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RESULTS and REPLAY – Crankworx Rotorua RockShox Taniwha Downhill – Mountain Bike News Story

Rotorua, March 17, 2024 – After it was wet during the route inspection and training sessions on Friday, the weather was favorable for athletes and trail builders alike. The Taniwha Trail in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest received plenty of sunshine throughout the weekend and was in pristine condition for the first Crankworx event of the year. This marked both the start of the Crankworx World Tour and the exciting 10th anniversary of Crankworx Rotorua. Some of the world’s best athletes gathered to compete on Aotearoa’s legendary volcanic soil.

Local athletes proved unbeatable, with Lachie Stevens-McNab from Rotorua and Eliana Hulsebosch from nearby Tauranga taking first place. “You know, in a local race there’s a little more pressure, everyone’s like, ‘You’re the local, you know you have to win’, but yeah, it feels unreal to win.” Lachie explains after his spectacular winning run.

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The women’s category celebrated an all-Kiwi podium as Jess Blewitt and Shania Rawson followed Eliana Hulsebosch onto the steps at the awards ceremony. Despite a challenging run, Eliana managed to maintain her lead, with plenty of space between her and the first runner-up. “It was really good on the first straight and then I got into the first moorland section where I hit a tree and gave way a little but I quickly told myself to take a breath, regroup and keep the tires moving, whatever is ideal.” in the muddy stuff. And then things got confusing a few more times, one at the intersection.” She explains with a big smile on her face.

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Bernard Kerr, who was last to start after dominating the seeding yesterday, unfortunately crashed while opting for the big new triple feature on the track. The men’s podium was completed by two New Zealanders and the Canadian Jakob Jewett. Lachie secured first place, witnessed by his family and friends, and was in good company, while South Island’s Samuel Blenkinsop took third place. Young Canadian rider Jakob Jewett, who was hot on Lachie’s heels, summarizes his strategy for the race: “I just wanted to do a clean run and see how fast I was. Obviously the guys from New Zealand and Australia had a lot of time to ride, so after the winter in Canada I just wanted to be there and yeah, I’m super happy to be on the podium.”

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Local athletes were particularly excited this year about the Taniwha downhill course, which is due to Rotorua’s tolerant and quickly absorbing volcanic soil. “The trail was so great and honestly the rain two days ago made it even more interesting. When it was dry it was like a highway. Now that it was wet and there were ruts everywhere, the track became more technical, which is cool. But yeah, I love racing here.” Shania Rawson, who also calls Rotorua home, added: “The dirt is perfect this weekend. I mean it was a little muddy but I like it that way, it levels the field a little more and it was so nice competing against these girls.”

Results – RockShox Taniwha DH – Men’s Category (Elite/U19)

  1. Lachie Stevens-McNab (NZL) 2:45:612
  2. Jakob Jewett (CAN) 2:47:934
  3. Samuel Blenkinsop (NZL) 2:53:472

Results – RockShox Taniwha DH – Women’s Category (Elite/U19)

  1. Eliana Hulsebosch (NZL) 3:24:130
  2. Jess Blewitt (NZL) 3:30:021
  3. Shania Rawson (NZL) 3:34:907

Complete results:

As this first weekend of the 10th edition of Crankworx Rotorua comes to a close, athletes are already looking forward to the events taking place at Skyline Rotorua next week. “Honestly I just want to stay consistent with everything, but I think Pump Track is pretty fun. The atmosphere and everything is pretty sick,” Shania Rawson noted.

The RockShox Taniwha Downhill was just the start of another eight days of action, moving to Skyline Rotorua for Air DH, Whip-Off, Speed ​​& Style, Specialized Dual Slalom and the Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track Challenge. The program concludes on March 24 with the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza, the first Diamond Level Slopestyle to feature both men’s and women’s categories.

Anyone who does not want to miss this monumental moment that makes history in the world of freeride mountain biking can do so Grab tickets to Crankworx Rotoruaturn on Red Bull TV and stop by @Crankworx And @CrankworxRotorua for updates on Instagram.

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