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19 months after it last wrapped, and six months after it was originally scheduled to run, the wait is almost over. Crankworx is set to make its triumphant return to its Southern Hemisphere home in Rotorua, November 1-7, 2021.
“I am frothing to be back in New Zealand!” said Vaea Verbeeck, the last woman to wear the Queen of Crankworx crown in 2019. “After being there in March 2020 last, the world turned into a much different place to navigate and Crankworx Rotorua was the last time we lived as per usual. I know it will still be different going back this time, but part of me feels like I’m going back to my happy place.”
"I'm super excited to head back to Rotorua, I always love being there and it somewhat feels like a home away from home for us,” said Bas van Steenbergen, who was in the lead for the King of Crankworx title coming out of the New Zealand festival in 2020. “I'm definitely feeling pretty confident having done well there in the past, so hopefully I can close out the King of Crankworx chase strong!"

“After some challenging times with travel I am really looking forward to getting back to NZ for Crankworx,” said Emil Johansson, who is currently in the points lead for the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship title after winning in Innsbruck in June. The Swedish all-star has never clinched the overall, despite having won every event there is to win at this level of Slopestyle, including the Rotorua event the last time it ran. “I am going to try to do a run that I am happy with and up the run I did 2020.”

Here’s a taste of some of the athletes on deck to wrap their competition season amongst New Zealand’s lush ferns and wild fans.

On the hunt for the King and Queen crowns:

  • Tim Bringer (FRA)
  • Tomas Lemoine (FRA)
  • Ed Masters (NZL)
  • Bas van Steenbergen (CAN)
  • Keegan Wright (NZL)
  • Georgia Astle (CAN)
  • Casey Brown (CAN)
  • Danielle Beecroft (AUS)
  • Harriet Burbidge-Smith (AUS)
  • Robin Goomes (NZL)
  • Kialani Hines (USA)
  • Vaea Verbeeck (CAN)

Slopestyle’s Elite:

  • Emil Johansson (SWE)
  • Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)
  • Torquato Testa (ITA)
  • Erik Fedko (GER)
  • Tim Bringer (FRA)
  • Paul Couderc (FRA)
  • Lucas Huppert (SUI)
  • Tomas Lemoine (FRA)
  • Max Fredriksson (SWE)
  • Lukas Knopf (GER)
  • Jakub Vencl (CZE)
  • Tom Isted (GBR)
  • Marcel Hunt (GBR)
  • Griffin Paulson (CAN)
  • Bernd Winkler (AUT) (ALT1)
  • Lukas Schäfer (GER) (ALT2)

Top riders, keen to disrupt:

  • Tuhoto Ariki-Pene (NZL)
  • George Brannigan (NZL)
  • Caroline Buchanan (AUS)
  • Martha Gill (GBR)
  • Mikey Haderer (USA)
  • Brett Rheeder (CAN) (racing DH only!)
  • Katy Winton (GBR)

Overall, the festival will include Pro, Amateur and CWNEXT racing, Kidsworx competitions, and a ticketed venue with all the action Crankworx fans know and love, bringing together the best of MTB for New Zealanders.

As Crankworx was included on a list of Government-approved events, a select number of athletes and key personnel deemed critical to the event have been granted entry to the country by Immigration NZ.

With the border still closed to recreational travel, Crankworx Rotorua 2021 will provide a unique opportunity for Kiwi fans to get front-row seats to all the action and watch the world’s best face off against their local heroes.

Registration for all Pro, Amateur and CWNEXT events at Crankworx Rotorua is now open, running through October 27 at 11:59 p.m. NZDT.

The full festival schedule is also now available: https://www.crankworx.com/rotorua/schedule/

 

Fans around the world will be able to tune into live coverage of Crankworx Rotorua 2021 on Red Bull TV, including:

Specialized Dual Slalom Rotorua
CLIF Speed & Style Rotorua presented by Mons Royale
Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza
RockShox Pump Track Rotorua presented by Torpedo7
Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull

Highlights and additional coverage will be available for:

TREK Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships
Crankworx Rotorua Air DH

The Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle contest will be the final event of the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) season and will include the crowning of the Slopestyle World Champion.

In addition, as the final event of the Crankworx World Tour season, Rotorua will be where the season’s overall King and Queen of Crankworx will be crowned.

With that, an additional piece of news was released today. Going forward, Crankworx Rotorua will shift permanently to the final stop of the Crankworx World Tour, closing out mountain bike competition season.

“We are thrilled to be the grand finale of Crankworx season going forward,” said Crankworx Rotorua Event Director Ariki Tibble. “While the Northern Hemisphere is wrapping competition season and gearing up for winter in late October and early November, New Zealand is in the thick of spring. The dirt is prime, the energy is high, and the appetite to get out and celebrate is on another level. To be able to bring all this together and share it with our mountain bike family will be something special. While this year we can’t invite the world to celebrate with us in person to preserve the health and safety of our island home, we are beyond thrilled to be able to host some of the world’s top athletes. We look forward to putting on a great show for our local crowds and for fans around the world on Red Bull TV in 2021, and to welcoming everyone back to New Zealand for Crankworx in 2022.”

“Coming back to Rotorua feels like we’re bookending a very strange chapter in our history,” said Crankworx Managing Director Darren Kinnaird. “Things were relatively normal the last time we were all together in New Zealand. The Crankworx World Tour was kicking off as usual in 2020. We had begun to hear whispers of COVID, but it wasn’t until the event wrapped and everyone got home that the world shut down. Since then, as event producers, we’ve had to draw on every ounce of creativity and tenacity we have. While not always easy, it has paid off. Our athletes have been able to keep competing. The media are still out there shooting and sharing the stories of our sport – a sport that’s progressed rapidly over the past year. And our fans have had something to look forward to and get excited about. Through it all, I am proud to say our team has never stopped pushing for what we believe in: creating opportunities, sharing our passion, celebrating the culture of mountain biking and the places steeped in the sport, and doing it all safely. I want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all those who were pushing and cheering alongside us over the past year and a half. We are here, preparing to wrap the final event of a full Crankworx World Tour in 2021, because of you. We’ve got some big things coming, and we can’t wait to share them.”

Get all the details of the 2021 Crankworx World Tour, with updates to come about both Crankworx B.C. (September 22-October 2) and Crankworx Rotorua (November 1-7): crankworx.com