fans as he did racing, and it took him until the quarter finals to hit a match up where he would have to make up time.

“I’m stoked to even be fourth. I’m used to jumping the dirt jumps, not going fast. I’m just stoked. This is the first event I’ve ever tried on a pump track. I haven’t had any practice, except yesterday, and a bit today. Seems to be working – kind of,” he laughed.

On the contrary, the women’s race proved a battle of veterans and a rare life do-over for Kintner, who caught her tire and never got out of the gate in the final matchup against 2015 Queen of Crankworx and eventual Pump Track Challenge Champion Anneke BEERTEN (NED) in the inaugural Rotorua competition.25082567293_bc554eecd2_z 25078762394_5cf893fbac_z 25588156902_95058b93ff_z 25709184295_e8997201f6_z 25709155795_8e4c09a599_z

“Last year I didn’t even get a proper race. Feels good to be back here and Anneke is a great competitor—and a worthy opponent. I love racing her, and racing here; it’s always good pressure for the final with the two of us,” she said.

The pump track capped off an action-packed day at the festival with the newest Crankworx event, the Crankworx Rotorua Air DH, giving the pros a chance to race with the Rotorua riding community on Skyline Gravity Park’s jump-laden answer to the Whistler Bike Park’s Aline trail, Mr. Black.

Designed to mirror the Crankworx Whistler Fox Air DH, the race was a 32-jump rip down the mountain and the winner, rocked up, signed up and dialed it in.

“They’ve used the hill really well. It’s quite a flat hill, but it still carries speed everywhere, so they’ve done a really good job,” said George BRANNIGAN (NZL), noting he hopes more pros sign on in years to come and the event builds.

Female winner Rae MORRISON (NZL), a top-10 Enduro World Series rider, said she loved it.

“That was my final event, so it was all about having fun, and after this I can be social and spectate,” she said.

Points are stacking up as the Crankworx season kicks off its four series events and the race for King and Queen of Crankworx. New Zealand’s very own Matt WALKER is coming on strong, leading the race for King, while Kintner, Brown and Beerten are battling it out for Queen. Points to be updated shortly.

Men’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track presented by RockShox
1. Tomas LEMOINE (FRA)
2. Adrien LORON (FRA)
3. Matt WALKER (NZL)

Women’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track presented by RockShox
1. Jill KINTNER (USA)
2. Anneke BEERTEN (NED)
3. Tracey HANNAH (AUS)

Men’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Air DH
1. George BRANNIGAN (NZL)
2. Louis HAMILTON (NZL)
3. Fabien COUSINIE (FRA)

Women’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Air DH
1. Rae MORRISON (NZL)
2. Ronja HILL-WRIGHT (AUS)
3. Jessica JAMIESON (NZL)


BRANDON SEMENUK NOW HOLDS FOUR DIFFERENT CRANKWORX FESTIVAL GOLDS

Even Nicholi Rogatkin’s brand new signature trick, ‘The Twister’’, couldn’t steal top spot  

The man who wrote the book on Slopestyle penned himself a new first, Saturday, as the inaugural winner of the Kelly McGarry Memorial Trophy at Crankworx Rotorua.25708289306_8bc2d74bb1_z

Brandon SEMENUK’s effortless performance bested even Nicholi ROGATKIN’s groundbreaking 1080, dubbed “The Twister”, on an afternoon no one in the bike community will soon forget.

The competition opened with all 18 riders executing a train in honour of rider Kelly McGARRY – a back-to-back run down the course. McGarry was both the designer and builder of the Rotorua Slopestyle course, with Elevate business partner Tom Hey. His passing in early-February, was the only cloud on a stunningly perfect afternoon at Skyline Gravity Park—the weather itself a tribute to the rider known for his golden locks and sunny disposition.

“He was an amazing person and a really good friend of mine. I spent a lot of time with him, rode with him. He was the happiest soul I know,” said Semenuk, who noted the tribute and win were pretty perfect for him as well.

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Following a moment of silence, an announcement was made that the competition will be known as the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza moving forward, and the riders met the occasion by raising the competition to the highest level. From Semenuk to Rogatkin to the man who challenged the Triple Crown of Slopestyle in 2015, Brett RHEEDER, it appeared everyone was ready to pull out new tricks, pull oppo (opposite) approaches and generally push the envelope.

“I’m so excited to come back and get a good run on the course. The track’s been awesome. Last year, I had a big crash and didn’t get to do my second run, which was a bummer, so it’s nice to be able to come back and walk away unscathed,” said Semenuk.

Social media blew up well before the man known for owning Joyride came through to accept his win, the fans clearly declaring a preference for Rogatkin’s envelope-pushing trick. In interview after the competition, the riders indicated it was Semenuk’s consistency and grace, which secured the win over the phenomenal single hit.25595931462_0ab2ecfe5c_z 25416216910_2e9c4c06e7_z 25716936855_5989e34b21_z 25086538314_f0d1aa5f31_z 25595918632_0ed933d447_z 25595917662_3ab7ca35fe_z

“Between those two runs, one guy had absolutely perfect execution, but one had some trick difficulty—being Rogatkin—with a little inconsistency. Tough, tough fight between the judges, between first and second, but once it came down to it, trick for trick, it was Semenuk,” said Paul Rak, head judge.25595930952_951623971d_z

For his part, Rogatkin appeared non-shuffed.

“…It feels insane to be the first to do (The Twister) in the contest and to have the support of the crowd and the guys… feels amazing,” he said.

The Slopestyle event is to be followed by entertainment from DJ Nero and PDiggs and the Deep Summer Rotorua Photo Challenge. Deep Summer challenges the industry’s best photographers to assemble a team of riders to build the most creative photography slideshow possible. The shows will be assembled by competitors Zach FAULKNER (USA), Callum WOOD (GBR), Simeon PATIENCE (NZL) and Sean LEE (AUS).

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza
1. Brandon SEMENUK (CAN)
2. Nicholi ROGATKIN (USA)
3. Brett RHEEDER (CAN)


LOIC BRUNI SECURES SECOND CRANKWORX DH VICTORY IN NEW ZEALAND

Matt Walker finished Crankworx Rotorua in the lead for King of Crankworx, Kintner comes on strong for Queen

The New Zealand fans were going wild as the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS unfolded Sunday afternoon with three top Kiwi riders making a play for a solid home-crowd podium, until Frenchman Loic BRUNI showed up.

The victor during the inaugural Crankworx Rotorua downhill last year, Bruni managed two of the Crankworx DH wins in 2015. Standing on the sidelines following his race, he looked at a packed crowd and noted he was thrilled the fans returned for the final day of the festival, after a huge crowd took in the memorial for Kelly McGarry, Slopestyle event and the Deep Summer Rotorua Photo Challenge Saturday.25113427004_136f02a46a_z

“I feel good. I changed bikes, which is a big change. I’ve been working a lot and training again. Starting a season with a good feeling is a good way to start,” said Bruni. “I’m definitely starting to like New Zealand and the day has been pretty good.”

He bested George BRANNIGAN (NZL), second, and Brook MACDONALD (NZL), third for the win.

Sitting in first spot for the women, Jill KINTNER (USA) was out to build better memories in Rotorua, after a challenging 2015 where she caught a tire in a gate on the pump track to place second, and injured herself on the downhill course in practice.25717216306_d64d7f7a0c_z 25112840894_3684a66003_z 25116644123_55208ed892_z 25136257884_ee8e4fb39e_z 25136219004_5571963ed2_z

“That one was a little bit unexpected, actually, so it feels a lot more fulfilling than any (of the) other wins,” she said, after pulling into top spot.. “Downhill wins – that’s like something special for me, especially with Tracey, Casey and Emilie, such good quality chicks, to compete against, and such a big stage and live feed.

“…This whole event was no joke, too. You just look at the whip jump. There’s a lot of demons you have to conquer here. And, plus, I had to go down that section where I got hurt and I had to work it out, so I’m proud of myself for overcoming a lot of things and doing new things, and massive jumps, and coming out on top. So this one means a lot to me.”

She beat out Tracey HANNAH (AUS) and Casey BROWN (CAN), and added a third first place win to her docket for the festival. She moves into a strong position at the top of the Queen of Crankworx standings, while Kiwi rider Matt WALKER (NZL) has the lead, by 75 points, in the King of Crankworx standings.

Like Kintner, Walker is very clear he’s trying to pack in as many events this season to target the crown as possible.

“It was a pretty big goal of mine coming in. Last year I gave it a nudge, but it was just too hard trying to juggle getting bikes, and getting used to bikes. Now I’ve got the proper support this year, and so I’m getting used to my bikes and really working hard toward that overall,” said Walker.

The Crankworx Rotorua action wrapped up following the downhill event, with the next festival slated to roll out from June 15–19. It will be the beginning of a new chapter for the Crankworx World Tour as it launches the inaugural Crankworx Les Gets, bringing the festival to Portes du Soleil region of the French Alps.

Men’s standings Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS
1. Loic BRUNI (FRA)                          2:38.77
2. George BRANNIGAN (NZL)          2:41.20
3. Brook MACDONALD (NZL)           2.41.96
4. Sam BLENKINSOP (NZL)              2:43.71
5. Matt WALKER (NZL)                      2:44.38

Women’s standings Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS
1. Jill KINTNER (USA)                                    3:09.55
2. Tracey HANNAH (AUS)                 3:14.39
3. Casey BROWN (CAN)                   3:19.84
4. Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI)        3:20.97
5. Alanna COLUMB (NZL)                 3:25.78


Mountain biking’s defining celebration descends on Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park March 9-13, 2016. Crankworx Rotorua brings the world’s downhill, slopestyle and enduro legends together with the superfans, rising stars, industry innovators and the next generation of mountain bike riders for five days of competition, concerts, and mountain bike culture.

Anointed by dirt, powered by passion, the Crankworx World Tour travels to Rotorua, New Zealand, Les Gets, France and culminates in its Canadian home base of Whistler, B.C.

Tread among the gravity-fed. Join the bike-minded.

Crankworx.com

The Gravity Mountain Biking World Descends on Rotorua

A strong contingent of elite athletes, a new downhill race, the Deep Summer photography showcase and more Kidsworx events will see Crankworx Rotorua expand for 2016 as New Zealand welcomes the international mountain biking community.

Fans can join the King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour, Bernard KERR (GBR) and Anneke BEERTEN (NED), Aussie downhillers Mick and Tracey HANNAH, last year’s Crankworx Slopestyle Champion, Brett RHEEDER (CAN), and elite riders like Casey BROWN (CAN), Martin SÖDERSTRÖM (SWE) and Loic BRUNI (FRA) for the launch of the Crankworx World Tour’s second season.18014591369_473c57a40b_z17994754498_b32d21550c_z

This year marks a chance at redemption, or proof the 2015 climb to supremacy was a true testament of a rider’s skill—and the riders are ready to roll.

“I know, from last season, it takes a lot of energy and determination to win the Queen of the Crankworx World Tour, but I’m feeling fit and can’t wait to race all the different disciplines again,” says Beerten, inaugural Queen of the Crankworx World Tour.

Rheeder will be back to make another play for the Triple Crown of Slopestyle on the course where his 2015 back-to-back winning streak began. And Nicholi ROGATKIN (USA), author of the first 720-cork-360 (dubbed “The Twister”) at Masters of Dirt this month, will step up the competition, along with Thomas GENON. Genon quietly delivered a hat-trick of third place finishes for a strong 2015 Crankworx season, and finished at the top of the FMB rankings, 324 points ahead of Rheeder, in second, with Rogatkin third.18201932921_1241bb85b3_z 18201935281_df7b2c5295_z 18201951061_7fd2e99303_z

In the downhill scene, Crankworx veteran champion Jill KINTNER (USA) and Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI), third in the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS, will face Hannah, 2015 Crankworx DH Champion, Beerten and Brown. And in the men’s field, Crankworx DH Champion Sam BLENKINSOP (NZ) comes off a strong year to challenge last year’s Rotorua winner, Bruni, and top enduro racer Fabien BAREL (FRA). After years at the top of the Enduro World Series, Barel retired from professional racing in the fall, but has committed to doing the Crankworx Downhill Championships as part of a new product development role.17994706878_43575851f2_z

“Crankworx is the only international DH series that brings us to meet very different riding communities,” Barel says. This could mean racing the new Crankworx tour stop alongside the same French and British fans who watched him deliver one of the sport’s great moments: his bare knuckle 2005 UCI World Championships win in Les Gets.18013378109_e117e4d31a_z

Riding alongside heroes of the sport is one of the truly unique aspects of every Crankworx festival, and four of the eight Crankworx Rotorua events are open to the public, including the Crankworx Rotorua Air Downhill, the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS, the Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by Spank, for which members of the public must qualify, and GIANT Toa Enduro. The events have a way of propelling new or up-and-coming riders onto the world stage, as both New Zealand’s Wyn MASTERS and Raewyn MORRISON can attest.

As the first stop of the Enduro World Series in 2015, the GIANT Toa Enduro proved a huge boost for Masters, who pulled in for third, eventually securing a Top 25 spot in the series. Morrison’s eleventh place finish launched an incredible year for the Kiwi; she finished ninth in the 2015 EWS rankings.18013602869_3e0a940758_z 17577310754_8230313ea8_z 18012417328_d07b8dbfc4_z 17579076373_49632f7597_z

“There’s something about racing at home in front of a crowd that’s special and, for sure, a great way to start the international race season,” says Masters.

This year’s enduro is not an EWS round, so it offers a taste of world-class riding without the demands of world series racing. Local athletes can expect to join Josh CARLSON (AUS), Aaron BRADFORD (USA), Fabien COUSINIÉ (FRA) and Michal PROKOP (CZE) on course with a strong New Zealand pro presence─Blenkinsop, Rupert CHAPMAN, Cameron COLE, Matt WALKER, Keegan WRIGHT, and the Masters brothers, Ed and Wyn.18196819132_1ae11b6e49_z 17577884024_325fbd7524_z 18201595031_09dd587cb5_z

Back for another crack at the Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style, meanwhile, Söderström will be trying to best Kerr, who won the Crankworx Dual Speed & Style Championships, and riders like Adrien LORON (FRA), who place second.

“I have said it before and I will say it again, Speed and Style is the perfect sport. Tight racing combined with big tricks is a crowd and rider favourite,” says Söderström.

Crankworx includes eight competitions and four live broadcasts, all to be shown on Crankworx.com, with the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle also live on Red Bull TV. For this year’s enduro, Crankworx will run a live blog on its website with video and picture integration, and the latest information from the forest as the seven-stage race unfolds.

Crankworx runs from March 9-13, 2016. Events include the Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShoxCrankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXSCrankworx Rotorua Air DownhillCrankworx Rotorua Slopestyle, Mons Royale Dual Speed and StyleOfficial Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by SPANK and the Giant Toa Enduro. There will also be an expo at the Skyline Gravity Park, food and entertainment.

