59 Photos From the Steeps - Crankworx Rotorua DH

Mar 27, 2015
by Dave Trumpore  
Not since World Champs in 2006 has the steep and treacherous Rotorua DH been in the international spotlight with a who's who of World Cup racers fighting for $5000 and bragging rights heading into the World Cup season.

Blinky at your service..
  Blinky at your service...

Crankworx Rotorua DH

The only downfall to this track is the 30 minute shuttle lap up to the top of the track..
  The only downfall to this track is the 30-minute shuttle lap up to the top of the track...

Starting the day out with a view .
  Starting the day out with a view.

The spectators were in true form today.
  The spectators were in true form today.


In the Women's event Rachel Atherton made a return to Crankworx competition and was the obvious front-runner. Tracey Hannah was the obvious challenger and has been showing renewed speed and confidence we have not seen from her the past two seasons. Both riders proved they are in top form this season and racing would most likely come down to the wire in Rotorua.

Tracey Hannah has a new cound confidence this year after being plagued by injuroes the past few seasons.
  Tracey Hannah has a new found confidence this year after being plagued by injuries the past few seasons.

Grip and rip it.
  Grip and rip it.

Always a danger on tracks with big jumps, Casey Brown was also one to watch as she floated the tracks biggest gaps near the finish with ease. One of only two women to do so.

Casey Brown no brakes into the finish step up.
  Casey Brown no brakes into the finish step up.

Casey Brown entering the home stretch. Brown finished sixth.
  Casey Brown entering the home stretch. Brown finished sixth.

As racing got under way it was Emily Siegenthaler who set the fastest time early and her first real challenge from Casey Brown never materialized after she punctured near the bottom of the track. Up next Rachel would blaze down the track, almost losing it in the off camber above the finish to move into the lead with only Hannah left to go.

Tracey looked smooth and fast and coming into the finish it was obvious it would be a close one. Tracey opted for the go around on the big jump giving up precious time and eventually crossing the line .75 back in second spot.

Rachel Atherton almost threw it away in the corner just above this shot but got a foot out just in time and kept on off the brakes to take her first major win of the season.
  Rachel Atherton almost threw it away in the corner just above this shot but got a foot out just in time and kept on off the brakes to take her first major win of the season.

Rachel Atherton with her first win of the year and for the first time in history received equal prize money as the men s field. Well done Crankworx.
  Rachel Atherton with her first win of the year and for the first time in history received equal prize money as the men's field. Well done Crankworx.

Perhaps a sign of things to come when the World Cup kicks off in a few weeks time.
  Perhaps a sign of things to come when the World Cup kicks off in a few weeks time.


For the men all eyes were on George Brannigan as he was recently won NZ Champs on this track a few weeks ago and was riding full gas in every practice run. Gee Atherton and Sam Hill who had finished 2014 on top looked good in training but would fall short come race time leaving the door wide open for other to slide into the top spot.


Start gate with a view.
  Start gate with a view.

Gee Atherton ready to roll in..
  Gee Atherton ready to roll in...

George Branigan won New Zealand National Champs on this track just a few weeks abo and was pinned in practice but a mistake in a corner near the top of the track pushed him down the order and just a few seconds off the win.
  George Branigan won New Zealand National Champs on this track just a few weeks ago and was pinned in practice, but a mistake in a corner near the top of the track pushed him down the order and just a few seconds off the win.

Bulldog also hoping to have a win on home soil here in NZed.
  Bulldog.

Wyn Masters spent 4 hours of the morning and early afternoon trainig for the Enduro World Series race that will take place tomorrow then tuned up straight into DH practice and his race run.
  Wyn Masters spent 4 hours of the morning and early afternoon training for the Enduro World Series race that will take place tomorrow, then turned up straight into DH practice and his race run.

Brook MacDonald pinned down the Larches made infamous during the World Champs in 2006. Almost 10 years later and this mega steep section of track was still tacking people out all wekend long.
  Brook MacDonald pinned down the Larches made infamous during the World Champs in 2006. Almost 10 years later and this mega steep section of track was still taking people out all weekend long.

Loic Bruni staying tight and inside.
  Loic Bruni staying tight and inside.

Wyn Masters twisting the throttle and on the gas.
  Wyn Masters twisting the throttle and on the gas.

Mick Hannah perfect form as always.
  Mick Hannah perfect form as always.

Needles coming in hot up top.
  Needles coming in hot up top.

Boneyard.
  Boneyard.

Bulldog muscling over a stepdown floater up top.
  Bulldog muscling over a stepdown floater up top.

Loic Bruni taking the middle of root lines opposed to an awkard high line or loose low line.
  Loic Bruni taking the middle of root lines, opposed to an awkward high line or loose low line.

