Bas van Steenbergen rips the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS last March; it would be won by Loic Bruni and Jill Kintner. Photo: Clint Trahan/Crankworx
Registration for riders hoping to compete at Crankworx Rotorua is underway. There are three events during the nine-day festival open for amateur registration, including the GIANT Toa Challenger Enduro, the Crankworx Rotorua Air DH and the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS.
“No matter where we are in the world, Crankworx is always a place to ride alongside the best athletes in the world. Athletes from around the world sign up to compete in the same races as the pros, and we are really keen to get the local mountain biking community out at every stop. The riders make the festival,” says Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx General Manager.
Registration opens for the Crankworx Rotorua Air Downhill and the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS on February 1, in Rotorua, on Crankworx.com, which is Tuesday, January 31 in North America and Europe.
The Air Downhill focuses on jumps and getting air, with last year’s winner, George Brannigan, pulling into the finish line in two minutes and 13 seconds. Designed to showcase Skyline’s Mr. Black trail, this year it will be part of a tour-wide set of Air Downhills built on the success of the Fox Air DH at Crankworx Whistler, a speed-focused rip down the iconic A-Line in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
Brandon Ross during the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS at Crankworx Rotorua in 2016. Photo: Clint Trahan/Crankworx.
Registration for the longer Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS opens the same day. Won by Frenchman Loic Bruni, in 2:38, last year, this gut-busting race down Mount Ngongotaha, in Skyline Gravity Park, leaves the lugers behind and finishes with a step-up, step-down crowd-pleasing monster air.
Anneke Beerten pins it down the final stretch in the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS. Photo: Clint Trahan/Crankworx.
“This is true downhill race,” says James Mackintosh, Crankworx race official. “It’s competitive and fast, with wide sweeping off-camber turns and rooty steeps.”
Registration launched last week for the GIANT Toa Enduro, as part of the Enduro World Series, and sold out immediately. The Giant Toa was the first stop in the EWS season two years ago and returns to this spot for 2017, with some 30 teams registered to race. It will run the day after the new abridged version, the GIANT Toa Challenger Enduro. The full race offers six to seven stages, 2000 metres of climbing and 64 kilometres of riding.
Anneke Beerten during the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS at Crankworx in Rotorua, New Zealand on March 13, 2016. Photo: Clint Trahan/Crankworx.
For those keen on an EWS-style race, without taking on the full meal deal, the GIANT Toa Challenger Enduro offers four stages of Rotorua’s famous flow, 1500 metres of climbing and 45 kilometres of riding, without the pressure of the EWS competitive edge. Come race a challenging course with your best buds, or mates, and get a taste of world-class racing. Registration for the Challenger opens Wednesday, February 15 in Rotorua on enduroworldseries.com, or Tuesday, February 14 in North America. Registration for all Crankworx events is available on Crankworx.com.
Rotorua premiered its Air DH in 2016, pushing a new Crankworx-wide race series into the realm of possibility. Photo: Clint Trahan/Crankworx.
The Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS will be broadcast live on Crankworx.com on April 1 from 4-6 p.m. NZDT, which is Friday, March 31 in North America.
The Crankworx Rotorua Air DH is a fast rip with lots of “air” in Skyline Gravity Park. Photo: Clint Trahan/Crankworx.