Crankworx is broadcast live from Crankworx.comPinkbike.com and the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle is live on Red Bull TV.


Broadcast schedule:

– Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style: Thursday, Mar. 10, 5-7 p.m. NZDT; Wednesday, Mar. 9 8-10 p.m. PST; Thursday, Mar. 10 5-7 a.m. CET

– Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox: Friday, Mar. 11, 7-9 p.m. NZDT; Thursday, Mar. 10-midnight PST; Friday, Mar. 11 7-9 a.m. CET

– Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle: Saturday, Mar.12 3-5:30 p.m. NZDT; Friday, Mar. 11, 6-8:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, March 12 3-5:30 a.m. CET

– Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS: Sunday, Mar. 13 2:30-5:30 p.m. NZDT; Saturday, Mar. 12 5:30-8:30 p.m. PST; Sunday, Mar. 13 2:30-5:30 a.m. CET


WHAT’S NEW:

Crankworx Rotorua Air DH: Designed as a participatory event, this race will bring the NZ bike community out to ride with the pros. The Air DH is set on Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park’s Mr. Black, and has 32 jumpable features, including tables, step downs, step ups, shark fins, doubles and a wall-ride. Find out more and register today on Crankworx.com.

Deep Summer Rotorua Photo Challenge: Four talented photographers and three iconic locations. Experience Rotorua’s riding culture like you’ve never seen it before –through the eyes of another’s lens. The inaugural Deep Summer Rotorua Photo Challenge will be held immediately after Saturday’s Slopestyle event and anyone from around the world will be able to vote for their favourite presentation online at Crankworx.com for 24 hours following the conclusion.

– Live blog: Coverage of the GIANT Toa Enduro will include a live blog on Crankworx.com with photos, interviews and video. Be sure to tune in and follow the Periscope coverage of Stages 6 and 7. The GIANT Toa opens the festival on Wednesday, Mar. 9 NZDT. Blog coverage will start at approximately 10 a.m. NZDT; Tuesday, Mar. 8, 1 p.m. PST on the West Coast of North America; Tuesday, Mar. 8, 10 p.m. CET in Europe.

– Kidsworx: A new race has been added to the line-up for 2016. The Skyline Warrior DH Race is run on a Grade 4 difficulty trail, Sprint Warrior, and is a step up from the Spawn Cycles Hipster DH. Racers 6-9 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Find out more and register online at com. Also new:

– Kids’ pump track, built by Empire of Dirt, the same team building the main pump track for the Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox

– VIP parking for kids bikes, so the groms don’t have to cart a bike around all day.

– Spawn Cycles and GIANT demo bikes on site for kids to test

– Official Oceania Whip-Off presented by Spank: This year’s whip-off is a multi-air affair with a new jump designed to take the event to the next level – along the lines of Whistler’s Crabapple Hits. Don’t miss the highlights on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Periscope on Wednesday, Mar. 9 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. NZDT; Tuesday, Mar. 8 3:30-4:30 p.m. PST; Wednesday, Mar. 9 6:30-7:30 a.m. CET.

– Expo & Demo expansion: Over 50 exhibitors will be joining the expo and demo area this year with new brands including ilabb, Camelbak and Powasol to name a few. Try a bike from one of seven demo bike companies on Skyline Gravity Park’s bike track.

REGISTER TO RACE: Registration is still open for the GIANT Toa Enduro, the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS and the Crankworx Rotorua Air DH. Sign up now on Crankworx.com

TICKETS & VIP INFORMATION: Tickets for all events are on sale now through Crankworx.com.

CrankWorld Tour Announces New Stop for 2016 – Les Gets

Les Gets, France brings Crankworx to a legendary Downhill hotspot

Dates announced for Crankworx Rotorua, Crankworx Les Gets and Crankworx Whistler

The podiums have been put away, but the Champagne keeps popping as the three-stop Crankworx World Tour announces it’s adding Les Gets, France to the family.

Nestled in the 12-resort Portes du Soleil circuit, straddling the French-Swiss border, Les Gets is a pioneer mountain biking destination for both mountain bike tourists and racers.

“Back in the ’80s, Les Gets was one of the first regions in the world to use its lifts to shuttle riders, and its 2004 UCI World Championships is the stuff of legends. This is a location steeped in the culture and history of our sport and we are thrilled to be adding the region to the World Tour,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour general manager.

Having hosted five World Cups and numerous French nationals, mountain biking fans the world over are well familiar with its steep, verdant alpine. And its World Championship is remembered as the beginning of Frenchman Fabien Barel’s Downhill dominance, and his storied rivalry with British rider Steve Peat.

The resort hosts 95 kilometres of bike trail, has three dedicated lifts and is only an hour’s ride from the Geneva airport, giving it the classic Crankworx touch: a place to ride the best terrain alongside the best riders in the world, while watching the world’s best racing.

“We are delighted to welcome the European leg of the prestigious Crankworx World Tour,” says Henri Anthonioz, Mayor of the resort. “We pride ourselves on being great organizers and hosts. This event will be an exceptional feast for mountain biking fans with spectacular races in the heart of the village and a rich entertainment program.”

The Crankworx World Tour arrives one week before the 80 km Passport du Soleil race. With a family pump track already built for the village square, and riders en route for the 12th year of the Passport, it is expected the inaugural Les Gets festival will draw epic crowds of all ages right out of the gate.

The 2016 season marks the sophomore year of the Crankworx World Tour and the return of its four-series format, the Triple Crown of Slopestyle and the race to crown the next King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour.

There is now a whole slate of champions ready to defend their titles in the Crankworx DH Championships, the Pump Track Challenge Series, the Speed & Style World Championships and the Crankworx Slopestyle Championships. And its expected the Queen of the Crankworx World Tour, Anneke Beerten, and King of the Crankworx World Tour, Bernard Kerr, will be looking to up the ante once more to hang on to their new status as the top all-round mountain bike athletes in the world.

Once again, each race series will be worth $5000 to the rider who earns the title, with a $5000 bonus available to the downhill rider who can win all four races in the DH series. DH is the only discipline with an extra race on the docket.

As the marquee event of Crankworx, Slopestyle will continue to be a focal point in 2016. The Crankworx Slopestyle Championship will be worth $25,000 with an additional $25,000 prize up for grabs for the rider who can win all three Slopestyle events to secure the elusive Triple Crown of Slopestyle. The honour has yet to be bestowed.

Crankworx arrives in Rotorua, New Zealand one week earlier this year to run March 9-13, 2016, and will hit Les Gets, France in June for a June 15-19, 2016 run. It returns to its Whistler home base in British Columbia, Canada for a 10-day event staged August 12-21, 2016.

Tickets for Crankworx Rotorua are on sale on Crankworx.com, with early bird pricing as follows:

  • Multi-Day Adult: $69NZD five-day pass
  • Multi-Day Child (5-14 years): $49 five-day pass
  • One-day pass adult: $40
  • One-day child pass: $30

*Passes include Skyline Rotorua gondola access for the duration of the pass.

Prices will go up after December 31, 2015, and VIP passes will be released in early 2016.

Brosnan On Top at Canadian Open DH

The Crankworx World Tour concluded Sunday with perfect runs from near locals, Troy BROSNAN (AUS) and Casey BROWN (CAN), both of whom have spent time living in Whistler.

This was the third time Brosnan had challenged the Canadian Open DH presented by iXS and he had his eye on the win from the get go.

“I knew I had a really good chance this year. My run was pretty much perfect, but I’m super glad to take the win, and it’s just a really good confidence booster for the rest of the World Cup season. And to do it in front of everyone on the same day that Slopestyle is on, it’s pretty crazy,” he said.

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Sunday marked the last day of the 10-day Crankworx Whistler festival and the biggest day it has ever had. After rain showers forced a postponement of Red Bull Joyride on Saturday, the event was moved to Sunday morning placing the two biggest events of the festival back to back. The Canadian Open DH is one of the largest downhill races in North America and the crowds on site following the double bill revelled in the all the action in what appeared a difficult downhill.

“The conditions were so wet in the morning. They really dried up over the day, but it was still really slippery in the woods,” said Casey BROWN (CAN), winner of the women’s race.

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Brown was thrilled with the win as it occurred on home turn, in front of family, after a long stint on the road.

“It’s been a couple years since I’ve taken the win, 2012 was the last time, so it’s awesome to ride that track again, especially against some of my best friends and the people I race against every weekend in the World Cup,” she said.

The Canadian Open Downhill marks the conclusion of the inaugural Crankworx World Tour, and it came down to the final standings of the race to determine who would be crowned the first King of the Crankworx World Tour.

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The season-long chase for the crown saw Bernard KERR (GBR), Adrien LORON (FRA), and Sam BLENKINSOP (NZL) dancing around the top, though as the announcers pointed out during Red Bull Joyride, a crushing win from Brett RHEEDER (CAN) could even have put him in contention.

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Finally coming out on top, after earning his very first Crankworx win in the D.S.&S. in Les 2 Alpes and a string of top 10 finishes, Kerr said he set the goal right out of the gate and then just gave it his all.

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“I didn’t know how hard it was going to be, but it’s been hard. Starting in New Zealand, I knew if I tried to do some events there it would be a good kick off to the year to try and create some confidence. Once I did good there, I knew it was on and I needed to make it happen,” he said.

Known as an all-round rider who has always raced multiple events Crankworx, Kerr noted, as far as he’s concerned, taking it all on is just how racing is done.

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“I always used to race Fourcross and dirt jumps and event since that I’ve always just wanted to (race). I just did it. I thought that was what you do, I think,” he said.

The first winner of the Queen of the Crankworx World Tour, meanwhile, had nothing to fear and no one chasing her, but her own precariously tough mindset.

Well out in front for the entire year, Anneke BEERTEN (NED) brought home an amazing first place in the standings, punctuated by an almost unimaginable string of stitches.

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“It’s been a bit of a rough last couple of weeks because I raced in Colorado for the Enduro World Series and I had to get stitches. The stitches were just out for one day and then I crashed again here and I had to get stitches again in my elbow and my hip. I’m just bruised up and stiff. But when you’re here, I don’t know, I was just able to keep riding and push through and survive,” she said.

Nothing it’s never over until it’s over, Beerten said she worried the entire season that Casey BROWN (CAN), who is a great all-round athlete, or Jill KINTNER (USA), a dominate downhiller, would hit their stride and suddenly take her out.

“I’m so stoked. I love racing Crankworx events. They’re so big and well organized. Winning them is just great,” she said.

Women’s Results:

1. Troy Brosnan (AUS)

2. Mark Wallace (CAN)

3. Sam Blenkinsop (NZL)

 

Men’s Results:

1. Casey BROWN (CAN)

2. Miranda MILLER (CAN)        

3.  Tracey HANNAH (AUS)

Brandon Semenuk Revels in the Glory of Third Consecutive Red Bull Joyride Win

Behind every cloud is a silver lining, and despite a one day rain delay which forced the postponement of the most highly anticipated event of the week-long Crankworx Whistler festival, Red Bull Joyride hit the mountain on August 16th showcasing slopestyle mountain biking under near perfect weather conditions. 

Watch the complete event replay here: REPLAY PLEASE!

Anthony Messere - Action

Nicholi Rogatkin, Brandon Semenuk, Thomas Genon - Winners
Nicholi Rogatkin, Brandon Semenuk, Thomas Genon – Winners.
Greg Watts performs a 360 X-Up during the finals of the Red Bull Joyride event in Whistler, Canada on August 16th, 2015.
Greg Watts performs a 360 X-Up during the finals of the Red Bull Joyride event in Whistler, Canada on August 16th, 2015.

The Red Bull Signature Series event featured 18 of the world’s top athletes in a season-defining showdown that marked the final stop of the Crankworx World Tour and the last required win for the Triple Crown of Slopestyle. 

It was Squamish local Brandon Semenuk who took fist place, making this his third consecutive Red Bull Joyride victory.  Flawless back to back runs that featured his signature technicality quickly put him in the lead in what was by far the most confident performance of his season, delivering big tricks including two cork 720’s, an opposite truckdriver and backflip tailwhip to one foot can.  “The earlier part of the year was tough for me, and to finally get a good run down the hill felt so good after two events where I wasn’t riding my best.  But I so badly wanted to put this one together and it kept unfolding the way I was hoping for”, said Semenuk. 

Thomas Genon - Action
Thomas Genon.

For Brett Rheeder, it was an opportunity to potentially make history as the first ever athlete to win all three stops of the Triple Crown series after a stellar season that saw him take the podium wins in both Crankworx Rotorua and Les 2 Alpes.  Despite being the odds-on favourite to win the third stop in Whistler, falls on both his first and second runs unfortunately put him out of reach of the podium. 

Brandon Semenuk - Lifestyle
Brandon Semenuk .

Following hot on Semenuk’s heels was Nicholi Rogatkin of the US with a second place that saw him take the podium at Red Bull Joyride for the first time in his career.  With two strong runs, he was within site of gold with a score of 93.80, only 3.04 points behind Brandon Semenuk.  Third place went to Thomas Genon of Germany.  A full summary of results can be found here

Nicholi Rogatkin - Action
Nicholi Rogatkin.

Saturday’s rain was a blessing in disguise, arriving at a time when Whistler has seen some of the driest conditions so far this season.  Although the wet conditions were deemed unsafe at the time of competition, the water helped to dampen the dusty course making the dirt much takier by Sunday, giving riders the extra traction they hope for. “The course was about the same speed as yesterday, but the wind really mellowed out today making it pretty much perfect.  It was a little exhausting coming at this on a second day after getting so ready yesterday (Saturday), but it’s turned out really well” said Semenuk.

Much of the crowd returned to the Whistler Plaza on Sunday with over 25,000 hardcore mountain bike fans cheering from the sidelines of the Whistler Bike Bike.


The State of Slopestyle with Brandon Semenuk & Brett Rheeder

Red Bull Joyride 2015 Course Preview

The Return of Red Bull Joyride

The Story of Red Bull Joyride 2014

Andreu Lacondeguy and Casey Brown Crowned Whip-Off Champions

OFFICIAL WHIP-OFF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS PRESENTED BY SPANK.

The top 20 riders in the finals, down from 120, absolutely threw down on Crabapple Hits early Thursday afternoon. Casey BROWN (CAN) and Andreu LACONDEGUY (ESP) were named the 2015 Official Whip-Off World Champions, making Brown the owner of the women’s division.

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Judge Duncan Riffle said competitors are judged on how far they whip it, how in control they can keep it, how big they go, and their overall fluidity.

