Rotorua Gets Pumped: Photo Epic - Crankworx Rotorua 2017

Mar 30, 2017
by Dave Trumpore  


After rain wreaked havoc on yesterday's competitions, the sun began to shine this afternoon in time for the Pumptrack Challenge presented by RockShox here at Crankworx Rotorua 2017. Both the crowds of spectators and the racers had been getting anxious waiting on the weather, and the pump track event under the lights was just what everyone needed to turn the vibe up a notch.

With the crowd in his corner all night, Rotorua local Keegan Wright was able to knock off rider after rider on his way to the final matchup with Adrien Loron. Loron, who is the current Crankworx Pumptrack Champion, was looking to get his first ever win here in Rotorua, while Wright was intent on giving the locals a reason to celebrate. Keegan had been unstoppable all night, especially down the final straightways. And when he pulled a lead out of the last corner on both his heats against Loron, it was obvious there was would be no catching the young Kiwi. It would be his first Crankworx event win, and in the process denied Adrien Loron that elusive win in Rotorua for the third straight year.

In the Women's race, all eyes were on defending Queen of Crankworx, Jill Kintner and rival Caroline Buchanan. Jill dominated this event last season winning all three rounds while Caroline had been absent due to her Olympic BMX obligations. So it was good to see both powerhouse riders here in Rotorua racing head to head once again. After the first heat it looked like it would be in Jill's favor as she had started on the slower blue lane, but on the second heat she threw her advantage away after she drifted high on one of the big right-hand turns. With the soft nature of the track, there was no way to recover from a mistake, and that allowed Buchanan to beat her to the line by about one bike length.

In the small final which would decide the third spot on the podium Danielle Beecroft took down Shania Rawson, while Barry Nobles narrowly edged out Mitch Ropelato by the smallest of margins. With his third place finish, Barry Noblefgutts would also share the podium for the second time in Crankworx history with his fiancé, Caroline Buchanan.

People of Pumptrack - Crankworx Rotorua 2017

People of Pumptrack - Crankworx Rotorua 2017

People of Pumptrack - Crankworx Rotorua 2017

Racers ready...
Racers ready...

The view from the start gate as seen by Barry Nobles.
The view from the start gate as seen by Barry Nobles.

Chainless riding meant that the riders needed to pop up really high to get that first pump and send them down the start ramp.
Chainless riding meant that the riders needed to pop up really high to get that first pump and send them down the start ramp.

Close racing as viewed from the Maori carving at the end of the straight.
Close racing as viewed from the Maori carving at the end of the straight.

Very close racing
Very close racing.

People of Pumptrack - Crankworx Rotorua 2017
Defending Queen of Crankworx, Jill Kintner.

Back from a year focusing on the BMX and the Olympics Caroline Buchanan has her sights set on Queen of Crankworx for 2017.
Back from a year focusing on BMX and the Olympics, Caroline Buchanan has her sights set on Queen of Crankworx title for 2017.

The blur of Mitch Ropelato.
The blur of Mitch Ropelato.

Cody Johnson in a drag race with Mitch Ropelato to kick of the night.
Cody Johnson in a drag race with Mitch Ropelato to kick off the night.

Defending champ Adrian Loron missed out narrowly today.
Defending champ Adrien Loron missed out narrowly today.

A close race to second place keeps Adrian in contention for another overall and he doesn t look to gutted about it either.
A close race to second place keeps Adrien in contention for another overall, and he doesn't look to gutted about it either.

Fresh Talent Pumps Up Rotorua
Keegan Wright.

Keegan Wright riding like a man possessed.
Keegan Wright riding like a man possessed.

Jill Kintner.
Jill Kintner.

Bernard Kerr and Mitch Ropelato debrief after their 1 16 final.
Bernard Kerr and Mitch Ropelato debrief after their 1/16 final.

Keegan sure does make some seriously interesting shapes on the bike.
Keegan sure does make some seriously interesting shapes on the bike.

Giveaways and Mexican waves thanks to this guy.
Giveaways and Mexican waves thanks to this guy.

EWS Racer Cody Kelley made it into the top 32 main event but his night would end in the first round.
EWS Racer Cody Kelley made it into the top 32 main event but his night would end in the first round.

Grit and determination for Barry Nobels.
Grit and determination for Barry Nobles.

Tomas Slavic injured his wrist in practice an struggled to keep pace in the main event.
Tomas Slavic injured his wrist in practice and struggled to keep pace in the main event.

Jill sits patiently awaiting her heat while the big screen behind her pays tribute to her Queen of Crankworx.
Jill sits patiently awaiting her heat, while the big screen behind her pays tribute to her Queen of Crankworx title.

The racing was as close as ever in Rotorua tonight and with the earlier start came a lighter race than last year.
The racing was as close as ever in Rotorua tonight, and with the earlier start came a lighter race than last year.

Bryn watches intently as his partner Jill Kintner goes into a race with local rider Shania Rawson.
Bryn watches intently as his wife, Jill Kintner, goes into a race with local rider Shania Rawson.

