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Final Results from the Downhill at Crankworx Rotorua 2023

Mar 18, 2023
by Ed Spratt  
Downhill racing kicks off the competition at Crankworx Rotorua, check out the results below.


Elite Women

1st. Jess Blewitt: 3:35.792
2nd. Jenna Hastings: +6.442
3rd. Shania Rawson: +9.748
4th. Siel Van Der Velden: +11.292
5th. Ellie Smith: +24.463

Elite Men

1st. Loic Bruni: 3:00.348
2nd. Oliver Zwar: +0.344
3rd. Neko Mulally: +0.939
4th. Mick Hannah: +1.857
5th. Kye A'Hern: +2.942

U19 Women

1st. Sacha Earnest: 3:46.931
2nd. Zali Miklas: +1:05.602
3rd. Violet Cleland: +1:45.717
4th. Georgia Sweeney: +1:48.409

Junior Men

1st. Luke Wayman: 3:18.296
2nd. Angus Ferguson: +0.181
3rd. Joe Millington: +1.985
4th. Michael Delesalle: +2.290
5th. Ryan Hastings: +3.859

Full Results:
Elite Women


Elite Men


U19 Women


U19 Men


Live Race Updates:

Elite Women

8:10 pm PDT After the first seven riders the top five are:

1st. Georgia Astle: 4:10.203
2nd. Bailey Goldstone: +5.241
3rd. Caroline Buchanan: +6.335
4th. Martha Gill: +6.488
5th. Lynette Deacon: +13.343

8:15 pm PDT Ellie Smith is the first rider down on the live feed and goes across the line with a 4:00.255 to take first place by just under ten seconds.

8:20 pm PDT Kalani Muirhead can't quite match Ellie Smith and slots into 2nd place, 1.072 back.

8:24 pm PDT Siel Van Der Velden flies into the lead by a huge 13 seconds.

8:29 pm PDT Shania Rawson rallies an enduro bike to the top spot, finding 1.5 seconds on Siel Van Der Velden.

8:33 pm PDT Jess Blewitt is the first to send the huge 60ft double and it pays off as she takes the lead by 9.748 seconds.

8:36 pm PDT With three riders left the top five are:

1st. Jess Blewitt: 3:35.792
2nd. Shania Rawson: +9.748
3rd. Siel Van Der Velden: +11.292
4th. Ellie Smith: +24.463
5th. Kalani Muirhead: +25.535

8:37 pm PDT A big crash for Vinny Armstrong, she is quickly up and back on the bike although now without a chain.

8:38 pm PDT Vinny Armstrong takes sixth place so far after a crash.

8:42 pm PDT Junior World Champion and first-year Elite, Jenna Hastings goes into second place after a wild landing on the 60ft double.

8:46 pm PDT It looks like Louise Ferguson has had a crash on the top part of the course and is slightly off the pace.

8:47 pm PDT Louise Ferguson goes ninth, 36 seconds back.

8:47 pm PDT Jess Blewitt wins the RockShox Taniwha Downhill.

Elite Men

9:04 pm PDT After the first 21 riders the top five are:

1st. Louis Hamilton: 3:07.315
2nd. Jackson Connelly: +7.087
3rd. Gareth Burgess: +7.574
4th. Bas Van Steenbergen: +7.882
5th. Hayden Stead: +9.026

9:05 pm PDT Kye A'Hern is the first rider on the live feed and takes the top time so far by just over four seconds.

9:09 pm PDT Neko Mulally pilots his Frameworks bike to first place with some unique lines in his run.

9:12 pm PDT Toby Meek goes across the line in third, 2.6 back.

9:16 pm PDT Oliver Davis completes the top five, 7.5 seconds back from Neko's run.

9:20 pm PDT Cole Suetos just slots into the top five riders, 7.2 seconds off the fastest run so far.

9:23 pm PDT Jakob Jewett puts on a stylish run to take fifth place so far.

9:25 pm PDT Disaster for Remy Meier-Smith as he drops his chain right out of the gate.

9:27 pm PDT Remy crashes out in the woods in the slick conditions. He gets up and slowly starts making his way down the course.

9:30 pm PDT James Macdermid lays down some wild moves and goes into eighth place.