“We had the biggest showing of talent we’ve ever seen. It was so difficult to narrow it down to the top five,” said Riffle. “Overall, the whip is about aesthetics. It all comes down to how cool it looks. Whips feel amazing to execute and they look even cooler. It’s poetry in the air. I love the whip.”

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First-time champion, Lacondeguy, was giving it everything he had.

“I’m stoked! I’ve never won a whip-off before and I was just whipping it as hard as I could,” says Lacondeguy. “I saved it all for the end and whipped my biggest whip on my final run.”

Red Bull Joyride trail builder, Dustin GILDING (CAN), sent the crowd into a frenzy by whip-bonking a “my mom whips better than you” sign twice, and received an honourable mention.

Brown showed up to defend her title as World Champion, after winning in Crankworx Rotorua, by beating out some tough competition. The commentators remarked that Brown whipped so hard she was almost indistinguishable from the guys out on the course.

 

Official Whip-Off World Championships Presented by Spank

Women’s Results:

1. Casey BROWN (CAN)

2. Lorraine BLANCHER (CAN)

3. Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI)

 

Men’s Results:

1. Andreu LACONDEGUY (ESP)

2. Bernardo CRUZ (BRA)

3. Ryan HOWARD (USA)

 

Garbanzo DH Packs Its Usual Punch, Despite Unusual Set Up

Despite organisers’ attempts to mix it up for the Garbanzo DH, fans of the iconic Crankworx race likely felt a little déjà vu Wednesday as Claire BUCHAR and Marcelo GUTIERREZ VILLEGAS stepped atop the podium.

Claire Buchar

Taking the win for a second and third year, respectively, the Whistler local and Columbian dynamo both admitted they were not thrilled to see the course change this year, Gutierrez, in particular, having labelled it his favourite course in the world. Nevertheless, neither racer balked at the chance to best their contemporaries, powering down the epic quad-crusher under 30-degree Celsius heat.

“I’m not going to say it was fun because it’s one of those things that’s just so hard you can’t call it fun; but it was gratifying in the end,” said Buchar.

Considerably less technical and flatter, the new course is really the original Garbanzo DH course, a 3400-metre toll-taking test of mountain biking supremacy.

“It was so physical,” said Gutierrez. “I wasn’t really happy about it, but you just have to deal with it; so I changed bikes.”

Gutierrez initially tested the course on his downhill bike and made the switch to his enduro rig after the first run. He then spent his entire practice struggling not to get punctures, crossing his fingers he would not flat-out in the race.

Gutierrez has now secured first place in the Garbanzo six times—once as a junior, twice in second and the last three years as the overall victor. Outstripping his nearest competitor by 13 seconds, he certainly proved the dominant rider, though hardly the only hero of the day. Matt WALKER, of New Zealand, managed to keep himself in the top 20by walking his bike up the hills, after breaking his chain on a flat fire road section. Buchar, meanwhile, earned her win by little more than a second, declaring herself “wrecked” by the end of the day.

Now at the mid-point of Crankworx, the adult sports action is being matched, and at times surpassed, by the enthusiasm at Kidsworx. In its second year, it is attracting hundreds of young groms eager to follow in the footsteps and tire treads of their heroes. Some 170 competitors registered for Monday’s main attraction, the Kidsworx B-Line race, and those numbers were nearly matched Friday as 130 competitors took on the Kidsworx Village Crit, packed elbow to elbow at the start line in many age groups.

Garbanzo DH

Women’s Results:

1. Claire Buchar 14:43.15

2. Miranda Miller 14:44.35

3. Anneke Beerten 14:55.87

 

Men’s Results:

1. Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas 12:45

2. Chris Kovarik 12:58.24

3. Sam Blenkinsop 13:03.88


Tomorrow.. The heart of Crankworx returns. Fox Air DH is set up to hit the most iconic trails on Whistler Mountain where every turn is a berm, every jump is a tabletop and every moment is a battle of mind over matter. Over 375 riders have signed up for this adrenaline pumping ride. Get your rush on the Crankworx LIVE webcast running at 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Canada, 12:30 a.m. – 2:30 a.m. Europe (August 13), 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. New Zealand (August 13).

Crankworx LIVE webcast schedule:

Fox Air DH Wednesday, August 12  3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Canada, 12:30 a.m. – 2:30 a.m. Europe (August 13), 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. New Zealand (August 13)

Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox Thursday, August 13  7 – 9 p.m. Canada, 4 – 6 a.m. Europe (August 14), 2 – 4 p.m. New Zealand (August 14)

 

Giant Dual Slalom Friday, August 14  5-7 p.m. Canada, 2 – 4 a.m. Europe (August 15), noon – 2 p.m. New Zealand (August 15)

 

Red Bull Joyride Saturday, August 15  4:30 – 8 p.m. Canada, 1:30 a.m. – 5 a.m. Europe (August 16), 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. New Zealand (August 16)

 

Canadian Open DH presented by iXS  Sunday, August 16 3 – 5 p.m. Canada, midnight – 2 a.m. Europe (August 17), 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. New Zealand (August 17)

Video: Insane Crankworx Slopestyle Highlights

Whips, flips and plenty of tricks. Watch the highlights from the slopestyle finals.

It was stop two of the Crankworx World Tour, as the competition moved to Europe and the stunning mountain setting of Les Deux Alpes, France. The battle was on as riders fought to deny 22-year-old Canadian Brett Rheeder from taking the new Triple Crown of Slopestyletitle.

With the bar set so high from the start, there was no room for filler tricks and riders were clearly feeling the pressure to pull out banger moves in the less than ideal gusty weather.

Who put together the perfect run and claimed victory?

 

Loic Bruni wins Crankworx DH, Les 2 Alpes

The Crankworx France vs. The World team captain and current leader in the Crankworx DH Championships, Loic Bruni, seized the win in the Les 2 Alpes downhill race with a commanding lead and a roar from the French fans.

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For much of the race, the three-time winner of the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Downhill Cup, Gee Atherton, held first spot, having had an early crack at the baby powder-fine dust of the run. Once the top racers came barrelling down the hill, however, he quickly found himself out of the hot seat, fellow countryman Bernard KERR (GBR) knocking him down, and Bruni securing the win by a stellar 4.6 seconds for a 3:44.7 finish.

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“My run was quite loose, but I felt fast. It’s good in front of Remi and, you know, we’re Team France, so it’s good,” he said, referencing the friendly Crankworx competition to see if France would dominate on home turf.

Altogether, Team France secured three first place wins, putting them well out front of Team World; although, the wins did not come easily—including Bruni’s. Heading into the gate at the top of the course, he discovered he had a flat tire and almost had to drop out as he did not bring mechanical support.

“I saw my friend. He came here to watch and ride and he had a Lapierre—a good tire—and then he gave me his wheel just before I raced,” said Bruni, who was all smiles on the finish line.

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Wyn Masters, who was seeded first coming into the finals, was not so lucky, getting a flat on course to finish out of contention.

Bruni’s fellow Team France teammate Myriam NICOLE (FRA), meanwhile, said she felt she was in a shaky position before her last run, having just returned to racing.

“On this track, it’s a bit hard to do a really perfect run, so there is always some mistake. I haven’t been racing for more than two months because I had a broken collarbone, so I’m really happy with the win,” she said.

Sitting five seconds behind after the seeding run, Nicole had to lay it on the line to beat Tracey HANNAH (AUS), whom she edged out by .02 seconds for a 4:28.3 win. Asked why she feels the French riders are doing so well, Nicole chalked it up to the terrain.

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“I think we’ve got good trainers in France and the Alps help us to do good as well,” she said.

France versus The World was devised to see whether the strong French mountain bikers were reaching the status of French road cyclists, leading the pack in the two-wheel world, though it did not have any monetary value on the line.

This year, Crankworx did introduce a significantly larger prize pot, however, rolling out four series races and the King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour. Some $10,000 is riding on the Crankworx DH Championships, for the rider who can win all four races, and $25,000 for the King and Queen of Crankworx, and that has one a frontrunner for King sweating. Bernard Kerr admitted he has woken up from fitful sleeps over the standings, particularly one where he dreamed it was like a video game.

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“It was like a game like Mad Skills MotoCross or something, but like a Pump Track version and I clicked finish too early and I came in sixth and I woke up like, why did I click finish? I could have done better,” said Kerr, noting $25,000 is money worth worrying over.

This final event wraps up the last of four days of competition at Crankworx Les 2 Alpes and the second stop of the Crankworx World Tour. The Crankworx Whistler runs August 7-16, 2015.

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Downhill Cup

Final Standings:

ELITE MEN

1.   Loic Bruni (FRA)

2.    Remi Thirion (FRA)

3.    Sam Blenkinsop (NZL)

4.    Guillaume Cauvin (FRA)

5.    Bernard Kerr (GBR)

 

ELITE WOMEN:

1.    Myriam Nicole (FRA)

2.    Tracey Hannah (AUS)

3.    Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI)

4.    Elenora Farina (ITA)

5.    Carina Cappellari (SUI)

France vs. The World final standings: FRANCE WINS

Official European Whip-Off Championships— Rémi Thirion
D.S.&S.— Tomas Lemoine and Adrien Loron 3rd 
Les 2 Alpes Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox — Anne-Caroline Chausson 1st and Corentin “CoCo” Percier Quarter Finalist
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle — Antoine Bizet and Louis Reboul
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS — Loic Bruni 1
st and Myriam Nicole 1st

Brett Rheeder wins 2nd round of the Triple Crown, the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle

After thrilling the Kiwi fans by sharing his victory lap in the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle with friend Logan Peat, Canadian Brett Rheeder earned himself another celebratory sail through the concourse, taking the second round of the Triple Crown of Slopestyle in style.

Rheeder put himself on top in the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle right out of the gate, earning a 93.25, four points more than friend, rival and fellow Canadian Brandon SEMENUK.

“Somehow I still have a chance at winning this Triple Crown. I would be stupid not to keep going. I’m trying my hardest,” he said in interview from the finish corral where a gaggle of press was waiting.

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One of the only riders to deliver the kind of beautiful run commentators can proclaim “the run to beat,” this was actually the first time Rheeder ever completed a run on the course, a course where he broke his back two years ago. He was also up against some tough conditions, with winds gusting through the French village hard enough to postpone the start in a rather fitting follow to his Rotorua performance where torrential rain caused similar delays.

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Battling the hurdles, he admitted to being stunned by his victory.

“Once again, I’m on top of the world,” he said, noting Semenuk just didn’t deliver the run he needed for a win.

The Triple Crown of Slopestyle was introduced in February as a new title for the inaugural Crankworx World Tour. With New Zealand and the French festival now part of the Crankworx family, the title was set as the ultimate challenge to see if one rider could take home all three Crankworx Slopestyle victories in a single year.

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The only rider to come close to this type of conquest, to date, is Semenuk, who has won the Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle, his hometown event in Whistler and the Crankworx Colorado festival, no longer in existence.

Semenuk is known the world over as the preeminent talent in this young sport and he expressed extreme disappointment in his own performance after the event.

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“I just didn’t ride very dialed in. I wasn’t too happy with my runs,” he said quietly.

Rheeder will now have one last event to win, Red Bull Joyride in Whistler, to secure the crowning glory and a potential $75,000. Joyride is of significantly greater magnitude, with crowds of 30,000-plus lining the hillside, which comes at the end of the original, 10-day Crankworx festival.

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Men’s results:

1.) Brett Rheeder (CAN)

2.) Brandon Semenuk (CAN)

3.) Thomas GENON (BEL) 

Tune in to Crankworx.com to watch all the action beginning tomorrow:

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Cup: Sunday, July 12 14:00 France; 5 am Whistler, Canada; midnight Monday, July 13

Official European Whip-Off Champs

It was the longest the judges ever deliberated for a Whip-Off, but ultimately one sideways moment of steeze prevailed as Brazilian Bernardo Cruz leapt off the line to a win in the Official European Whip-Off Championships.

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Hitting the 45-degree mark and swinging back for an arrow-straight run-out, Cruz not only managed to steal victory from the reigning Official World Whip-Off Champion, Finn Iles, but also put ‘The World Team’ out front right off the bat in the Crankworx ‘France vs. The World’ battle, a friendly competition to see if the French will dominate on home turf.

“It was a great day for me…I just tried to think: get sideways and then put the bike back. I put the bike straight and then I cannot say I did better, but I did well,” said Cruz, whose whips at the World Whip-Off Championships in Whistler have consistently turned heads.

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Debate appeared to wage in the judges’ corner as the sport’s creator, Sven Martin, and judges Colin Duncan, Greg Watts and Cam Zink debated whether 15-year-old Iles had really been beaten with whips so comparable on style and amplitude.

Iles won the world over last August, after his hometown crowd successfully lobbied to get him into the competition, though he was technically too young to compete at the all-day event. He not only proved he was worthy, but walked away with the big win, leaving fans to light up social media with an endless river of posts under the hasthtag #LetFinnin.

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This time, another young competitor from the Whistler region, 10-year-old Jackson GOLDSTONE (CAN), stole the show, rocking up to the line and pounding out some big air, though he was half the size of the other riders. His efforts earned him an honourable mention as he held the commentators’ attention all evening, pedalling his way all the way to the top of jumps he is still too light to coast up.

On the ladies side, Casey BROWN (CAN) continued to ace it. After winning in Whistler and Rotorua, in the first round of the Crankworx World Tour, she pulled a hat-trick to come out ahead of Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SWI), second, and the captain of Team World, Anneke BEERTEN (NED).

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“It’s nice to have more women in the field this time… Makes hitting the jumps so fun,” said Brown, who was breathless in the finish coral, admitting her calf muscles were cooked.

The Les 2 Alpes competition wasn’t as long as the original Whistler event, however, strong heat and dry conditions did make it a tough dust-up for the riders, 150 of whom showed up to compete and shepherd the fourth Crankworx Les 2 Alpes into the record books.

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Final resutls:

MEN                                                   

1.   Bernardo CRUZ (BRA)

2.   Finn ILES (CAN)        

3.   Dave McMILLAN (AUS)

HONOURABLE MENTION: Jackson Goldstone

 

WOMEN:

1.    Casey BROWN (CAN)

2.    Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI)

3.    Anneke BEERTEN (NED)

The win for Team World marks a 150-point lead for the global team over the France in the first event of Crankworx Les 2 Alpes. This friendly competition will use the same point system as the King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour.