Classic Brook MacDonald smashing the hell out of everything in sight.
  Classic Brook MacDonald, smashing the hell out of everything in sight.

You know the bomb holes are deep when you g-out snap your bottom bracket and ride away with the pedal andcrank arm still attached to you shoe.
  You know the bomb holes are deep when you g-out, snap your bottom bracket and ride away with the pedal and crank arm still attached to you shoe.

The work never stops behind the scenes as mechanics work tirelessly to keep bikes running in top form.
  The work never stops behind the scenes as mechanics work tirelessly to keep bikes running in top form.

Dean Lucas drops into the capacity crowd and down the last off camber section just above the finish line.
  Dean Lucas drops into the capacity crowd and down the last off camber section just above the finish line.

Garret Buehler came down for a road trip a few weeks back and came to cheer some of the fellow Canadians on.
  Garret Buehler came down for a road trip a few weeks back and came to cheer some of the fellow Canadians on.

Bernard Ker sideways and with style over the big step up into the finisg arena.
  Bernard Kerr sideways and with style over the big step up into the finishing arena.

Sam Hill is another rider doing double duty this weekend by smashing out mikes of pedaling on the Enduro each morning before Dh practice.
  Sam Hill is another rider doing double duty this weekend by smashing out mikes of pedalling on the Enduro each morning before DH practice.

Dave McMillan keeping it real.
  Dave McMillan keeping it real.

Dean Lucas with the bar hump of the day.
  Dean Lucas with the bar hump of the day.

Surprisingly to many Eliot Jackson set the bar early and would remain in the hot seat as Hill, Branigan, Atherton, and MacDonald came down the track. It wasn't until Loic Bruni stormed down the hill and into the top spot that Eliot would finally be pushed back to second spot where he would remain until the very end.

Elliot Jackson blowing away the field and ended up in the second spot. Amazing to see him up on top again with his aggressive style.
  Elliot Jackson blowing away the field and ended up in the second spot. Amazing to see him up on top again with his aggressive style.

Bernard Kerr floating through.
  Bernard Kerr floating through.

Wyn Master s is a local hero of the area and looking faster than ever. Also racing the enduro tomorrow along with some of the other DH racers.
  Wyn Master's is a local hero of the area and looking faster than ever. Also racing the enduro tomorrow along with some of the other DH racers.

Brendog blasting through he s been doing some fox testing and apparently brought up his speed by nearly 5 seconds.
  Brendog blasting through, he's been doing some fox testing and apparently brought up his speed by nearly 5 seconds.

Connor Fearon staying low and fast over the shicane.
  Connor Fearon staying low and fast over the chicane.

Andrew Neethling suffered a bit of bad luck with a flat in the rock garden.
  Andrew Neethling suffered a bit of bad luck with a flat in the rock garden.

Neethling signing autographs for fans and always in good spirit.
  Neethling signing autographs for fans and always in good spirit.

Bulldog sliding into home base but didn t hit a home run.
  Bulldog sliding into home base, but didn't hit a home run.

Wyn Masters blew a corner up top that cost him precious time.
  Wyn Masters blew a corner up top that cost him precious time.

 Hey George you know why you blew out that corner up top mate No Why Because I blew it out first mate.
  "Hey George, you know why you blew out that corner up top mate?" "No Why?" "Because I blew it out first mate."

Crankworx Rotorua DH

Bred Dog looked like he has been stomping out some serious laps lately. Hopefully this is the start of a great season for him.
  Bren Dog looked like he has been stomping out some serious laps lately. Hopefully this is the start of a great season for him.

One hot turn from hitting the massive table into a flat corner to the finish line.
  One hot turn from hitting the massive table into a flat corner to the finish line.

Loic was never challenged and Neethling and Mick Hannah both punctured and former teammate Sam Blenkinsop would come just off the pace for third behind Jackson. With the first World Cup just a few weeks away in Lordes there are a few riders who need to find a bit of pace, while Blenki, Jackson, and Bruni will look to carry on the momentum and confidence from Rotorua into the season.

Loic in the hot seat.
  Loic in the hot seat.

New team new colors but with the same old blistering speed and style Sam Blenkinsop had a stellar run to take 3rd just behind Loic Bruni and Eliot Jackson.
  New team, new colors but with the same old blistering speed and style, Sam Blenkinsop had a stellar run to take 3rd just behind Loic Bruni and Eliot Jackson.

Loose and classic Blinky style through the finish line.
  Loose and classic Blinky style through the finish line.

Blinky had a wicked fast run on home soil with a huge fan base cheering him on but couldn t quite keep the pace.
  Blinky had a wicked fast run on home soil with a huge fan base cheering him on but couldn't quite keep the pace.