9:32 pm PDT With 10 riders left the top five are:

1st. Neko Mulally: 3:01.287
2nd. Kye A'Hern: +2.003
3rd. Toby Meek: +2.602
4th. Louis Hamilton: +6.028
5th. Jakob Jewett: +6.206

9:36 pm PDT Baxter Maiwald kicks off the last ten riders as he slots into 12th place.

9:39 pm PDT Oliver Zwar flies past Neko's time to take the top spot by 0.595 seconds.

9:42 pm PDT Phil Atwill finds some creative lines and takes fifth place, 4.597 back.

9:46 pm PDT George Brannigan is off the pace and goes over seven seconds back in eighth place.

9:49 pm PDT Mick Hannah lays down a rapid run to go into third place, 1.5 seconds back.

9:50 pm PDT With five riders left the top five are:

1st. Oliver Zwar: 3:00.692
2nd. Neko Mulally: +0.595
3rd. Mick Hannah: +1.513
4th. Kye A'Hern: +2.598
5th. Toby Meek: +3.197

9:53 pm PDT Loris Vergier had a crash at the top of the course and goes 12 seconds back and into 13th.

9:57 pm PDT Bernard Kerr is another rider who can't match the current leader's time as he goes into sixth, 3.697 back.

10:02 pm PDT Tuhoto-Ariki Pene looked unstoppable but he goes off the course near the bottom and loses a lot of time. He crosses the line nearly 16 seconds back in 20th.

10:05 pm PDT Sam Blenkinsop was on a wild run but he goes off line and finishes his run five seconds back in eighth place.

10:09 pm PDT Loic Bruni is flying on the Specialized prototype to take the win by 0.344!

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,305 articles

  • 222 1
 Neko on the podium. You do indeed love to see it.
  • 12 0
  • 14 0
  • 14 1
 .39 seconds back. That's some old school Neko speed
  • 68 2
 Bruni is just insane man, he just looks so stable. Also DH with Rob is simply the best, I literally can't imagine how whatever Discovery presents being anywhere near as enjoyable. Excellent racing.
  • 10 0
 It really was remarkable to watch. I think most of us think about suspension mostly in terms of absorbing bumps, but Bruni has it dialed so it seems to help him steer and corner better as well. It's very impressive.
  • 15 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: It does make me think more about what Elliot was saying, about how his setup may be more dialled because his body position is so stable on the bike. Almost makes his runs look boring except for the fact he's going stupid fast.
  • 4 1
 @generalistgrant: Indeed, that struck me as an important point too. He seems perfectly sized for the bike, or visa versa I guess. We all enjoy a good "what's Louis Hamilton doing here?" joke with these Kiwi races but holy smokes Bruni and Specialized are really the Max Verstappen and Red Bull story here.
  • 2 0
 Maybe it’s that green light on the bars.
  • 11 2
 Elliot was fantastic as a commentator as well!
  • 2 0
 @mkul7r4: Absolutely! I love the energy and attitude Elliot brings, he's a great commentator. Tracy as well, I don't know most of the woman riders so it's nice to have her commentary as well.
  • 3 2
 @generalistgrant: Hot take: I love the information and intensity that Rob brings to the commentary but I feel like Elliot's goofy joking energy takes me right back out. He's often going on a longer idea, and Warner's trying to cut in with some important play by play information. He would be great at slopestyle or a rampage event where theres lots of downtime and lots of time for his exhuaberant energy.

Love the guy, but not commenting on DH.
  • 24 0
 I was curious to see what effect commenting actually has on the experience watching a Crankworx DH race. And it's safe to say it has a big one. Given there seems to be some intensity missing in the racing compared to a world cup race (maybe that's because of the early season though), I'd still rather watch this than a world cup with a different commentator.