 

Team World:

Official European Whip-Off Championships — Bernardo Cruz (BRA)

D.S.&S.— Cam Zink (USA) and Tom van Steenbergen

Les 2 Alpes Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox — Anneke Beerten (NED) and Matt Walker (NZL)

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle— Thomas Genon (BEL) and Tomas Zejda (CZE)

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS — Rachel Atherton (GBR) and Marcelo Gutierrez (COL)

 

Team France:

Official European Whip-Off Championships— Rémi Thirion
D.S.&S.— Tomas Lemoine and Adrien Loron
Les 2 Alpes Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox — Anne-Caroline Chausson and Corentin “CoCo” Percier
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle — Antoine Bizet and Louis Reboul
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS — Loic Bruni and Myriam Nicole

 

Tune in to Crankworx.com to watch all the action beginning tomorrow:

Dual Speed & Style – Friday, July 10 16:30 France; 7:30 Whistler, Canada; 2:30 am Saturday July 11 Rotorua, New Zealand

Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox – Friday, July 10 20:00; 11 am Whistler; 6 am Rotorua, New Zealand Saturday, July 11

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle—Saturday, July 11 16:30 France; 7:30 Whistler, Canada; 2:30 am Rotorua, New Zealand Sunday, July 12

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Cup: –Sunday, July 12 14:00 France; 5 am Whistler, Canada; midnight Monday, July 13

Round two of the Crankworx World Tour Launches in Les 2 Alpes, France

As a heatwave rolls through Europe, Crankworx Les 2 Alpes is shaping up to be one hot ticket with the biggest downhill race in its four-year history and heady competition among those vying for King or Queen of the World Tour.

Current frontrunner in the King of the Crankworx World Tour standings, Martin SÖDERSTRÖM (SWE), has announced he is out with a tibia and fibula fracture, pushing athletes like, Bernard KERR (GBR), Brett RHEEDER (CAN), Loic BRUNI (FRA) and Joost WICHMAN (NED) into a battle for the lead.

CWX 5 (1)

Sӧderstrӧm is a major contender in the dual speed and style, pump track and slopestyle, and his eight-week hiatus will scramble the Crankworx World Tour leader board, creating plenty of space for a new force on the gravity scene.

Equally intense, the race for the title of Queen of Crankworx will continue this weekend with the deepest women’s field in Les 2 Alpes history as Casey BROWN (CAN), Anne Caroline CHAUSSON (FRA), Rachel ATHERTON (GBR), Tracey HANNAH (AUS), and Cecile RAVANEL (FRA), among others, look to challenge current leader Anneke BEERTEN (NED) at this pivotal point in the season.

“Racing pump track is just something I love to do. It is so much fun and the atmosphere is always good,” says Beerten, adding “… I’m excited to hear Anne Caro is racing, but at the end of the day I just have to put down the fastest lap I can no matter who I am racing against.”

The Crankworx DH Championships, meanwhile, will be an dog fight as nearly 300 riders tackle the infamous Les 2 Alpes Bike Park DH course.

CWX 4 (1) CWX 3 (1) CWX 2 (1) CWX 1 (1)

“It’s fast, steep and loose as can be. The DH this year will separate the men from the boys and women from the girls. The heat across France has made the track dusty and loose and the winners won’t be separated by a hundredths of a second. This is a tough track,” said Crankworx General Manager Darren Kinnaird.

But the big story of the French festival is expected to roll out in the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle as Brett RHEEDER (CAN), the current FMB Diamond Series Leader, challenges the Triple Crown of Slopestyle.

CWX 7 CWX 8 CWX 3

“I come into Les 2 Alpes with no expectations. I’m hoping to ride the best I can and let the chips fall where they may,” says Rheeder, a typically understated competitor.

He will be challenged by last year’s Crankworx Les 2 Alpes champion Anthony Messere and slopestyle behemoth Brandon Semenuk, the man with the most Crankworx Slopestyle wins and the reigning FMB World Champion. 

“This is the first year of the Triple Crown of Slopestyle and Rheeder stepped up in Rotorua to take the win. He’s proven he will be a force this season with another win two weeks ago at Swatch Prime Line, but it would be a mistake to count out guys like Semenuk, Genon, Rogatkin or Messere. This is always the longest, most technical course of the year and it’s truly anyone’s game,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour manager.

The Crankworx World Tour will be broadcast live so fans around the world can follow all the action as they did in Rotorua, where webcasts were viewed from Qatar to Mexico, Iran to South Africa.

CWX 2

Watch the second stop of the Crankworx World Tour unfold live at Crankworx.com:

D.S.&S. Finals – Friday, July 10 16:30-18:30 CET, 7:30 am PST, 2:30 am (July 11) NZT

Les 2 Alpes Pump Track presented by RockShox – Friday, July 10 20:00-22:00 CET, 11 am PST, 6am (July 11) NZT

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle – Saturday, July 11 16:30-19:00 CET, 7:30am PST, 2:30 am (July 12) NZT

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Downhill presented by iXS – European Downhill Cup – Sunday, July 12 14:00-16:00 CET, 5:30am PST, midnight-2am (July 13 NZT)

Enduro Style Check: So Sideways in Rotorua

Stage one in the enduro was on a new trail in the Whakawerawera Forest, called Kataore. The locals call it ‘Cutties’, the unpredictable traction and loose off-camber nature of the track is seriously intense to ride. You need to race it, don’t try and just ‘ride’ down or it will throw you off your bike and into the dirt.

We checked out Kataore during the practice session, and saw rider after rider hit the deck attempting to get through through sections of trail riddled with slippery roots and steep turns at speed. So, naturally we bolted up to one of the wildest corners when it came to race day, and caught a handful of the final elite men trying their luck at making it through rubber side down.

Interpreted many ways, the riders approached the corner with varying technique, and outcomes. Here is how it unfolded.

EWS Style Check 66
Richie Rude.
EWS Style Check 61
Jamie Nicoll.
EWS Style Check 60
Greg Callaghan.
EWS Style Check 55
Bryan Regnier.
EWS Style Check 50
Remy Absalon.
EWS Style Check 48
Cedric Gracia.
EWS Style Check 41
Alexandre Cure.
EWS Style Check 36
Curtis Keene.
EWS Style Check 33
Martin Maes.
EWS Style Check 30
Yoann Barelli.
EWS Style Check 28
Francois Bailly-Maitre.
EWS Style Check 22
Joe Barnes.
EWS Style Check 18
Florian Nicolai.
EWS Style Check 15
Nico Lau.
EWS Style Check 11
Justin Leov.
EWS Style Check 4 (1)
Damien Oton.

Crankworx – Slopestyle, Spinning Up The Volume

Born in Whistler from the heart of the Crankworx festival is Slopesyle, the ultimate spectacle. No clocks, just a judging panel to crown the winner of this unique event.

The baby faced Canadian, Brett Rheeder took it out with a clean and flawless run ahead of the madly spinning Nicolai Rogatkin, Martin Soderstrom was looking like he was the one, but judges were looking hard for the best display from all areas of judging criteria.

1. Brett Rheeder
2. Nicolai Rogatkin
3. Thomas Genon
4. Martin Soderstrom
5. Logan Peat
6. Sam Reynolds
7. Tomas Zejda
8. Tomas Lemoine
9. Sam Pilgrim
10. Louis Reboul
11. Paul Genovese
12. Antoine Bizet
13. Greg Watts
14. Brandon Semenuk
15. Kelly McGarry
16. Simon Pages
17. Carson Storch
18. Tyler McCaul
19. Cam Zink
20. Anthony Messere

Crankworx Slopestyle 51Crankworx Slopestyle 41Crankworx Slopestyle 40Crankworx Slopestyle 36Crankworx Slopestyle 27Crankworx Slopestyle 17Crankworx Slopestyle 12Crankworx Slopestyle 7Crankworx Slopestyle 48Crankworx Slopestyle 37 Crankworx Slopestyle 35 Crankworx Slopestyle 32Crankworx Slopestyle 18 Crankworx Slopestyle 3
Crankworx Slopestyle 1 9 Crankworx Slopestyle 1Crankworx Slopestyle 1 4 Crankworx Slopestyle 1 3 Crankworx Slopestyle 31Crankworx Slopestyle 33 Crankworx Slopestyle 29 Crankworx Slopestyle 9Crankworx Slopestyle 45 Crankworx Slopestyle 43 Crankworx Slopestyle 50 Crankworx Slopestyle 46 Crankworx Slopestyle 39

Crankworx Slopestyle 27 Crankworx Slopestyle 38Crankworx Slopestyle 26 Crankworx Slopestyle 6 Crankworx Slopestyle 1 8 Crankworx Slopestyle 1 5 Crankworx Slopestyle 1 2 Crankworx Slopestyle 14 Crankworx Slopestyle 21 Crankworx Slopestyle 42 Crankworx Slopestyle 51 Crankworx Slopestyle 52 Crankworx Slopestyle 53 Crankworx Slopestyle 54 Crankworx Slopestyle 55 Crankworx Slopestyle 56

Crankworx – Enduro World Series, The Season Finally Begins

The day that many were waiting for, the Enduro. In the Crankworx calendar was a particularly large event, the first round of the highly anticipated Enduro World Series.

The first round of any series brings a buzz of excitement with everything new again, and this case with the whole EWS show still in its relative infancy all eyes were turned on Rotorua for the season opener. And what happened up in the forests of the famous mountain biking town in New Zealand will leave a legacy, and a reputation for one of the most demanding and exciting races we’ve seen yet.

Seven stages, with an immensely wide variety of terrain that served up a unique challenge in each. The liaison stages were long, and the riders were certainly pushed in all aspects of their ability, in true enduro fashion.

It was a French affiar at the pointy end of the pro men and women’s field with a closely fought battle. Jerome Clemetz, and Anne Caroline Chausson taking the top steps.

The spectators were loud, and the forest was howling with mad fans baying for blood and to catch a glimpse of the big internationals slaying their trails. It’s a real spectacle to spectate in an EWS race, and the whole concept is exciting to watch unfold. With a new appreciation for how tough and crazy fast the top riders are, we eagerly await round two in Ireland, 8 weeks time.

Check out the official Enduro World Series site for the course preview, and full results.

Pro Men
1- Jérôme Clémentz
2- Fabien Barel
3- Wyn Masters 
4- Justin Leov
5- Florian Nicolai
6- Nico Vouilloz
7- Sam Blenkinsop
8- Matt Walker

Pro Women
1- Anne Caroline Chausson
2- Tracy Moseley
3- Cécile Ravanel
4- Aneeke Beerten
5- Megghie Bichard
6- Ines Thoma
7- Rosara Joseph

The mad Frenchman, Cedric Gracia. Tunes cranking in his ears, and clearly loving it.
The mad Frenchman, Cedric Gracia. Tunes cranking in his ears, and clearly loving it as he heads off for a bloody big day at work.
A magnificent starting stage, at the mighty Pohutu Geyser. The largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere.
A magnificent starting stage, at the mighty Pohutu Geyser. The largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere.
Sam Hill, mixing it up with the enduro crowd.
Sam Hill, mixing it up with the enduro crowd. He would then go on to win stage 7, which was predominantly the same track as the downhill race a day earlier.
Out of the steam, and into the fire.
Out of the steam, and into the fire.
Sydney's Gen McKew, not alone feeling anxious in the start gate.
Sydney’s Gen McKew, not alone feeling anxious in the start gate.
Anne Caro means business, game face on.
Anne Caro means business, game face on. Little did she know that later that afternoon, she’d be on the top step.
The Pōwhiri ceremonial welcome will chill your bones, or send you running.
The Pōwhiri ceremonial welcome will chill your bones, or send you running.
Josh Carlson keen to get the first round of the series done safe and sound, and build from here, all year.
Josh Carlson keen to get the first round of the series done safe and sound, and build from here, all year.
A calm and collected Nico, when is he not?
A calm and collected Nico, when is he not?
Sounds like a train coming, Dan Atherton was breathing hard, at max effort in the sprints.
Sounds like a steam rain coming, Dan Atherton was breathing hard, at max effort in the sprints.
Sam Blenkinsop, third place in the downhill only a day earlier, takes seventh in the enduro.
Sam Blenkinsop, third place in the downhill only a day earlier, takes seventh in the enduro.
Wyn on a roll! Is this his new thing? Killing it.
Wyn on a roll! Is this his new thing? Killing it with a third place amongst VERY fierce company.
Rosarah Joseph keeping it level, and cleaning the steep trails easily.
Rosara Joseph keeping it level, and cleaning the steep trails easily.
Peak hour traffic on the steepest part of stage one.
Peak hour traffic on the steepest part of stage one.
Richie Rude, needing a lighter touch to get through this one.
Richie Rude, needing a lighter touch to get through this one.
How Damien Oton managed to pull this off, we won't ever understand. Knee draggin!? Shit.
How Damien Oton managed to pull this off, we won’t ever understand. Knee draggin!? Shit.
Joe Barnes swinging off the back with his trademark committed style.
Joe Barnes swinging off the back with his trademark committed style.
Help!
Help!
Knee dragging, that's more wild than foot dragging.
Knee dragging, that’s more wild than foot dragging.
Crankworx Day 4 LEOV
Justin Leov, this guy is our hero! Winning stage two, and keeping it consistent to take fourth overall. He was looking so solid on course, and his nice white jersey kept that way all day long.
The liaison stages were long in distance, but not in time. It was a tough one to get around to all the stages.
The liaison stages were long in distance, but not in time. It was a tough one to get around to all the stages.
Locals getting into it, in their likeable and cheeky manner.
Locals getting into it, in their likeable and cheeky manner.
Gone. But not out.
Gone. But not out.
Cecile Ravanel, overall winner was so composed in her riding. Not one to look like she was going too fast, just consistent and it paid off.
Cecile Ravanel, overall third place winner was so composed in her riding all day. Not one to look like she was going too fast, just consistent and it paid off.
Anne Caro, more lines than any in her field.
Anne Caro, taking tougher more lines than any in her field.
Barel, on a mission.
Barel, on a mission.
Lighter and agile than anyone out there, Jerome Clementz early on in the day.
Lighter and more agile than anyone else out there, Jerome Clementz early on. Winning three out of the seven stages, Jerome was on a flyer all day.
Iago Garay, first elite male down the hill. The Spaniard has a real downhillers style on the bike.
Iago Garay, first elite male down the hill. The Spaniard has a real downhiller style on the bike.
Curtis Keene going down, so close.
Curtis Keene going down, so close.
Nico Voullioz, with his inhuman agility through switchback turns.
Nico Voullioz, with his alien-like agility through switchback turns. Sixth on the day for the seasoned guru.
Josh Carlson admitted to be riding well within his limits this weekend, with the whole year unscathed a priority for him.
Josh Carlson admitted to be riding well within his limits this weekend, with the whole year unscathed a priority for him.
The popular Kiwi shredder, Raewyn Morrison, blending cross country strength, local knowledge, with killer enduro performance.
The popular Kiwi shredder, Raewyn Morrison, blending cross country strength, local knowledge, with killer enduro performance. 11th on the day for her with a super-consistent ride.
Jerome on the hunt through the Billy T fast sections.
Jerome on the hunt through the Billy T fast sections.
No time to chill, Oton, not chilling.
No time to chill, Oton, not chilling.
Remy Absalon, never on the brakes for long.
Remy Absalon, never on the brakes for long.
Gracia, boosting over anything in his path. He doesn't mind spending a fair bit of air over trails that he doesn't know that well.
Gracia, popping over anything in his path. He doesn’t mind spending a fair bit of time in the air over trails that he wouldn’t exactly know that well.
Leov rolling on the 29" wheels, and Shimano XTR Di2.
Leov rolling on the 29″ wheels, and Shimano XTR Di2.
The speed that Rosarah Joseph came through this section was frightening.
The pace that Rosara came through here was kinda frightening. On her way to a seventh place finish overall.
Cecile Ravanel, boosting doubles, slamming turns like a downhiller.
Cecile Ravanel, boosting doubles, slamming turns like a downhiller.
Josh Carlson, killing it on the downhill stage, #6.
Josh Carlson, killing it on the downhill stage, #6.
Crankworx Day 4 EWS 42
Cedric avoiding the roots.
Crankworx Day 4 EWS 41
You can hear Fabien coming, his focussed breathing technique is loud, but obviously effective!
Crankworx Day 4 EWS 40
Nico, so light and easy.
Crankworx Day 4 EWS 43
Pretty sure Curtis Keene hit this section as hard as the downhillers that this trail would normally see.

