The second to last day of Crankworx Rotorua and the sunny blue skies continued to carry momentum from the past week making it an epic Saturday for Speed & Style Rotorua.
The day started with qualifiers for 10 Elite Women and 27 Elite Men. The Queen of Crankworx, Caroline Buchanan qualified first for the women, and the undisputed King of Speed & Style, Tomas Lemoine, qualified first for the men. Things heated up throughout the rounds, with a stacked field of “proper speed & stylers”, in the words of Tomas Lemoine.
Australian, Mike Ross got the crowd buzzing when receiving the highest score of the day from his flawless front flip superman – the first time this trick has ever been done in Speed & Style. Ross put down clean runs and top scoring tricks all the way through to the gold medal match-up against Red Bull rider Kade Edwards. Edwards fought an extremely close battle throwing down a triple truck to a flip double bar in his first run but crashed in the flat corners. Ultimately Mike Ross was able to claim victory and take home his first Speed & Style gold medal – one he has had his eye on for a while now.
“I went in with the game plan of just hit my marks,” Ross said with an expression of joy so palpable, most of the crowd at Skyline could surely feel it. “That’s all I did, I didn’t try and over-race, I didn’t try and mix it up. I just did cashy, fronty supey, pedal as hard as you can and get through the flats. I did that for both runs, just race your own race and don’t worry about what they’re doing.”
“At the top, in the gate, I just tell myself ‘just race your race.’,” Ross continues. “And don’t let anything else get into your head space. I think that’s a really valuable skill you need as a Speed & Style rider. The last year has been dotted with success, ups and downs and to do this today still hasn’t sunk in like how amazing it is.”
Kade Edwards takes home the silver medal and earning his first Speed & Style podium. Lemoine ends his Speed & Style gold medal sweep, but continues his podium reign as the most dominant Speed & Style competitor that has ever been.
On the women’s side, Robin Goomes takes home the Speed & Style Rotorua gold medal for her home country. Caroline Buchanan gave it all, but Robin’s seamless backflip combos made the difference for the final scores in the gold medal match-up.
“Honestly, it’s been a long time so I was a little nervous coming into it,” Goomes said of her first Speed & Style win since 2022 Crankworx Innsbruck. “Making it to the finals was more than I expected so by then I just decided to let my hair down and go large for the crowd just to know that I can still do this stuff. I told Martha at the top, ‘crash or win – let’s go!’.”
“Robin told me she wouldn’t have done her flip combos unless I pushed her so it’s those moments where she deserved that win,” Buchanan said in pride of her opponent. “It was epic, the crowd went nuts. Especially for my friend Mikey who I train with. For him to finally win, we train at the same compound so it’s a pretty epic day!”
UK rider, Martha Gill battled the bronze medal round with local rider, Jenna Hastings with the tightest margins in today’s event at 0.016 between the two. Gill prevailed and takes home the bronze medal.
Results –Speed & Style Rotorua
1. Mike Ross (AUS) // Robin Goomes (NZL)
2. Kade Edwards (GBR) // Caroline Buchanan (AUS)
3. Tomas Lemoine (FRA) // Martha Gill (NZL)
Full results: crankworx.com/results/