Gee looking for a little more out of the day.
  Gee looking for a little more out of the day.

Loic Bruni delivered on his potential to take a well deserved win against a stacked elite field. With the opening round of the World Cup just around the corner in his home country you can bet his confidence and speed will be at an all time high in LOurdes
  Loic Bruni delivered on his potential to take a well deserved win against a stacked elite field. With the opening round of the World Cup just around the corner in his home country you can bet his confidence and speed will be at an all time high in Lourdes

A very proud Elit Jackson has worked very very hard this off season and it showed in his result today. 2nd place against the best in the world.
  A very proud Eliot Jackson has worked very very hard this off season and it showed in his result today. 2nd place against the best in the world.

Drink up fellas you earned it.
  Drink up fellas, you earned it.

We might jusy be seeing more of these victory interviews with Loic Bruni before the year is out.
  We might just be seeing more of these victory interviews with Loic Bruni before the year is out.

Results:

Pro Men
1-Loic Bruni
2-Eliot Jackson
3-Sam Blenkinsop

Pro Women
1- Rachel Atherton
2- Tracey Hannah
3- Emilie Siegenthaler

Full results here.


MENTIONS: @officialcrankworx



Posted In:
Stories Crankworx



73 Comments

  • 80 0
 so chuffed for Loic Bruni and Eliot Jackson. its looking like a good season.
  • 16 0
 happy for Eliot to. Is he running world cup?
  • 5 0
 I hope so. Would be sick!

So looking forward to first WC now! Smile
  • 4 0
 Does Chuffed mean Stoked? I need an English to Proper Queen's English translator
  • 5 0
 i'm ever so chuffed = totally stoked breh
  • 1 1
 What you actually need is an English to American translator.
  • 26 0
 Elliot was pinned! Great to see him on it. Great job to Loic for the win. Gonna be a goooood World Cup season!
  • 9 1
 The only thing keeping it from being perfect is Steve Peat (hopefully he will heal up fast). This is going to be an insanely fun year. Eliot's style is going to be a very nice addition to the circuit. Those two shots of Tracey though... damnnn
  • 3 0
 Yeah....REALLY bummed to see Peat and his knee issues. I am 41, ex semi-pro DH racer...he is def a big inspiration for me when I am riding the lifts. The level and especially the depth of competition is higher than I have ever seen it. At any race there are truly 10-15 guys easily up for the win. A dozen more "almost" there as well.
  • 4 0
 @bman33 ...I think we got to see him more on the US circuit than most have seen him on the World Cup circuit.
Watching Peaty and Palmer in person affected my life.
  • 1 0
 Definitely Burch. I remember seeing Palmer win at Traverse City at the 1995 NORBA Nats in slalom. No clue who he was till then. I actually raced Peaty of few motos in cruiser class at the 1995 or 96 Christmas Classic BMX race in Columbus Ohio. Good times!
  • 2 1
 Who's Burch?

@bman33 Brent, Do you remember when me and Juan had to race Ryan White when he was a munchkin little kid at Helen Nationals and he bumped me out and tried to gut Juan, but Juan wasn't having it? Oh...it still hurts to this day! Harry Potter beat my ass!
  • 1 0
 Haha. Oops. Damn auto correct. Yes! That Helen series was so good (and bad) all at once. I have seen Juan occasionally on FB. That Jeep Cherokee he rock crawls with is my old daily driver
  • 21 0
 That look in Tracey's eyes when she drifts... fierce!
  • 12 0
 Love that second picture of her drift!
  • 4 1
 Its not a drift, its a friggind destroyed corner!!! Awesome pics and ridding!
  • 5 0
 Yeah, it's amazing how she rode it out in the second pic. I'd probably die halfway through that corner.
  • 9 0
 AND her feet were ON the whole time! Solid!
  • 13 1
 Thats not one of the new hope crank set-ups thats snapped off there is it?!?!!? uh-oh
  • 2 0
 Did the crank spindle break? Or did they just rip the bottom of the frame off lol. Either way that shouldn't happen.
  • 3 0
 Anyone have info on this?
  • 3 0
 I also require info on this
  • 12 0
 No pictures of Eddy's blown up rear wheel?? I came here expecting to see a full slow motion slide show of that!
  • 2 0
 That was crazy. Not sure how the front wheel survived since it took most of the hit.
  • 2 0
 I know! I totally would have expected the front wheel to go. Seems like a mechanical failure that the rear broke. I wanted to see a slow mo to see how much that rear wheel flexed before it let go. Also so surprised he somewhat rode out of that! He was so folded up into the handlebars
  • 3 0
 Like my grandma used to say, "Never use spaghetti to lace your wheels together or you'll split your nuts."
  • 12 0
 How far is a mike?
  • 33 0
 its 1.6 kellys. or 5280 franks.
  • 9 0
 Awesome article and photos
  • 3 0
 It says on Vital that Fearon was on a rental Operator for the race???? I'm guessing he broke the prototype Precept? Why else would he ride that all week and then jump on a rental operator. Hmmm...He still killed it too.