Crankworx Day 4 EWS 44

Anne Caro riding the DH section of the course so hard, it's kinda freaky to watch.
Anne Caro riding the DH section of the course so hard, it’s kinda freaky to watch.
Jerome, home stretch to the overall win.
Jerome, home stretch to the overall win.
Martin Maes, probably wasn't planning on jumping this section, but carryint the speed he had just made stayin on the ground too hard. Boost!
Martin Maes, probably wasn’t planning on jumping this section, but carrying the speed he had just made stayin on the ground too hard. Boost!
Last man down, Damien Oton. The way he jumps on the gas out of turns is astonishing. So much confidence.
Last man down, Damien Oton. The way he jumps on the gas out of turns is astonishing. So much confidence.

Crankworx Day 4 EWS 45

Done! Whilst our coverage featured predominantly the elite field (due to the media arrangement at Crankworx) there was a large field of pinned amateurs too, enduro is a bloody big undertaking to finish, and a World Series one is the top of them all.
Done! Whilst our coverage featured predominantly the elite field (due to the media arrangement at Crankworx) there was a large field of pinned amateurs too, enduro is a bloody big undertaking to finish, and a World Series one is the top of them all.

 

Crankworx Rotorua: Going Down

The field for the Crankworx Rotorua downhill race wasn’t far shy of that you’d find at World Cup; the Athertons (Gee and Rachel), the Hannahs (Mick and Tracey), Hill, Bruni, Blenkinsop, MacDonald, and they weren’t hanging about either. In many ways, it was a good preview for the upcoming season, which gets kicked off in France in just two weeks.

The course was largely the same as was used for the World Champs back in 2006, and it was interesting to see how much the riders still loved it, it’s clearly aged well. Rain which was forecast failed to materialise, and conditions were about as perfect as you can imagine come race time. Rotorua’s famed dirt is some of the most magical stuff you can ride on, and it was at its most luscious this afternoon.

In the women’s racing, the battle was really between two riders; Rachel Atherton and Tracy Hannah, and they finished in that order. The huge gap back to third highlighted the fact these two women are in a different league, and we’re looking forward to seeing them battle it out throughout the year.

The men’s racing could have been won by a dozen different riders, and the hot money was on the Kiwis – Blenkinsop, Brannigan, MacDonald and the Masters brothers were all favourites. But the Frenchman, a young Loic Bruni, crashed the party in a big way. He smoked the field by two and a half seconds, ahead of an ecstatic Eliot Jackson, with Blenkinsop in third. Powerhouses Hill and Atherton were both well back, along with Mick Hannah (the last rider on the hill) who can’t get a break, picking up a front flat.

Today was also the last practice session ahead of the Giant Toa Enduro, which kicks off early tomorrow morning. Stages 4 and 5 treated riders to yet more incredibly slippery roots and greasy mud, but the field must be getting well accustomed to it by now, as there was a lot less crashing and fewer concerned faces than we’d seen in Stage 1 practice! A few course modifications announced yesterday also removed some of the tighter, slower trails as well, which was greeted with praise. We’re really excited to see how it all pans out tomorrow in the dark forests of Rotorua.

Practice also got underway for the slopestyle as well. Set amongst the massive pines, the word from the riders is that they’re loving the course, and while they were all really just feeling out the size and shape of the jumps today, the forgiving Rotorua dirt is likely to encourage some truly rowdy riding come Sunday.

As if the day wasn’t already jam-packed enough, things were capped off with the Pump Track Challenge, which was held under lights after being postponed yesterday afternoon. The head-to-head format is a winner, and while local favourite Keegan Wright was edged out by veteran racer Joost Wichman, it was a great way to cap off a huge Friday of racing.

I can see my hotel from here. Hey, get out of my minibar!
I can see my hotel from here. Hey, get out of my minibar!
Andrew Neethling had some of the smoothest lines of all, but a flat tyre ruined his final. Poor little fella.
Andrew Neethling had some of the smoothest lines of all, but a flat tyre ruined his final. Poor little fella.
Roto dirt is something else. With a bit of moisture in it, it's the grippiest stuff since a scared cat on Velcro.
Roto dirt is something else. With a bit of moisture in it, it’s the grippiest stuff since a scared cat on Velcro.
Bernard Kerr, on a charge out of the dark redwoods.
Bernard Kerr, on a charge out of the dark redwoods.
Brendog, just casually boosting into a VERY fast section of the course.
Brendog, just casually boosting into a VERY fast section of the course.
Connor Fearon, taking a moment to whip up some cheer on his way to fifth.
Connor Fearon, taking a moment to whip up some cheer on his way to fifth.
One of the course favourites, Brook MacDonald.
One of the course favourites, Brook MacDonald.
Loic dropping through the loudest part of the course.
Loic dropping through the loudest part of the course.
Sam Hill received a loud welcome to the finish, but lost too much time up there somewhere for the podium.
Sam Hill received a loud welcome to the finish, but lost too much time up there somewhere for the podium.
Brook MacDonald didn't spend a moment more than necessary in the air.
Brook MacDonald didn’t spend a moment more than necessary in the air.
Sam Blenkinsop's wild style would've won him the lunatic air-pedalling race, but it didn't get him the win in the downhill today. There is no more exciting rider to watch we feel.
Sam Blenkinsop’s wild style would’ve won him the lunatic air-pedalling race, but it didn’t get him the win in the downhill today. There is no more exciting rider to watch we feel.
Make some room up there, Gee. Rachel was the Atherton who shone today, taking the win over Tracey Hannah.
Make some room up there, Gee. Rachel was the Atherton who shone today, taking the win over Tracey Hannah.
Rachel Atherton's composure in the steep woods was streets ahead of all the other women, excluding Tracey Hannah.
Rachel Atherton’s composure in the steep woods was streets ahead of all the other women, excluding Tracey Hannah.
We're big fans of this affable and entertaining young French kid.
We’re big fans of this affable and entertaining young French kid.
Cash cash!
Cash cash!
Tracey, Rachel and Emelie.
Tracey, Rachel and Emelie.
Loic and Blenki are great mates, a pat on the back and a face full of bubbles from a mate.
Loic and Blenki are great mates. A pat on the back and a face full of bubbles from a friend.

 

Blenki in a sea of green.
Blenki in a sea of green.

Crankworx Day 2 15

Stage 4 of the EWS runs through one of our all-time Roto favourites, Te Tiwi o Tawa. A rooty, off-camber, but strangely rhythmic ride through the native bush.
Stage 4 of the EWS runs through one of our all-time Roto favourites, Te Tiwi o Tawa. A rooty, off-camber, but strangely rhythmic ride through the native bush.
The lower half of stage 4 spits riders onto Billy T where there's barely a root to be seen.
The lower half of stage 4 spits riders onto Billy T where there’s barely a root to be seen.
Josh Carlson pre-jumps into a Billy T fadeaway. He's loving the rooty conditions, telling us it's just like home. Whether he means Wollongong or adopted homeland of Canada, we don't know.
Josh Carlson pre-jumps into a Billy T fadeaway. He’s loving the rooty conditions, telling us it’s just like home. Whether he means Wollongong or adopted homeland of Canada, we don’t know.
All hail the king: Nico Voullioz. Hunting for lines out of the main rut, looking light, fast and very relaxed.
All hail the king: Nico Voullioz. Hunting for lines out of the main rut, looking light, fast and very relaxed.
Six weeks to build this course, probably needed a lot of dirt?
Six weeks to build this course, probably needed a lot of dirt?
Sam Pilgrim, no sleeves, no worries.
Sam Pilgrim, no sleeves, no worries.
Semenuk, seriously inverted on the final jump.
Semenuk, seriously inverted on the final jump.
Watching and learning.
Watching and learning.
Lofting through the Rotorua Redwoods.
Lofting through the Rotorua Redwoods.
There is a lot of time to trick, with that amount of air.
There is a lot of time to trick, with that amount of air.
Martin Soderström, casual barspin up the stepup in practice.
Martin Soderström, casual barspin up the stepup in practice.

Crankworx Day 3 Pump 13 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 12 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 8 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 11 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 10 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 9 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 6 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 5 Crankworx Day 3 2

With the pump track event held under lights, it was tough to get shots, so we went for something a little #arty.
With the pump track event held under lights, it was tough to get shots, so we went for something a little #arty.

Crankworx Day 3 Pump 1 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 2 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 3 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 7 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 4

Crankworx Rotorua: Tricks and Other Cunning Stunts

We tried to explain to a mate last night how the Speed and Style discipline worked, but we all ended up a little confused. Suffice to say, it’s a kind of race down a mixed terrain slalom-esque course, with two massive jumps thrown in. Riders get time bonuses for the tricks they pull, so you can actually lose the race, but win the heat if you impress the judges enough.

It mightn’t be the most straight forward of disciplines, but it’s great to watch, and there’s no doubt that the most impressive rider of the day won the event. Martin Söderström showed the slopestyle crowd that he’s back in action, after a horror run of injuries; all eyes will be on him come Sunday’s slopestyle finals. 

The speed and style was as much a test of a rider's willingness to tip, white-knuckled, into a berm as it was a show of their skills in the air.
The speed and style was as much a test of a rider’s willingness to tip, white-knuckled, into a berm as it was a show of their skills in the air.
Bernard Kerr backed up a podium in the whip-off with another one today. His racer-boy style didn't offer up much in the way of tricks, but he slayed them in the corners.
Bernard Kerr backed up a podium in the whip-off with another one today. His racer-boy style didn’t offer up much in the way of tricks, but he slayed them in the corners.

Crankworx Day 2 6

 

The lower half of the course had a few flat turns that were made exciting by semi-slick tyres and massive tyre pressures.
The lower half of the course had a few flat turns that were made exciting by semi-slick tyres and massive tyre pressures.
Not crashing. Tricking.
Not crashing. Tricking.
Söderström. Back (in black).
Söderström. Back (in black).
Crankworx Day 2 1 (1)
Before the rain ruined the show, pump track practice was getting warmed up nicely. Speed (Sik Mik) and Style (Soderstrom).
Crankworx Day 2 2 (1)
Ed Masters might look like he’s taking the piss, but he’s not mucking about out there.
Pumptrack 4
The best shirt at Crankworx.

Pumptrack 5

 

Crankworx World Tour Set To Launch In Rotorua

WORLD’S TOP GRAVITY MOUNTAIN BIKERS DESCEND ON THE LAND DOWN UNDER

Triple Crown of Slopestyle, Crankworx Series titles, King & Queen of Crankworx World Tour underway.

 

One explosive week of mountain biking is about to unfold in Rotorua, New Zealand, where the first round of the Crankworx World Tour sets the stage for a year of heady competition.

Launching the three-stop tour in the volcanic region of New Zealand known for its boiling mud and “dirt gold,” the inaugural Crankworx Rotorua will blaze a new trail for Crankworx, stepping up competition with the first stage of the new Crankworx Series titles, laying the foundation for the King and Queen of the Crankworx World Tour and determining which Slopestyle rider has the first shot at securing the new Triple Crown of Slopestyle.

“The World Tour has really caught the riders’ attention. Whether it’s the race for the Triple Crown or the allure of the four new Crankworx Series competitions, or the new King and Queen titles, Crankworx Rotorua has certainly drawn an unprecedented level of talent,” says Darren Kinnaird, General Manager of the Crankworx World Tour.

Competition opens with the Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships on Wednesday, Mar. 25, where 15-year-old Whip-Off World Champion Finn Iles (CAN) will try to duplicate the stunning performance, which earned him the title in Whistler. A win on Kiwi soil means stealing the title in the adopted homeland of mountain bike photographer Sven Martin, who invented the sport; but pulling out the skill and steeze to reign supreme will not be easy against the likes of Brendan Fairclough (GBR), Eliot Jackson (USA), Brendan Kerr (GBR), and Tyler McCaul (USA), the man who won the first Whip in 2012.

“Last time, there was a lot of pressure because everyone was pushing for me to get in,” says Iles, who won the right to compete in 2014, though under age, via a social media campaign. “When I got there, it turned out it was just a lot of fun and the only pressure was just the pressure I put on myself. And this time, it’s almost like there’s even less pressure. It’s just have fun and see what I can do.”

On Thursday, Mar. 26, riders invited to compete in the Mons Royale Dual Speed & Style will ignite old rivalries and potentially create a few new ones as they try to balance the race for the finish line with the bonus marks available for difficult tricks. Both the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes winner, Cam Zink (USA), and the 2014 Whistler top spot, Kyle Strait (USA), will be back on the track. Meanwhile, New Zealanders will be watching their fellow Kiwis Kelly McGarry, Connor Macfarlane and Phil McLean go head-to-head for the win.

“The field is much deeper than anyone really knows. Martin (Martin Sӧderstrӧm) and I have been the most consistent in Speed and Style finishes, but with the format being so volatile, and the competition being so tough, there are a lot of people that are capable of winning that really haven’t had a chance to shine. Strait won Whistler, (Greg) Watts almost took me out in Les 2 Alpes, so they are obviously now on the radar; but people like Tyler McCaul, Cam McCaul, Thomas Lemoine, and others will remain tough to beat,” says Zink.

Also running Thursday, the Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox brings the toughest women’s field assembled for a Crankworx Festival to date. With 2014 champion Caroline Buchanan not competing, four-time Pump Track Queen Jill Kintner (USA) will look to recapture her place atop the podium. She faces Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA), 2008 Olympic Gold medalist in BMX, Sarah Walker (NZL), 2012 Olympic silver medalist in BMX, BMX and 4Cross World Champion Anneke Beerten (NED) and world-class downhill riders like Tracey Hannah (AUS), Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI) and Casey Brown (CAN).

