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CRANKWORX 2017 WRAP-UP

 

Unless you live under a rock, you'll know that Crankworx kicked off the international calendar with a big bang back in March!

 

It was great to have Crankworx fire things up again in Rotorua, although the rain tried its best to cool things down, with the weather wreaking havoc on the EWS race on the first Sunday, and a few last minute schedule changes early in the following week, before normal sunny BOP weather resumed.

 

ride 

Perfect weather for a morning ride.

 

Crankworx is definitely a big deal here, with all the big names turning out, and the world MTB media descending on the town, a buzz gets going, that only gets stronger as the week goes on.

We had the whole Intense Factory Racing Team come down, complete with mechanics and support staff, add to that our local NZ riders, Conor Macfarlane, Keegan Wright, Cole Lucas, and Sam Robbie, it was a Full House at Wide Open HQ!

 

IFR

Intense Factory Racing

 

Kicking the week off was Round 1 of the EWS, and while the Challenger event had mint conditions on Saturday, on Sunday morning things were looking a little moist to say the least. The local riders thrived in the wet conditions, with Wyn Masters, Matt Walker, and Eddie Masters taking out the top 3 spots. For Wide Open, our man Jack Moir from Intense Factory Racing came up with an excellent 6th place, Keegan came in 27th, and Conor Macfarlane quietly slid into 32nd. Bearing in mind that Enduro is not Conor's discipline, and he'd only been back on the bike a couple of weeks after breaking his Scaphoid at Rampage several months earlier, that result is amazing.

Conor EWS Keegan EWS

 

EWS Jack Wyn

Jack Moir made good use of his electric goggle system to take 6th place aboard his Intense.

 

By the time the NZ Secondary Schools DH Champs rolled around, conditions were fairly treacherous, with plenty of competitors sliding down the off-camber section under the gondola. Sam Robbie got down the hill OK though, and quick enough to take 2nd spot.

Sam Sam Goggles

Sam Robbie finds enough traction to take 2nd.

 

The Pro-Elite DH race took place on a much drier track later in the week, and our riders took full advantage, with Jack Moir taking the win, Keegan coming up with 8th, and Cole Lucas sailing into 21st place.

Cole

Cole Lucas flying into 21st in Pro Elite.

 

Jack

Jack Moir took out the win.

 

It's not all about the events and expo, so we took the opportunity to get together with riders and dealers alike, to chew the fat, have a couple of drinks and enjoy ourselves.

Party

Party time!

 

Pro Party

Sam shares tips with Conor on how to break oneself.

 

Bluebird conditions arrived for the Speed and Style event, Keegan, Matt Walker, Paul Langlands, and young Connor Mahuika were all out for the Kiwi crowd, but in a stacked international field, they gradually were all eliminated. Conor Macfarlane unfortunately took himself out, crashing hard and breaking his collarbone early on in the competition.

This is a pretty exciting format, with a good mix of tricks and speed on show, and after all the thrills and spills, the podium was a mix of tricksters and racers - Jakub Vencl, Adrien Loron, and Mitch Ropelato.

Conor

Conor went down hard not long after this, breaking his collarbone after only a couple of weeks back on the bike.

 

The Pumptrack Challenge always pulls a good crowd, and it's not hard to see why, with rapid-fire close racing, and the chance of a local doing well, there is plenty for the spectators to get excited about. Keegan Wright wanted this one bad, after a breakthrough performance in 2015, when he surpirsed the world by coming 3rd, he then struggled last year with a wrist injury. There was no denying him this year, overcoming a slow gate start on his second run, to pass Adrien Loron in the bottom turn, and take the win.

Pump 1 Pump 2

Pump 3 Pump 5

Keegan on his way to the top spot.

 

The other side of Crankworx is the Expo site. Once again we were up there, showing our brands, talking to dealers and riders, doing giveaways and signings with past and present athletes. It was a busy week on the hill, good times were had, and we'll do it all again next year!

Expo Sample

The Wide Open expo site was humming!

Boys IFR Sign

 

If you haven't been to a Crankworx yet, or even if you've been to all of them, start planning to be in Rotorua next March, it's always exciting, and always different!

 

*All photos by Graeme Murray

 

Cheers,

Stu.

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