Edited Date/Time: 12 hours ago



fearon on a 27.5 operator finally?

edit - we received word that this bike was a rental for some reason
  • 5 0
 All I wanna say is THANK YOU Dave, Matthew and Paris you absolutely killed it!
  • 4 2
 Please, don't thank Dave Matthews. He had nothing to do with this race and is probably picking flowers in a field in Cali right now.
  • 4 0
 Forgive my ignorance, haven't been into DH all that long. What's the story on Eliot Jackson? Where is he from, who does he ride for, etc, etc?
  • 16 0
 Eliot had to step away from DH for a bit due to complications from asthma. He's from 'Murica. He rides for Pivot. And he's one of the most naturally talented DH riders I've ever witnessed and an all around bad ass on two wheels.
  • 11 0
 He started out (so far as I know) with Yeti, and made a big impression pretty quickly. But he never really had the results he was looking for and dropped out of DH racing entirely for a brief time, citing problems with asthma that stopped him from training and racing as he wanted to. Starting a year or two ago, he signed on with Pivot and has been racing again. You should look up some of his videos where he's hitting massive transfers in slippers; he's a really positive guy and it's cool to see him back in the mix.
  • 6 0
 Guy can murder a bikepark too. Its pretty nuts there's a video from a few years back with him at crankworx shooting some stuff on whistler that was like doubling up tabletops.
  • 1 0
 @uglyguy and @anotherbikerguy - thanks for the info. Nice seeing another American that has the ability ride DH so well.
  • 1 0
 There's also really old footage of him riding bmx trails with some nice style
  • 1 0
 EJ FTW!!
  • 2 0
 He stated in his RedBull Media video bio that he came back after getting more testing and a fresh determination that he had something called Vocal Cord Dysfunction and the treatments have helped him come back.

Plus, if I recall, he was re-signed without the obligation of elite results when it was still thought to be asthma. My daughter's asthma seems to have incredibly similar symptoms and we're going to get her tested for it as well. We live in a very good area for medicine, but didn't even know it existed.

Click here for more: www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/related-conditions/vocal-cord-dysfunction.aspx
  • 3 0
 He also had a pretty sweet crash at sea otter wearing some slippers www.pinkbike.com/video/308875
  • 1 0
 And a sexy as fuuuuu scrub in Green River, Utah www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud2eyQO2obA
  • 5 0
 April 11th cant come fast enough.
  • 4 0
 Gee'd out, snapped crank. #JustX0things

(Yes, I know it's not actually an X0 crank.)
  • 1 0
 What crank is it ?I can't make it out
  • 1 0
 Hope apparently
  • 4 0
 no pictures of jacksons whip over the finish jump? I was looking forward to that
  • 4 0
 Cheers to the equal prize money for the men and women!
  • 1 0
 Strange to see Wyn holding a real mic. Probably picks up way better audio than the bottles he's used in the past. Look forward to hearing his interviews from this if they ever get posted because they are always a good laugh.
  • 4 0
 since when blenki turns into blinky??
  • 3 0
 what was Fearon riding? 26 or 27.5???
  • 6 3
 Does it really matter?
  • 3 1
 Its no secret he has been testing a 27.5 proto.
  • 4 0
 That was the yellow precept, He was def on a operator. Just wondering. His run was still super sickbird brah!
  • 1 0
 Yes, it looks like a Precept but its not. Different shock mount.
  • 2 0
 "Anyone seen my Loctite I placed on the pedals?", your mechanic.
  • 3 0
 kinda looks like the new hope cranks in blue? hope i`m wrong... :/
  • 1 0
 whos the rider ?
  • 1 0
 I really like this race that means that the season is going to be really really hot! I can't wait for the WORLD CUP!
  • 3 0
 Dat Blenky style..
  • 1 1
 Sam Hill riding EWS and no one commenting? where have all the haters gone? lol
  • 2 0
 he was riding flats - that's officially "not-enduro"
  • 1 0
 Is that a crankbros tat on bulldogs leg?
  • 1 0
 Wowzer, some great shots in there......and some dark ones!
  • 1 1
 Lolo is going to kick it in Lourdes !
  • 1 0
 laurent favre?
  • 1 0
 Blenki and Norco Smile
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.023537
Mobile Version of Website