Equally stacked is the field for Friday’s Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS for which race officials are holding a draw for the Number 1 plate. Ordinarily, determined by race standings, competition was too stiff this season for any one rider to stake a claim to the top seeding. The draw includes previous race winners from Les 2 Alpes and Whistler and former Kings and Queens of Crankworx Whistler: Gee Atherton (GBR), Steve Smith (CAN) and Mick Hannah (AUS), for the men, and Rachel Atherton (GBR), Jill Kintner (USA), Casey Brown (CAN) and Tracey Hannah (AUS) for the women.

On Saturday, Mar. 28 The Giant Toa Enduro kicks off the Enduro World Series season with all the top riders in contention. Last year’s champion, Jared Graves (AUS), faces some stiff competition with several riders returning from a season sidelined by injury, like 2013 EWS champion Jérôme Clementz (FRA). Also on the comeback climb, Fabien Barel (FRA) will be on the start line, after winning the last round of the 2014 EWS season in his first race since breaking his back. Fresh off a win at the Giant 2W Enduro in Rotorua last month, New Zealand’s local favourite Wyn Masters (NZL) will also be pulling out all the stops.

“The first event is always the most exciting of the year, and being in such a rad place like Rotorua just adds to the anticipation,” says Josh Carlson, Giant Factory Off-Road team rider.

Final competition culminates Saturday, Mar. 29, with the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle, which will determine the sole athlete capable of chasing the new Crankworx Triple Crown this season, a title earned by winning all three Slopestyle events in the tour. Canadian Brandon Semenuk (CAN) appears to own Slopestyle. As the only rider to win at Crankworx Whistler, Crankworx Les 2 Alpes and a Crankworx Colorado event, not to mention the fact he has won Whistler’s Red Bull Joyride three times, all eyes will be on the Canadian from Squamish, B.C. Waiting in the wings, Brett Rheeder (CAN), who has come second to Semenuk on a number of occasions, Martin Sӧderstrӧm (SWE), who is returning from injury, and Anthony Messere (CAN), who landed the top podium spot in Les 2 Alpes in 2014, will be shooting for the win.

Watch all the action LIVE Crankworx.com

Mar. 26 Mons Royale Dual Speed & Style (12-2 pm NZT/ 4-6 pm PST Previous Day/ 12-2 am CET)

Mar. 26 Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox 5-7 pm/ 9-11 pm Previous Day/ 5-7 am)

Mar. 27 Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS (3-5 pm NZT/7-9 pm PST Previous Day/5-7 am CET)

Mar. 28 Giant Toa Enduro (4-6 p.m. NZT/8-10 p.m. PST Previous Day/4-6 a.m. CET)

Mar. 29 Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle (12:30-3 p.m. NZ/4:30-7 pm PST Previous Day/12:30-3 a.m. CET)

Crankworx is taking its coverage to the next level, crowd-sourcing video and breaking new storytelling ground to cover six hours of enduro racing in a two-hour webcast. The first half of coverage will showcase the six stages leading to the Stage 7, broadcast live as the race unfolds. Join us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ and hashtag video clips for #CWXLive and #CWXRotorua.

Crankworx Set to Shake Up Mountain Bike World With the ‘Crankworx World Tour’

New year, new challenges, new game-changer for gravity-fed mountain biking

In August, Crankworx Events Inc. announced it would add a third location to its global brand, opening the door for the 12-year-old festival to become a three-stop world tour staged in Rotorua, New Zealand, Les Deux Alpes, France and its Canadian hometown of Whistler, B.C.

Several disciplines within the tour will now hold Crankworx Series titles, including the marquee event of Slopestyle, with athletes vying to win each event and the overall title.

“Crankworx Whistler has always been what Slopestyle is to me; they’ve always had the raddest course. To see a series that has similar courses is what I’ve always wanted to see,” says Brandon Semenuk, three-time Red Bull Joyride champion. “Instead of riding a bunch of other courses, I’m just going to do the Crankworx events because that’s what I’m most stoked on.”

Should Semenuk, or any other athlete, win all three Crankworx Slopestyle events, he will be awarded the all new Triple Crown of Slopestyle and earn an unheard of $50,000 in prize money. 

The Downhill, Pump Track, and Dual Speed & Style disciplines have also been awarded Crankworx Series distinction, creating the Crankworx DH Championships, the Pump Track Challenge Series and the Speed & Style World Championships.

In addition to these individual competitions, an overarching battle to crown the King or Queen of the Crankworx World Tour will wage all season long as one man and one woman strive to become the best all-round mountain bike athlete. Crankworx Whistler has always recognized an outstanding male and female athlete with a coronation at the conclusion of its festival. The new King or Queen of the Crankworx World Tour ups the ante to recognize the male and female rider whose skill and versatility dominate on a global stage, and the prestigious title comes with $25,000 for both King and Queen.

“For me personally, having competed in so many different disciplines, the fact that Pump Track, Dual Slalom, DH, and Enduro all go towards an overall (title) should really play to my strengths. It’s a race within several races, and seems like an overall skills omnium—which is a cool concept,” says Jill Kintner, two-time Queen of Crankworx Whistler and four-time Crankworx Whistler Pump Track Champion.

Prize money for athletes who make the podium at all Crankworx festivals will be the same for men and women in 2015.

“It was just time. There are amazing things happening on two wheels right now and we should be able to recognize women for the feats they accomplish on an equal footing to men,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour manager. “Hopefully, this will encourage more women to get involved in competitive mountain biking.”

The Crankworx events included in the race to be named King or Queen are:

Crankworx Rotorua: Australasian Whip-Off Champs, Mons Royale Dual Speed &Style, Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS, GIANT Toa Enduro, Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle

Crankworx Les Deux Alpes: Official European Whip-Off Championships, Les Deux Alpes Pump Track presented by RockShox, D.S.&S., Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle, Les 2 Alpes Downhill part of the iXS European Cup

Crankworx Whistler: Fat Tire Crit, CLIF Bar Dual Speed & Style, SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized,  Fox Air DH, Official Whip-Off World Championships, Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, GIANT Dual Slalom, Canadian Open XC, Canadian Open DH presented by iXS, Garbanzo DH, Slopestyle at Crankworx Whistler

Crankworx runs March 25-29 in Rotorua, July 9-12 in Les Deux Alpes, France and culminates a 10-day celebration of mountain biking in its Canadian hometown of Whistler, B.C.

 

Record Sell Out and Stacked Registration for Giant Toa Enduro

Holy Guacamole that was fast!

As was predicted, it was only a matter of minutes before the four hundred ametuer places for the first round of the EWS sold out- three to be exact. Read below for the official word, and we’ll see you in March.

Wondering what trails they’re going to use in the race? Probably a few of these!

http://flowmountainbike.com/features/10-video-special-rotoruas-top-ten-trails/


The Giant Toa Enduro is shaping up to be a fascinating race with a field of competitors from all mountain biking race disciplines set to take on the course at Crankworx Rotorua.

Selling out in under three minutes, the event secured a new Enduro World Series (EWS) registration record yesterday, with a rich field of New Zealanders and internationally-based amateurs set to join the professional riders for race day this March.

All but one of the top 20-ranked men and women from the 2014 EWS season are set to ride, and a number of professional downhill racers have registered, as well.

“This is probably one of the most interesting, stacked mountain biking races with top enduro, cross country and downhill athletes all entered in this one event,” says Neil Gellatly, Giant Toa Enduro race director.

The race roster includes World Downhill Champions Sam Hill, Steve Peat, and Greg Minnaar, who will ride alongside several top downhillers from New Zealand−Sam Blenkinsop, Brook MacDonald, Cam Cole and Matt Walker.

Of the 400 racers registered, 40 per cent are from New Zealand, with 17 other nations represented, including: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden and, for the first time in an EWS event, Tahiti.

Race registration from New Zealand shows equal interest from all regions, with riders from Auckland (10%), Christchurch (10%), Dunedin (5%), Queenstown (10%), Nelson (10%) and Wellington (15%). Rotorua has, nonetheless, secured the most representation with 20 riders on the list.

Sponsored by Giant Bicycles, the Toa Enduro Rotorua marks the opening race for the EWS and will be one of five competitive events at the inaugural Crankworx Rotorua.

For those who didn’t make the race cutoff, and true enduro fans, Crankworx will once again broadcast the event live and names are being accepted on a waitlist at www.enduroworldseries.com/waitlist/R1. To date, Crankworx has offered the only live enduro coverage, broadcasting its Whistler event annually.

“We hope to take our live race coverage to new levels this year,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx Word Tour Manager.

Tune into Crankworx.com at 7 a.m. NZDT on Saturday, March 28 to watch how it all unfolds.

Crankworx Rotorua Entries Opening Thursday!

Athlete registration for Crankworx Rotorua opens this Thursday at 9 a.m New Zealand time. This includes registration for the Giant Toa Enduro and the Crankworx Downhill. Organisers are expecting tickets to sell like hot cakes, which is not suprising considering the calibre of trails on offer. Last year we documented the top ten trails in Rotorua- be warned though, if you watch this you will be flying to Rotorua this March! See you there!

http://flowmountainbike.com/features/10-video-special-rotoruas-top-ten-trails/

While you’re in Rotorua, you should also lay down some rubber on the Skyline trails. We’ve been lucky enough to rip many a lap after the cruisy Gondola ride up, and the break from pedalling is a great contrast to the Redwood trails.

http://flowmountainbike.com/features/introducing-skyline-rotorua/

See below for the official word on who has already entered and how to lock in your own spot!


Registration for the first two events of the inaugural Crankworx Rotorua opens 9 a.m. NZDT Thursday, January 22 and those lucky enough to secure a spot can expect to ride with the best.

Athletes interested in racing the Toa Enduro Rotorua, sponsored by Giant Bicycles, and the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS this March can sign up online through the Enduro World Series and Crankworx websites respectively, beginning at 9 a.m. New Zealand Daylight Time (9 p.m. CET Jan. 21 and noon PST Jan. 21).

According to the Enduro Mountain Bike Association, interest in the EWS among the factory teams has grown exponentially for this third season of the series with a record number signing on to race.

Crankworx Rotorua director Takurua Mutu says last year, the EWS stop in Chile sold out in three minutes and Rotorua is expecting an equally quick response.

“This is going to be an epic event, so we want to make sure all athletes competing for an open entry spot are ready when registration opens,” he says.

All of the elite EWS racers from 2014 have registered, including EWS World Champions Jared Graves and Tracy Moseley. Sidelined by injury for most of last season, Jerome Clementz, 2013 EWS champion, is signed up to race, as is Fabien Barel, who returned from breaking his back to win the last round of the 2014 series in Italy.

Several World Cup Downhill racers, who are not regular competitors in the Enduro World Series, are also vying for a podium spot. Sam Hill, Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar, Troy Brosnan, Brook MacDonald, and Sam Blenkinsop have all registered for this first EWS race of 2015.

The window to secure a spot for the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS is not expected to be as tight, but it too will sell out quickly.

“What makes Crankworx special is the opportunity for the amateur athlete to ride on the same track, in the same race, on the same day as the world’s top professionals. We are encouraging those who want to race to register quickly,” says Mutu.

Selection and sign-up for the other four competitive Crankworx Rotorua events also gets underway this week. Those events include the Australasian Whip-off Champs, the Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, the Dual Speed and Style and the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle.

Please note registration will occur on New Zealand Daylight Time (NZTD) and athletes will need to consult the international time clock converter to find appropriate time for their home region. To register for the following events, follow the link:

GIANT Toa Enduro: Race March 28. Register Thursday, January 22 at 9 a.m. NZDT− http://www.enduroworldseries.com/registration.php

Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS: Race March 27. Register Thursday, January 22 9 a.m. NZDT − http://www.crankworx.com/rotorua/info/athlete-information

Australasian Whip-off Champs: Competition. March 25. Registration to take place onsite just prior to the event.

Rotorua Pump Track Challenge Presented by RockShox: Race March 26. This is an invitational event featuring some of the top World Cup DH and Slopestyle riders. Other professional riders wishing to compete, both male and female, can email [email protected] to request an invitation.

Dual Speed and Style: Competition. March 26. Invitational. Confirmed rider list coming soon.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle: Competition. March 29. Invitational. Confirmed rider list coming soon.

 

This Ride to Recovery is Not For the Faint-Hearted


WARNING – The above video contains material which some may find disturbing

Martin Söderström is a rider who has always oozed class. From the way he can make the most basic of tricks look so stylish. to a résumé of contest wins from all over the world, there’s no doubting his ability.

But just when a victory on the biggest stage of them all, Crankworx’ Red Bull Joyride, seemed his for the taking, he suffered a brutal leg break that would see him staring retirement and a life away from riding right in the face.

Thankfully, it wasn’t to be, however. Söderström called on the same determination he’d used to reach the top of the sport to climb back on to his bike again. We’ll be chronicling in detail the bone-crushing lows and free-wheeling highs of his return to riding in a two-part feature. This week, we follow Söderström as he takes his first steps to getting back on the bike again following a long period of rehabilitation.

Stay tuned to see more on his road to recovery in part two next week.

Don’t forget that you can keep up to date with everything bike on the RedBull.com/Bike Facebook page.

 

Crankworx Rotorua Site Goes Live

Are you going to be in Rotorua for Crankworx? All the punga ferns in the world couldn’t stop us from heading over to be there for all the madness. It is going to be AWESOME.

Information is starting to trickle out about the schedule, course design and more. It’s time to start locking in your friends, your flights and your accommodation and make it real.

See below for the official word.


It’s on. With just five months to go before Crankworx hits the Southern Hemisphere, fans can now find some hotly anticipated information online to start gearing up for the kick-off to the 2015 mountain biking season, from March 25 – 29 in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Kiwi freeride legend Kelly McGarry says having the Crankworx festival in Rotorua is a huge step forward for New Zealand mountain biking, bringing the spotlight to the local riding scene.

“Crankworx festivals draw the world’s best riders from all aspects of the sport and it puts them together in one big mountain biking arena to ride and compete – it’s all streamed live on the net so everyone worldwide can watch the action go down and see how we do it here,” he says.

Crankworx.com/rotorua has gone live this week with all the details on what to expect in Rotorua, how to get there, where to stay and how to be a part of the action, as well as a whole range of information and videos showcasing what the world’s biggest mountain biking festival is all about.

The regional tourism organisation, Destination Rotorua, has also gone live with a web page – RotoruaNZ.com/crankworx and is sharing more details about things to do and see while in New Zealand, as well as providing insight to the riding with videos showcasing the Rotorua terrain.