Of and big up to Oli Zwar and Neko for the podium, so great to see them mixing it up there!
  • 24 0
 Jenna for the next Saturday Saves. So great to hear Rob, Elliot, and Tracy. Best team out there.
  • 24 0
 Happy for Mick Hannah
  • 2 0
 Such a sik rider
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: Get your antibiotics!
  • 1 0
 absolute DAWG
  • 15 1
 Awesome race, stoked for Neko! Good to see all of the hard work paying off!
  • 9 0
 Coverage is good - would be better with a couple split times. Stoked for Neko
  • 7 0
 Awesome run by Loic. Anyone know what the little green light on his handlebar is?
Great commentary from Rob, Elliot, and Tracy.
Redbull Crankworx is where it's at this year.
  • 5 0
 Just a reminder that it's go time
  • 1 0
 I'm wondering the same thing
  • 1 0
 It for his suspension apparently
  • 10 0
 The Gnarly Mulally gap!
  • 8 0
 Wasn't Hamilton supposed to be in Saudi Arabia this weekend?
  • 7 1
 Yep. Getting thrashed by his teammate
  • 7 0
 Great result Oliver Zwar. Hope you can get some WC podium time this year.
  • 4 0
 As good, if not better, than WCDH racing. Gnarly track, pinned riding and awesome coverage and commentating. Can't wait for more.
  • 2 0
 Yewwww. Toby Meek in 6th has been the Fastest Kiwi at every race this year and well deserved National Champ sleeve for the World Cup races this year. Watch this kid, he is first year Elite with heaps more in the tank.
  • 4 0
 Jess would make top 30 in men’s elite, fast AF
  • 1 0
 I see these great races with all this excellent competition, content, and commentary and can't for the life of me understand why Discovery is shoehorning in a semifinal run as well. I can't make it make sense!
  • 3 4
 I'm surprised red bull didn't step it up. They lost the world cups but still have warner, eliot and trace, and still had some of the world's best riders. But they didn't invest a dime in a new producer or better on screen graphics. Why not seize the opportunity and improve the production? With warner on your team you could arguably make crankworx more popular than the world cups, but seemingly they did nothing for 2023.
  • 12 0
 It wasn't as polished as their world cup broadcasts, but it was pretty close and loads better than past crankworkz race broadcast. I look forward to seeing what they do.
  • 7 0
 This track is literally in the middle of the forest. There is no infrastructure where they are, save for a water tap about 100m up the road from the finish line. All power coming from generators. At least at WC's there is at least a real building not far from the start or finish line.

The graphics are classic Crankworx graphics. Not really RedBull Media House's area for this event???? But they need improving regardless of this being Red Bull or not.
  • 1 0
 Yeah they upped the quality to be on par with 2022 World cup racing - which was awesome. Previous Crankworx DH suffered from a lack of cameras, and the ones that they did have, they put on non critical exposed sections so they got more film time per camera. In the past I blamed Cam McCaul for not being as good as Warner, but I now think that was unfair... he had to watch the same footage we did and try to make it interesting.
  • 1 0
 The U19 Women event, did something happen that the winner was so far ahead, otherwise that is an insane gap to your competitors
  • 2 0
 It's a real gnarly track & gaps were similar in seeding. U19 female winner Sacha also got the 4th fastest female time of the day.
  • 1 0
 did anyone notice that Bruni had a green light or something similar showing on the non drive side of his handlebars.....wonder what that was all about? e-shifter??
  • 1 0
 Indicator light for his lockout maybe?
  • 1 0
 Great work, Oliver Zwar and team Canyon! Hope to see more Canyons on the podium.
  • 13 0
 I'd rather see riders on the podium
  • 4 0
 At rampage, hope to see the podium in the Canyon.
  • 1 0
 What's the deal with Loic's bike? Still running that electronic Ohlins suspension? Or is the green light something else?
  • 2 0
 This is dope
  • 2 1
 More like Blewit out of the water!
  • 1 0
 Anyone know why Sam Gale didn't start?
  • 2 0
 Fractured hand, per his Instagram. There was video of the practice crash on his Stories but gone now.
  • 1 0
 Bas van Steenbergen in a downhill race!?
  • 1 0
 Where are Wyn Masters and Eddie Masters? I am looking forward to Wyn TV.
  • 1 0
 Wyn lives in Europe
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 Was there any live feed of this?
  • 1 0
 Yes, it was on RedBulltv. I think it was also streamed on the Red Bull TV (bike?) YouTube channel. It started at 11PM EDT in the eastern US, so would have been o-dark early over in Europe.
  • 1 0
 @IanJF: Yeah it was about 6 in the morning EET. Then again, I do love me some DH replays with my weekend breakfast.

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