Mountain biking revved up


If you’ve ever wondered just what is possible on two wheels, the upcoming Crankworx at Rotorua is likely to reveal the answer.

Photo by Clint Trahan

Cyclists from around the globe will be battling it out for top honours – and bringing some of the most insane mountain bike action ever to be seen in the country.

Crankworx Rotorua brings the world’s downhill, slopestyle and enduro legends, together with rising stars, industry innovators and the next generation of mountain bike riders for nine days of competition, concerts, and mountain bike culture.

Being held at the Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park, the Rotorua event is the first leg of the Crankworx World Tour – 29 days of competition in four global locations; Rotorua (March 25-April 2); France (June 14-18); Austria (June 21-25) and Canada (August 11-20).

With many titles to compete for, as well as some impressive prize purses, the hunt is on for the fastest, gutsiest and most talented riders in the world – with the ultimate title of King and Queen of Crankworx up for grabs.

Eliot Jackson. Photo by Clint Trahan

This highly sought-after title, described by many as the most difficult competition in mountain biking, is a multidisciplinary battle which wages all season long. Results are tabulated after the dust has settled on all four Crankworx World Tour stops. Over the course of 23 men’s events, and 15 women’s, athletes aim to collect as many points as possible for a shot at winning $25,000 respectively.

“Last year, we saw a really great battle for the King and Queen of Crankworx and this year we are seeing even more athletes committing to the season-long race for the Crown. There is $25,000 up for grabs for both the King and Queen, and it really rewards the best all-round mountain bikers in the world, so it is definitely has their attention,” says Darren Kinnaird, general manager of the Crankworx World Tour.

Keep an eye out for Adrien Loron (France) and Barry Nobles (Alabama), both gunning for the King title this year, alongside Caroline Buchanan (Australia) who is hungry for the win and Anneke Beerten (Netherlands) who took the Queen title in 2015 and is back for more.

Closer to home, the event also encompasses the New Zealand Secondary Schools Mountain Bike Champs, giving Kiwi riders the opportunity to rub shoulders with the world’s best.

Kidsworx at Crankworx Rotorua. Photo by Clint Trahan.

Crankworx wraps up with Slopestyle Sunday bringing the nine-day festival to a conclusion, where the best slopestyle riders in the world battle it out in the opening round of the four-stop quest for the Triple Crown of Slopestyle. For those not able to watch the action live on the ground, it will be broadcast LIVE on Red Bull TV.

Crankworx Rotorua was added to the Crankworx World Tour in August 2014, marking the first time the festival set down in the southern hemisphere.

It launched in March 2015 and was immediately embraced by residents and visitors.

2017 will mark the third time Crankworx will kick off its season in New Zealand, something that’s set to continue – in December 2016 a 10-year contract was signed, ensuring the future of the event in New Zealand.

The 2016 Crankworx Rotorua by the numbers
• Days: 5 (in 2017: 9 days)
• Spectators: 15,439
• Pro Athletes: 435
• Kidsworx Competitors: 160
• Volunteers: 234 (95% of them local)
• Events: 8
• Economic Impact: $8 million

Both pro and amateur categories are offered for the Crankworx Rotorua Downill presented by iXS, AirDH and the GIANT Toa Enduro.

Athletes can select to register either as an amateur (youth, junior, senior, master, or veteran) or a Pro (no age classes).

The Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by Spank has just one open category.  
The Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style and Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle are invitational events.


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