Skyline Rotorua

Skyline Rotorua’s Mountain Bike Gravity Park will be the main event location for Crankworx Rotorua and will host Round One of the Crankworx Downhill and Dual Speed and Style Series, Round One of the Enduro World Series, the Rotorua Pump Track Challenge and the first stop in the brand new Crankworx event Triple Crown of Slopestyle.

With course development underway you can check out the current Skyline Gravity Park layout, plus lots more information about the venue, at Skyline.co.nz/rotorua/Crankworx_Rotorua.

Crankworx Rotorua director Tak Mutu says with a whole lot of information going live, it’s a good time to start booking accommodation, locking in travel arrangements and handing in the leave slips.

“We’ve already heard about some accommodation being sold out for the week of Crankworx, so it’s worth getting onto planning the trip – these online resources will be the perfect place to start,” he says.

Crankworx.com/rotorua will continue to evolve as more details of the event get locked in – stay tuned for more information about the official programme, ticket sales and sponsors, plus some other key announcements.

“Another way to stay in the loop is to ‘like’ the official facebook.com/crankworx page,” says Tak.

 

 

VIDEO: The story of Red Bull Joyride 2014

The Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx Whistler is the pinnacle of freeride mountain biking. Unlike the world’s other big slopestyle contests, Joyride embodies so much more and transcends into the focal point of global mountain biking.

Heading into the 2014 event, the rider who has really made the event his own, Brandon Semenuk, was staring down the barrel of perhaps the biggest ever threat to his monopoly of the spoils. Brett Rheeder had already defeated him at the X Games and was having the season of his life.

Rheeder’s run at Red Bull Joyride was nothing short of incredible and in any other contest would surely have secured victory. But there was no accounting for his Trek teammate, Semenuk…

Results
1. Brandon Semenuk
2. Brett Rheeder
3. Anthony Messere
4. Logan Peat
5. Louis Reboul

 

Photos and Video: Crankworx Whip Off to the MAX.

An afternoon of whips, trains and stoke has wrapped on Crabapple Hits, and a new King has been crowned at the Official Whip-Off World Championship at Crankworx Whistler. 14-year-old Finn Iles finished the day with a cheque for $2000 and the respect of riders, industry and fans.
“I’m unbelievably stoked,” said Iles. “I don’t even know what to say. It’s so awesome.”
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It’s been a whirlwind week for Iles after receiving the go-ahead in the event..
“It’s been pretty exciting…when I found out I was in I was so stoked,” said Iles. “People were telling me that my whips were good enough to win, so I just tried to throw down as best I could and I ended up winning. I’m super happy.”
“Finn took it in stride when he was told he couldn’t get in but then everyone rallied behind him,” says mom Alison Iles. “We’re just so proud of him, it’s great.”

Coming in close behind Iles was last year’s winner Bernardo Cruz (BRA), with Andreu Lacondeguy (ESP) taking the third podium spot. Fourth and fifth spots went to Ryan Howard (USA) and Graham Agassiz (CAN).
A top female whip was also named –  Casey Brown (CAN) earned the distinction, one she say’s she’s proud to have even though the field was small, with only two competing.
“I think a lot of people have this ‘women can’t jump’ kind of mindset,” said Brown. “But I’ve been doing it for such a long time, it’s probably my favourite things to do. You just show up and ride with a bunch of friends all day. You couldn’t ask for a better day really.”
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Fin Iles and Casey Brown, whipping to win.
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A very sideways Casey Brown.
A panel of five judges, including Tyler McCaul, Sven Martin, Duncan Riffle, Alan Cooke and Craig ‘Stikman’ Glaspell had the tough task of evaluating the whips. Glaspell said three things were a part of the final decision.
“The beginning of the whip, the actual whip and how they land – there’s some guys that are doing really sick whips but the take-offs a little sketchy and the landing’s a little sketchy. So kind of hitting all three is what we’re looking for.”
When asked why riders and fans get so stoked about the event, Glaspell said it’s a simple formula: “It’s not about perfection, it’s just about having the sickest whip.”

Official Whip Off on Crab Apple Hits in the Whistler Bike Park

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Motocross legend, Travis Pastrana and Casey Brown.

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(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)

(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)

(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)

(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)

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Video: Crankworx Ultimate Pumptrack

Crankworx has a new King and Queen of the pump track – Caroline Buchanan (AUS) and Barry Nobles (USA) each won their respective categories during the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox at Crankworx Whistler. Their individual victories were made all the sweeter by how stoked they were for each other. 

“To do it the same night as my teammate, Barry Nobles…he’s also my boyfriend so, fairy tale night for both of us and a long time coming,” said Buchanan. “We’ve both never been at the top of a podium together.” 

“That’s the best part, and I mean, this is Crankworx,” said Nobles “It’s one of the raddest events all year.” 

Buchanan was the first to celebrate, after beating Jill Kintner (USA) in both rounds of the big final. Kintner’s loss was definitely unfamiliar territory – she’d won the event for the past four year. There was much buzz around the possibility of a five-peat coming into this year’s race. 

“Jill’s a veteran here, she’s won it five years in a row – unreal rider,” said Buchanan. This year I knew I had to get a really good start, death-grip the turns, leave nothing in the tank and I came away with the win.” 

Taking the third spot was Anneke Beerten (NED) who won both rounds of the small final against Vaea Verbeeck (CA). 

When it came time to the men to race, Nobles’ background in BMX clearly served him well. He beat Tomas Lemoine (FRA) in both rounds of the big final. 

“Feeling pretty good. I’ve been in a few pump track events before and always cheese-it come finals, so it was good to finally make the finals and actually take the win.” 

His countryman Paul Basagoitia (USA) took the third podium spot after beating Mike Day (USA) in the small final. 

Men’s Results: 
1. Barry Nobles 
2. Tomas Lemoine 
3. Paul Basagoitia 

Women’s Results: 
1. Caroline Buchanan 
2. Jill Kintner 
3. Anneke Beerten 

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Caroline Buchanan powers her leopard pants into first place!
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Caroline and partner, Barry Nobles on the top step, how cute!

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(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)
Uber veteran, Brian Lopes.

(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)

(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)

(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)
Anneke Beerten
(Photo by clint trahan/crankworx)
Jill Kintner, the reigning champ took second this year.

Crankworx and EWS coming to Rotorua in 2015!

Mountain biking’s defining celebration is breaking new trail and setting the course for the future of the sport. Crankworx organizers announced today that world-class riding will kick off the 2015 mountain bike season with a brand new stop on the Crankworx circuit – Crankworx Rotorua. From March 25 to 29, 2015, the festival will alight in New Zealand for five days of two-wheeled competition, spectacle and celebration.
“We could not be more excited to be bringing Crankworx to Rotorua,” says Crankworx General Manager Darren Kinnaird. “The trails in New Zealand are out-of-this-world. Adding Rotorua allows us to grow the celebration and share what Crankworx is all about – it’s a gathering of the world’s best riders from all disciplines of mountain biking. It’s mountain biking at its most raw.”
Along with its latest festival, Crankworx will be transforming many of its biggest events into stand-alone series’, including the triple crown of slopestyle, a pump track challenge series, a dual speed and style series and a four-race Crankworx downhill series (two of which will be in Whistler). The Enduro World Series will also kick off the 2015 season in Rotorua as a part of Crankworx.

 The dream was to find the right home for our third Crankworx stop so that we could continue to share events that showcase the best mountain biking athletes in the world. Rotorua is beyond perfect. This is a game-changer.

“The momentum behind Crankworx is continuing to charge forward – it’s become more than a mountain bike festival. It’s become a culture,” says Kinnaird. “We’re now able to offer athletes and the world a series of events to get stoked about. The dream was to find the right home for our third Crankworx stop so that we could continue to share events that showcase the best mountain biking athletes in the world. Rotorua is beyond perfect. This is a game-changer.”
Rotorua has become known as the home of mountain biking in New Zealand. Red Bull’s magazine, The Red Bulletin, ranked Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa forest in the top eight mountain biking destinations in the world in 2013 – the only Southern Hemisphere location to feature.
“We are so stoked to be bringing Crankworx to Rotorua. Where else can you watch the biggest names in the sport throw down, then ride alongside them in the same day?” says Event Director for Crankworx Rotorua and Owner of Mountain Bike Rotorua, Tak Mutu. “It’s a chance not only to showcase the trails that have brought people from all over the world to Rotorua, but also the dirt, the culture and the spirit of the people.”
Mutu, along with Deputy Mayor of Rotorua Dave Donaldson, have been in Whistler taking in the 11th year of the fest in Whistler.
“Sitting here at the foot of the trails of Whistler it is easy to see what an opportunity this is for both of us.” says Donaldson. “In terms of global exposure for mountain biking events, Crankworx is number one, so securing the third international location is a fantastic thing for Rotorua. We’re so excited about what we can bring to this festival and to the mountain biking world.”

Video: Garbonzo DH, top to bottom, with Marcelo Gutierrez

Marcelo Gutierrez has just won the the longest MTB downhill event IN THE WORLD, the Crankworx Garbanzo DH in Whistler, Canada. Rough as [email protected]$k, gnarly, and extremely exhausting – this is twelve minutes of absolute, full-on insanity. Marcelo had this to say about the Crankworx 2014 track: “Longest DH in the world… most physical, I would say is the roughest time I’ve seen it, Garbanzo DH is just insane. Tons of lines, millions of roots, bone dry, rocky, faaaaaast sections, sweet berms, pedaling sections, technical, tight corners, wide open corners, it has everything!!! I love it… Probably when racing it is actually really painful but nothing’s better after 12:24 of pain than crossing the line and getting that victory I was wishing for so bad!” Congratulations Marcelo, you’ve earned it.

Video: What I Do In Whistler – Must Watch

Last night the GoPro Dirt Diaries happened at Whistler Olympic Plaza in front of a crowd of over 4000 people as a part of Crankworx Whistler.

A total of six videos put together by invited athletes and their selected filmmakers and teams screened in front of fans and a judging panel of five of the mountain bike industry’s most influential film professionals. The level of videos was stepped up again for 2014 and fans were wowed by some of the best riding and stories told to date.

The invited teams were Claire Buchar with the Summer Of Summit filming crew, Kirt Voreis with filmer Gunner Oliphant, rider Wade Simmons with Connor Macleod, Ross Measures with filmmaker Matt Dennison, rider Andrew Taylor with Long Nguyen and slope style rider Yannick Granieri with Jules Langeard. 

At the end of the night, the top three finishers who took home $10,000 in total prize money were:
1. Ross Measures and Matt Dennison – $5000
2. Kirt Voreis and Gunner Oliphant – $3000
3. Claire Buchar and the Summer Of Summit Crew – $2000

Video: Jared Graves Wins The SRAM Canadian Open Enduro!

350 riders who came out to test their Enduro mettle at the SRAM Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized at Crankworx Whistler were met by, what many described as, the toughest course they’d ever done. At the end, two pro riders bested them all – Jared Graves (AUS) sat atop the Pro Men’s podium, solidifying his spot at the top of the Enduro World Series (EWS) point standings, while Cecile Ravanel (FRA) finished fastest in the Pro Women’s category, winning her first EWS race.

“It’s my first win and it’s the best one to win, in the best place,” said an elated Ravanel. “At the beginning of the season I said that I preferred to win one Enduro World Series race in Whistler than two or three others during my career.”
Ravanel’s win in 58:04 put her one step up from the two women who’ve spent most of this season battling it out for top spot – Tracy Moseley (GBR) finished the day in second place with a time of 1:00:11, while Anne Caroline Chausson (FRA) took third with 1:03:11 after a puncture slowed down her final run of the day on Stage Five.
For the Pro Men, the end of the day reflected the current EWS rankings, but certainly not the beginning of the day. Jared Graves’ massive run in the final stage was enough to earn him the top of the podium, a total time of 51:11 and enough to make up for some challenges he faced during the first four stages – a fork malfunction had been slowing him throughout the day.
“I was really battling through that for the first four stages,” said Graves. “But we got an opportunity to come back here and work on our bikes and get it sorted out. We just nailed a good last stage. It’s rad.”
In second place behind Graves was Nico Lau (FRA) who took second with a time of 51:13, while Curtis Keene (USA) rounded out the podium, taking third with a time of 51:27.
In total, winners in all categories walked away with a total of $25,000 – the richest prize purse in the EWS.
Before the winners crossed the finish line, the story for most of the day remained consistent – the course, that some renamed Crankzilla.
“I maybe spent eight hours on my bike today,” said Ravanel.”With the warm weather, it was crazy.”
The buzz around the course exploded when it was unveiled earlier in the week. In the five transitions, riders climbed a total of 2,442 metres over 36.53 kilometers.
Designers of this year’s course focused on technical style while presenting competitors with a cross section of Whistler’s finest. The resulting trails were well-received by riders, and will continue to benefit the community. Extensive work was done to re-route, upgrade and reactivate Crazy Train and Boyd’s Trail before the race, while Micro Climate, the trail used for Stage One, is a very recent addition to the Whistler Trail Network.
Looking to the future, the points Moseley earned for her second place finish keep her at the top of the women’s rankings of the EWS, while Graves’ win solidifies his spot at the top of the men’s.
“There’s only one round to go and I’ve got a good points lead now. It’s a big goal but…I couldn’t be happier right now. It’s sweet.”
The final EWS race of the season, Finale Ligure Superenduro powered by SRAM, round 7 of the series, will take place October 4-5, 2014.
Next up on the Crankworx calendar is the first of three DH races – the Garbanzo DH hits the dirt Tuesday, August 12, followed by the GoPro Dirt Diaries film competition.
Pro Men’s Results: 
1. Jared Graves
2. Nico Lau
3. Curtis Keene
Pro Women’s Results
1. Cecile Ravanel
2. Tracy Moseley
3. Anne Caroline Chausson

 

Video: Super Slow Motion – Crankworx Les Deux Alpes Slopestyle

 

We wheeled out our Phantom camera to capture the agony and ecstasy of the riders at the recent Crankworx Les Deux Alpes Slopestyle contest.

The Phantom cam slows the action right down to 1,000 frames per second and so offers a unique perspective on the movements the riders have to go through when they lay down a trick.

Anthony Messere took a career defining first major win at Les Deux Alpes. Watch part of his winning run in super slo-mo above and enjoy the rest of the thrills and spills from what was a memorable contest weekend in France.

Video: The best of Crankworx Whistler 2013

Where else in the world can you stand amongst an adrenaline-soaked crowd to cheer on the world’s best mountain bikers right after you’ve competed in the very same event?

Crankworx Whistler. With less than six months until the heavy-hitting mountain bike spectacle returns to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, we look back at what was our tenth anniversary in 2013 and prepare to step up our game August 8-17, 2014.

