Rotorua, New Zealand was the perfect place for the 2021 Crankworx tour to come to a close. Excitement was in the air as racers and fans alike were eager to see who would be crowned king and queen of Crankworx. With some rain in the forecast, a fun (and slippery) few days of racing were surely guaranteed.
Thursday (11/4 in North America) kicked off the action with Speed & Style, an event that takes into account both your time and your tricks. Riders have to maintain good balance or risk pushing themselves too far and crashing. Harriet Burbidge-Smith (Trek/Red Bull) put down some great runs and claimed victory in the Women’s category, with Vaea Verbeeck (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) sliding into second. In the Men’s, young gun Billy Meaclem (Commencal Bikes) charged to a first-place finish while Bas Van Steenbergen (Hyper Bicycles) took third. Also taking place Thursday was the Downhill: muddy and slick! Due to conditions, many of the top riders could not put down fast times, leading to some exciting results for other racers. Before the weather wreaked havoc on the men’s race, Maxxis-equipped Jenna Hastings (Pivot Cycles) took a surprising win in the women’s category, showing everyone that she could hang with the big names. After a few of the men had dropped, the rain started to pour, and the track became an ice rink. Maxxis rider Louis Hamilton (Tuned Rotorua) came away with the win, laying down an excellent run.
Friday (11/5) brought the Pump Track Challenge – a super-fun, slalom-like event without a chain. Once again, Maxxis athletes showed up, bringing in the hardware. Caroline Buchanan (Trek Bikes), Kialani Hines (Pivot Cycles), and Jenna Hastings placed first through third in the women’s, while Bas Van Steenbergen and Billy Meaclem took gold and silver in the men’s competition.
Finally, Saturday (11/8) the last two events of the year: Dual Slalom and the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza. Dual Slalom, a fan favorite, brought all of the action fans have grown to love. The course was muddy, and riders went all out. Kialani Hines and Jenna Hastings continued their amazing week of results by placing first and second in the women’s race. With a sloppy mess of a course, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene (The Union) and Louis Hamilton snagged second and fourth in the men’s. Later in the day, the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza was held with minimal rain. Emil Johansson (Trek Bikes) continued his unbelievable winning streak and became only the second all-time winner of the Triple Crown (winning three Crankworx Slopestyle events in one year).
To cap off the event, the Canadian (and Maxxis) Power Couple, Vaea Verbeeck and Bas Van Steenbergen, won the King and Queen of Crankworx titles.
Hats off to both of them for incredible performances throughout the year, and we’re stoked to capture both titles. The 2021 Crankworx season has been amazing, and we cannot wait for 2022!