Publication of preliminary rider lists for Crankworx Rotorua

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From November 1 to 7, the last stage of the Crankworx World Tour will be launched from Rotorua.

Here’s who and what’s to come, and the stories that are starting to take shape.

Maxxis Slopestyle in memory of McGazza
The 2021 Slopestyle Competition in Rotorua will bring together a mix of those who are new to the game, those who know the game and aspire to the top, and those who change the game.

Marcel Hunt, Bernd Winkler and Lukas Schäfer are all preparing for their first Slopestyle competition at this level of competition. Hunt was at Crankworx BC as a substitute, but this will be his first time on the start list for a Crankworx Slopestyle competition. Winkler qualified for Red Bull Joyride in 2018 but suffered an injury in training. Rotorua will be the first time that Schäfer has participated in a Crankworx Slopestyle event.

Recent Crankworx newcomer Griffin Paulson will get his first crack on the Rotorua course, while Paul Couderc is hoping to get his first glimpse of the finals in Rotorua. He was on the start list for the 2020 event but suffered an injury in training.

Last year I had a really bad slam an hour before the final so I couldn’t participate. This year I’m coming back and I’m so excited to do this course because it’s such a fun course. The only thing is I have a broken ligament on my wrist. I did this at Crankworx in Canada. It’s actually quite painful. I didn’t even drive until I came here. So, I’ll try to do my best, but it’s a weird situation for me. I’m really, really motivated to do my tricks. I’ll do my best.Paul Couderc

Two riders on the ground have participated in this event every year since its creation in 2015: Tomas Lemoine and Nicholi Rogatkin.

Lemoine had his best Crankworx Slopestyle result at this level of competition to date on this course in 2019, placing 2nd.

Rogatkin brings with him the strongest track record: of his six results in Rotorua, three were 2nd places and one 1st.

And while Emil Johansson has only competed on the course twice (2017 and 2020), he has been on the podium twice (3rd and 1st). And his current record speaks for itself: a victory in Rotorua would make him his sixth consecutive victory at the Crankworx Slopestyle, earn him the overall title of the 2021 World Slopestyle Championship, as well as the Triple Crown of Slopestyle.

Preliminary rider list: Maxxis Slopestyle in memory of McGazza

CLIF Speed ​​& Style presented by Mons Royale
The game changed to Speed ​​& Style at Crankworx in 2021. Why? Women have changed the game.

This year, progress is underway for women freeride. So much so that when they launched Speed ​​& Style at Crankworx Innsbruck earlier this year, they blew the list of tricks out of the water.

quotation marks The women had progressed so much since our last Women’s Speed ​​& Style competition in 2020 in Rotorua that the list of tricks was out of date. do them in competition. They’ve been pushing the sport, so we’ve updated our list of tips to reflect that. Since Innsbruck in June, we’ve been working with the judges to add more tricks to the roster and adjust the values. We’ve also removed some cheats that are no longer considered difficult enough to earn points. It’s incredibly exciting to see how fast things are progressing for women in freeriding, and we’re excited to see what the ladies will bring to the Speed ​​& Style table in Rotorua.Nicole Freeman, Sports Director for Crankworx

Watch out for Robin Goomes, who recorded the first backflip in the Crankworx competition in Innsbruck and who will compete at home, and Caroline Buchanan, who completed the first front flip at Audi Nines earlier this year.

On the men’s side, Tomas Lemoine and his compatriot Slope rider Tim Bringer will certainly be one to watch. They both have a hell of a lot of tricks and have proven they have the speed to get to the top. The event in Rotorua is also one that provided a platform that launched local stars. 2018 saw Joe Simpson take 2nd place in the event, while 2019 saw Billy Meaclam rise to the top by taking the W.

Preliminary list of runners: CLIF Speed ​​& Style presented by Mons Royale

Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull
Consistency and the Kiwi advantage will likely be the deciding factors in this year’s downhill race in Rotorua, if the results of the past six years are any indication.

Three of New Zealand’s top elite male downhill runners competed most consistently on the Mount Ngongotaha trail in Crankworx. Sam Blenkinsop, George Brannigan and Brook Macdonald are all on the starting list in 2021. Each has consistently placed in the top five, with Blenki taking victory in 2018 and The Bulldog in 2019. Brannigan has a 2nd place (2016) and two 3rd (2019 and 2020).

On the women’s side, Casey Brown was the queen of consistency. She took part in the event every year except one, finishing in the top 10 each time, including two 3rd places (2016 and 2017).

What awaits them? A few small changes have been made to the track that hosted the World Championships in 2006 (won by Sam Hill) which are sure to keep riders on their toes as they battle to descend.

Preliminary list of riders: Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull

Specialized Dual Slalom Rotorua
Speed ​​and skill will be at the rendezvous during the Dual Slalom day in Rotorua, in this discipline which brings together the best of the best of all disciplines. Dual Slalom challenges runners to get back to basics, put the pedal to the buck and do everything perfectly, and the Rotorua track is no exception.

It has five berms and rollers, two platforms and a spine of more than 450 meters.

quotation marks … Probably one of the best on the circuit right now. It’s really very technical. Technique in the sense that every run is different, and if you try to go too fast it will put you on your back.Kyle Strait after the 2020 win

All eyes will be on Bas van Steenbergen and Vaea Verbeeck. Both are renowned for their slalom prowess, coming first after Crankworx BC, each with a victory in the first Dual Slalom at Crankworx BC, and each leading for the King and Queen of Crankworx, respectively. Van Steenbergen finished second in the Rotorua race in 2020, while Verbeeck was third.

Others to watch will be Matt Walker, who finished third in 2020 ahead of his hometown crown Kiwi, and Kialani Hines, who just picked up a slalom victory at the Sea Otter Classic in California.

Preliminary list of riders: Specialized Dual Slalom Rotorua

RockShox Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by Torpedo7
Rotorua’s thriving BMX scene has brought disruption and excitement to the Pump Track time and time again. The site has seen young local stars like Connor Mahuika and Keegan Wright take on the challenge of the best riders in the world.

This year, a stacked field is expected to light up the night in Rotorua, including Caroline Buchanan, Harriet Burbidge-Smith, Kialani Hines, Tomas Lemoine, Billy Meaclam and Tuhoto Ariki-Pene.

Preliminary rider list: RockShox Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by Torpedo7

Trek Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships
Last but not least, Rotorua will host its annual hoootenanny on the side.

The objectives of Whip-Offs are simple: to step aside, to have fun. This is freeriding at its peak, and the list of deep riders shows how much riders love this event.

List of preliminary riders: Trek Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships

The stage is set. The players are locked up. T-minus three sleeps until the end of the last stage of the Crankworx World Tour 2021.

Live coverage of Crankworx Rotorua will be on Red Bull TV and here on Pinkbike.

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