Feel the impact. Embrace the amplitude. Experience the awe that is Crankworx Whistler.

Photo Feature: Deep Summer – Duncan Philpott

If you had four days in one of the most beautiful locations known to mountain bikers, with four loose notherners from the UK and you had to create a 5 minute riding slideshow, you would probably end up with something similar to the following:

Duncan Philpott Deep Summer 2013 from Steel City Media on Vimeo.

Deep Summer was four days of flat out photography, fun, stress and minimal sleep. It still remains as one of the best things we’ve done with so many experiences crammed into such a short amount of time it was a privilege to take part in it all. From sitting in a boardroom at Whistler Blackcomb on the first morning, surrounded by childhood freeride legends, mountain bike multimedia heavyweights and some of the top photographers in the industry, it seemed a little daunting at first. Needless to say everyone we encountered was super friendly, the nerves died down and once the photography started it all became a blur speeding towards the final destination of the Olympic plaza where the slideshows were presented in front of a packed crowd. Sitting there watching the full collection of slideshows we were overly impressed by the standard of the shows this year. Each member of the team had their own personal favourite and none of us would have wanted to judge it!

riders

 

The core team: Ali Chapple, Joe Bowman, Craig Evans and Rob Stokes. Yorkshire's finest plus one Cumbrian who's practically Scottish.
The core team: Ali Chapple, Joe Bowman, Craig Evans and Rob Stokes. Yorkshire’s finest plus one Cumbrian who’s practically Scottish.

others

A little bit of dutch courage before the slideshow presentation, the crowd response was overwhelming and it was incredible to see the 4 days pay off.
A little bit of dutch courage before the slideshow presentation, the crowd response was overwhelming and it was incredible to see the 4 days pay off.
Celebrating the final run, of the final feature on the final day... with the biggest crash of three days shooting.
Celebrating the final run, of the final feature on the final day… with the biggest crash of three days shooting.
A bunch of landscapes that in hindsight... should have probably gone in the slideshow. BC is a beautiful place which is all too easy to forget when you're in a manic rush riding 24/7.
A bunch of landscapes that in hindsight… should have probably gone in the slideshow. BC is a beautiful place which is all too easy to forget when you’re in a manic rush riding 24/7.
Mosquito-mageddon. If you're ever camping in the high alpine, bring Deet.... and lots of it! We had an overnight stay on Sproatt to try and make the best of a sunset and sunrise. However for us, the weather played against us and we were greeted by nothing but cloud in the morning!
Mosquito-mageddon. If you’re ever camping in the high alpine, bring Deet…. and lots of it! We had an overnight stay on Sproatt to try and make the best of a sunset and sunrise. However for us, the weather played against us and we were greeted by nothing but cloud in the morning!
Nothing but the best diet for our high caliber athletes. Shuttles were common when you have to get so much content in three days. We only broke one truck so we reckon that's pretty good going!
Nothing but the best diet for our high caliber athletes. Shuttles were common when you have to get so much content in three days. We only broke one truck so we reckon that’s pretty good going!

We’d like to thank Sarah and all the Whistler / Crankworx staff that makes this event possible, for giving us the opportunity to compete in such a unique event!

 

 

Smith Holds The Crown as King of Crankworx

Whistler’s tenth anniversary of Crankworx came to a close yesterday with Canada’s own Steve Smith taking a third consecutive win in the Canadian Open DH.

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Smith, having won the Air DH just day’s prior and the World Cup in Mont Saint Anne on the previous weekend entered the final race of the festival with serious momentum and confidence. Having won the title as King of Crankworx in 2012, Smith was favored to win the event and would carry the heaviest weight going into the race to close the week of events.

With overnight showers and a dark gloomy sky the notoriously rough and technical Canadian Open DH course would become much more dangerous as the riders would push their limits racing from high atop the Whistler mountain on the hunt for the win. As the field of racers navigated down the treacherous course, Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic) would set the quickest time down late in the race as the fastest riders attacked the course. Being the defending champion, Steve Smith would be the last man on course attempting to better Blenkinsop’s time. The crowd was charged and electric awaiting Smith’s arrival at the bottom of the hill as he blasted into the Whistler mountain Boneyard approaching the finish. By the closest of margins Smith would inch past Blenkinsop by only 0.09 seconds to reclaim the Canadian Open DH and overall King of Crankworx titles.

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In the Women’s field, Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic), also fresh off a World Cup win in Mont Saint Anne and a victory in the Garbanzo DH in Crankworx’s opening day’s, would take the win over Whistler local Claire Buchar.

Results

King of Crankworx – Steve Smith

Canadian Open DH

Men’s

1st – Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing – SRAM X0 DH, RockShox BoXXer and Vivid, Avid X0 Trail, TRUVATIV BlackBox bar)

2nd – Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic – SRAM X0 DH, RockShox Boxxer and Vivid, Avid X0 Trail)

Women’s

1st – Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic – SRAM X0 DH, RockShox Boxxer and Vivid, Avid Code)

Brandon Semenuk Reclaims Top Spot at The Redbull Joyride, Crankworx

Pushing the boundaries of slopestyle mountain biking once again, Red Bull Joyride descended the Whistler Mountain Bike Park today as the exhilarating, gravity-defying anchor event of the Crankworx Whistler Festival.

Red Bull Joyride from Crankworx on Vimeo.

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Big tricks and plenty of clean runs blew the judges away, but it was 22 year-old Brandon Semenuk of Whistler, BC who reclaimed the podium’s top step after his first win in 2011 with the highest score ever recorded at this event and a cool $25,000. Martin Söderström of Sweden took second place, followed in third by Sam Pilgrim of the UK.

“After the fall on my first run, it was a bit of a flashback to 2011 and 2010 having bailed on the same trick. I was able to regroup and shake the nerves going into my second run and that really paid off. Being back in my hometown in front of my friends and family, I wanted to put together the best run I could possibly think of and get the win at home.” – Brandon Semenuk

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This year’s brand new course design fused together elements of dirt jumping, slopestyle and classic North Shore mountain biking. Eighteen of the world’s best athletes held nothing back in front of a high energy crowd of more than 25,000 spectators, one of the largest turnouts for a single event in Whistler’s history. As the sun broke through the clouds, it was a rider’s slopestyle paradise as competitors threw down massive tricks and some unique lines on one of the longest slopestyle courses ever built, with twelve trickable features. “This year was definitely the best Joyride course yet, flowing really well and was lots of fun to ride” said Semenuk. “The features were a good size but not so big that you couldn’t do your biggest tricks”. The course catered more to technical riders than speed demons, allowing more time to set up for tricks and complete plenty of runs from top to bottom.

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Video: Official Whip-Off World Championships at Crankworx, Whistler

Official Whip Off World Championships at Crankworx Whistler by Pinkbike from Crankworx on Vimeo.

Bernardo Cruz (BRA) has taken another win at the Official Whip-Off Worlds at Crankworx Whistler. In its third year as an event at Crankworx, the Offical Whip-Off Worlds has grown from being the brainchild of photographer Sven Martin into one of Crankworx Whistler’s biggest fan-favourite events and is based on the Crabapple Hits in the Whistler Bike Park. Judges and fans gathered around the massive jumps on the side of the Crabapple run to gauge riders on their style, whip angle and distance from the ground as they jumped

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Racing: Aussies Dominate GIANT Dual Slalom at Crankworx 2013

Wet conditions did not slow down Graeme Mudd (AUS), who took home the top spot in the GIANT Dual Slalom Pro Men’s final in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Steady rain showers fell throughout the ladders, making for a wet, sloppy course, but that didn’t bother Mudd who beat out Connor Fearon (AUS) in the final. Ryan Hunt (AUS) rounded out the all Australian podium taking the bronze with a win over Fab Cousinie (FRA) in the small final.

“This is awesome,” said champion Mudd “I think my BMX background really helped to overcome the adverse conditions.”

Jill Kintner (USA) continued her superb Crankworx, adding GIANT Dual Slalom Pro Women’s gold to her, Fox Air DH, and Ultimate Pump Track Challenge Presented by RockShox titles. Caroline Buchanan (AUS) finished in second place, and Anneke Beerteen (NED) narrowly edged out Katy Curd (UK) for the bronze.

The GIANT Dual Slalom’s crowd-pleasing format pits two competitors, side by side, with the clock’s second hand as the guillotine dropping to eliminate one rider per round. A bike-handling battleground, the finely sculpted track of jumps, berms, rhythm sections and drops pits fourcross specialists against gnar-chasing downhillers. Riders take one run down each side of the course. The fastest combined time wins.

Video: Crankworx Whistler – Ultimate Pumptrack Challenge

Jill Kintner grabs her 4 peat while Mitch Ropelato’s streak is upset by Les 2 Alpes Pumptrack Challenge, presented by Rockshox champ, Adrien Loron.

Crankworx Whistler: Ultimate Pumptrack Challenge, presented by Rockshox from Crankworx on Vimeo.

Ultimate Pumptrack Challenge 2013 Presented by Rock Shox from Crankworx on Vimeo.

Mick Hannah Wins the King of Crankworx Title

The Crankworx week in Les 2 Alpes was an intense one for the team and most especially Mick. After having raced the Enduro World Series on the weekend he raced the Hutchinson Dual Climb on Monday where he came 4th. He then got an excellent 2nd place on the Polygon Air DH behind Gee Atherton. The course was fast and dusty but Mick loved it and really had fun hitting the massive jumps.

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On Thursday he went on to race the GT Dual Speed & Style where he got into the final 8 riders. Mick was relying on his racer speed to get him through the heats, but it wasn’t enough to get him past the quarter finals. On Friday he also raced the Rockshox Pumptrack Challenge and also made the final 8 before being eliminated. During the Pumptrack finals he was crowned King of Crankworx. This rewards the best overall rider for all the events of the Crankworx week. So that was a great way to reward all the efforts he had put in all week to take part into all the races he felt capable of doing well in. Big congratulations to him!

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Guillaume was also up at Les 2 Alpes to take part in the Polygon Air DH. He got a solid 12th place even though he seemed disappointed with such a result. He then travelled down to Auron in the South of France for the end of the week to take part in the French Championships. He had a few mechanicals in training and just before qualifying but still managed to get a 10th place. On Sunday however his race run didn’t go so well as he had a big crash on the first section of the track. He made it down to the finish line but in a very poor state. Another big disappointment for Guillaume as he was definitely aiming for the podium. He will definitely be up for doing well again at the next World Cup in Andorra.

Tracey was also taking part in the Polygon Air DH and was having great fun on the track. Unfortunately she crashed hard at the end of the first day of practice. She was jumping one of the big road gaps at the top of the course but hit the berm after it a bit too hard. She went over the bars and broke her left collarbone. She was well taken care of by the medics and got operated on on Wednesday. She is already full into recovery mode and is very keen to get back to racing as quick as possible. All our thoughts go to her and we can’t wait for her to get back on the bike. We hope that within 4 weeks she will be back riding.

On a lighter matter, we had the truck inauguration on Wednesday. Lots of people came to check out the new rig and the Spank jacuzzi up on the deck. Everyone was impressed with the setup and the work that had been done to get the whole truck rolling for the races. We would really like to thank everyone who was involved in the construction of it : Steph, Denis, Oliver, Jeremy, Julien, Jamie, Matt and all the others who lent a hand to get it finished on time.

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The team is driving to Andorra this week to set up early for the World Cup. We hope that Mick and Guillaume will be in full form to represent the team and score us some precious team points.

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes – July 2013

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes in France is back to showcase nine days of intense mountain bike competition July 6-14, 2013. New events, and the inclusion of Les 2 Alpes’ long standing Free Raid Classic, pack in even more for spectators, families and enthusiasts who want to get blown away by the action and experience the festival firsthand.

Also new this year, Polygon has signed on as the title sponsor of the Polygon Air DH presented by Fox.

“Having Polygon’s support for the Polygon Air DH presented by Fox makes perfect sense for Crankworx Les 2 Alpes,” says Seb Chovet, Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Event Manager. “We’ve adapted the track for this year’s event so amateur athletes are able to race alongside the World Cup pros who will be competing here. Polygon will also be on-hand throughout Crankworx Les 2 Alpes to release their 2014 line of bikes during the festival.”

While the Polygon Air DH presented by Fox is a highlight for downhill race fans and riders, Crankworx Les 2 Alpes has added enough events to its schedule to keep families, spectators and riders entertained for the full nine day line-up.

July 6-7 a new event will kick off Crankworx Les 2 Alpes; the Cannondale Enduro Les 2 Alpes. This event is the third stop on the newly formed, and highly anticipated, Enduro World Series. The best enduro athletes in the world have been announcing their commitment to the Enduro Mountain Bike Association and the Enduro World Series and this event promises to showcase some of the best enduro terrain and athletes in the world.

Another addition to the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes line-up is the Les 2 Alpes Pumptrack Challenge, presented by RockShox. This event is one of Crankworx Whistler’s most exciting spectator events and the Les 2 Alpes version will follow the same format as Whistler; riders will race each other in a dual format on a closed, hand-built track featuring rollers, berms and jumps.

The Free Raid Classic has been a Les 2 Alpes mainstay for the past decade and joins the Crankworx Les 2 Alpes’ roster for 2013. Free Raid incorporates bike demos with epic guided rides suited for bikers of all abilities.

Crankworx Les 2 Alpes and Free Raid Classic Schedule:
July 6-7                NEW: Cannondale Enduro Les 2 Alpes (part of the Enduro World Series)
July 8                   Hutchinson Dual Climb
July 9                   NEW: Les 2 Alpes Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox
July 10                 Polygon Air DH, supported by Fox (qualifications on July 9)
July 11                 GT Dual Speed & Style
July 11                 Free Raid Classic – Free Trail: An big mountain bike challenge beginning at the base of the Les 2 Alpes Glacier including 1500m of elevation gain and 3000m of descent.
July 12                 Teva Best Trick
July 12                 Free Raid Classic – La Biker Croute: A fun and easy downhill traverse through Les 2 Alpes terrain.
July 13                 Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle, presented by iXS
July 13-14           Free Raid Classic – The Mythical Bike Ride: A challenging 4935m ride along Les 2 Alpes’ landscapes and a mountain top lunch.
July 14                 Free Raid Classic – The GIANT Black Enduro: GIANT riders and participants will follow the route taken by the pros who competed in the Enduro World Series third stop in Les 2 Alpes.

Registration and information about transportation and accommodation for Crankworx Les 2 Alpes, including the Free Raid Classic, can be found online at www.crankworx.com. Phase two of registration for the Cannondale Enduro Les 2 Alpes will open at 12:00am PST (9:00 CET) on May 2, 2013 and will offer limited registration availability for those not on professional teams or who missed their chance at registration in February.