Jill Kintner slipped up in this corner against Caroline Buchanan losing precious speed before the final straight and the race to the line.
Jill Kintner slipped up in this corner against Caroline Buchanan, losing precious speed before the final straight and the race to the line.

Phil Atwill in his signature pumptrack brown trousers
Phil Atwill in his signature pump track brown trousers,

Eyes on the prize for Barry making the podium again here in Rotorua with his other half too
Eyes on the prize for Barry, who would make the podium again here in Rotorua with his other half, too!

Austin Warren made the main event on his first trio overseas in a few years.
Austin Warren made the main event on his first trip overseas in a few years.

Anneke made qualies but was knocked out by local Shania Rawson.
Anneke made qualies but was knocked out by local Shania Rawson.

Danielle Beecroft almost knocked out Carolne Buchanan in the semi-final round.
Danielle Beecroft almost knocked out Caroline Buchanan in the semi-final round.

Young local lass Shania Rawson has been dominating the female gravity scene all season and dug deep today against some seasoned bros a hugely credible 4th will only help to fuel her fire even more
Young local lass Shania Rawson has been dominating the local female gravity scene all season and dug deep today against some seasoned pros, a hugely credible 4th will only help fuel her fire even more.

Barry Nobles elbows out Mitch Ropelato for 3rd.
Barry Nobles elbows out Mitch Ropelato for 3rd.

Caroline Buchanan muscles down the final straight.
Caroline Buchanan muscles down the final straight.

Caroline Buchanan nips Jill Kintner at the line.
Caroline Buchanan nips Jill Kintner at the line.

After winning all three pump track events at last year s Crankworx Jill Kintner found her match in Rotorua.
After winning all three pump track events at last year's Crankworx, Jill Kintner found her match in Rotorua.

Keegan Wright death grips it to the line ahead of Barry Nobels.
Keegan Wright death grips it to the line ahead of Barry Nobles.

2017 Crankworx Rotorua Pumtrack Challenge

Hopefully the only thing raining from here on out in Rotorua in Champagne.
Hopefully the only thing raining from here on out in Rotorua is Champagne.

Congrats on your first Crankworx event win Keegan Wright.
Congrats on your first Crankworx event win Keegan Wright.



MENTIONS: @officialcrankworx / @davetrumpore / @FRNZ / @cameronmackenzie / @AJBarlas




29 Comments

  • + 32
 This is the first time over the crankworx years I've only just realised all the bikes are chainless!! Silly me. BTW Keegan looks like he just got a text from a girl saying she's free tonight and then hightails it to her- his face is just like that Big Grin
  • + 8
 They only started doing it last year
  • + 23
 Dear Caroline, sigh.... Signed, The Internet.
  • + 13
 Keegan Wright, left, Wright, left, up, down, up, down, left, left, up, down, left, Wright, up, down
  • + 2
 circle, square, triangle, triangle, RLB, RLB, finisher special
  • + 8
 Caroline Buchanan, so hot right now. Caroline.
  • + 6
 Bad thing, fine as hell, got some guns, oh my god, thats my baby, Caroline you divine...mighty fine...
  • + 7
 I hate riding with no chain because it makes the cranks feel so light
  • + 5
 Anyone else thought Caroline Buchanan had some seriously vibrant knuckle tattoos in the final few black and white photos?

Just me? Okay.
  • + 20
 No... but I did notice that she's got some serious guns on her.
  • + 4
 @onemanarmy: Sorry, what were we talking about? I got distracted by some serious firepower.
  • + 1
 More noticed her arms... I wish I had these. She's fit as F
  • + 5
 "The view from the start gate as seen by Barry Nobles."

That's Danielle Beecroft.
  • + 5
 Hey pinkbike when you finally start speling Slavik's name right??????!!!! It's Tomáš Slavík ....
  • + 1
 Real question: do you have those letters on your keyboard? I think the only way I know how to get those is finding them under symbols in ms word. Just curious.
  • + 2
 @juicebanger: I wrote it in Czech language...
But what piss me off is that for second year pb spell it Slavic... Is it problem to write it properly...? Tomas Slavik ...?!!!!
  • + 5
 people are going to pump the puns in now...
  • + 3
 Tracking them will be a challenge
  • + 2
 @juicebanger: Punped up
  • + 5
 Keegan looks really pumped to take the win
  • + 4
 yo cody kelly, ya hamstrings. they hollow...
  • + 3
 That guy wearing the costume of the villain from Batman is a right joker!
  • + 0
 Great photo of Mitch and Cody at the gate but I don't know what I like best: their faces, that purple/green bike or his socks. 'Merica!
  • + 2
 Equal payouts, very nice...
  • + 2
 such a chill, hang loose event, I would love to partake one day
  • + 2
 head up to Whistler in August its not that far from you.
  • + 1
 Track looks fun. Hardtails rule.
  • - 3
 Crankworx looks cool and I'm sure the EWS was so so exciting, no coverage of night harvest tho? More money elsewhere pinkbike?
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