New Dual Slalom Track plus Updated Downhill and Dual Speed and Style Courses for Crankworx Rotorua

Feb 25, 2020
by Official Crankworx  
 Photo by clint trahan Crankworx
Welcoming MTB royalty to Rotorua, a city with deep Māori heritage and a strong culture of manaakitanga (hospitality) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the land). Photo: Clint Trahan

Press Release: Crankworx

Tere Panuku (/Teh-reh Pah-noo-koo/): in te reo Māori (the language spoken by the indigenous population of New Zealand) it means to glide, soar and rise, all qualities associated with the Kings and Queens of mountain biking who gather to compete at Crankworx. In that spirit, a Māori name for Crankworx was recently bestowed on the festival by Kingi Biddle, Pūkenga Mātauranga Māori (Māori Knowledge Specialist) at Rotorua Lakes Council, just as competitors prepare to descend on the North Island city, March 1-8, 2020.

In addition to being a global MTB hot spot, Rotorua is also New Zealand’s first bilingual city.

The name was further explained by Ariki Tibble, Event Director for Crankworx Rotorua.

bigquotesMāori is a metaphorical language so it’s not a direct translation. ‘Pa’ is a fortification. It also means to strike. ‘Nuku’ is a reference to shifting or moving. ‘Tere’ is a reference to speed. So in essence it means to rapidly push boundaries in a way that is underpinned by strategy.Ari Tibble

Credit Fraser Britton Crankworx 2019
Action from the Redwoods Downhill at Crankworx Rotorua. Rotorua New Zealand. Credit Fraser Britton Crankworx 2018
Pushing beyond and rising above - Tomas Lemoine and Casey Brown in Rotorua. Photos: Fraser Britton

Crankworx is influenced by each of the locations that make up its World Tour. Over the past five years, Rotorua with its warmth, generosity of spirit, and pure, unadulterated passion for mountain biking and the environment that makes the sport possible, has come to encapsulate the soul of the festival.

Four days from now, this soul will be set afire as nine competitions, contests and races take place over eight days - the ultimate arena in which the 138 of the world’s best mountain bike athletes will test their mastery of the sport and share their commitment, love and skill with the world.

Awaiting them? New courses, returning favourites and reworked features set to challenge and elevate.

Here’s a roundup of how Tere Panuku Rotorua 2020 is taking shape.

New Dual Slalom track
2020 will see the debut of an all-new Dual Slalom course in Rotorua to challenge pros, CWNEXT competitors and amateurs alike. The 100% Dual Slalom Rotorua will move to the main festival grounds at Skyline Rotorua, bringing it closer to all the Crankworx action. Famed course building duo Adam King and Chris Martin of Empire of Dirt will be bringing to life a world-class course that’s steeper and more technical, leading to tighter racing over shaped berms, rollers and flat turns. As the resurgence in popularity of this old-school discipline continues, 2020’s new track will set the stage for some epic battles that will call on racers to be on their game from start to finish.

Credit Fraser Britton Crankworx 2019
Bas van Steenbergen on the Dual Slalom track in 2019. Photo: Fraser Britton

Rework for Speed & Style and Slopestyle
The blueprint for both courses, where the most stylish riders in the world are primed to prove themselves, will remain relatively similar in 2020, with some changes to a few key features, thanks to the inspired vision and skilled hands of Tom Hey and the crew from Elevate Trail Building.

bigquotesWe’ve been cranking away on the Dual Speed & Style course for the past few days and the changes are looking great. We’ve moved the first jump down the hill which gives it more width, and it’s a step up which should be great for tricks. We’ve added a multi-option rhythm section straight off the start and extended the middle straight. We’ve also taken out the cannon logs and added more classic slalom berms into the new improved last trick jump. Looking forward to seeing the boys and girls throw down!Tom Hey

2020 will be the first time a women’s category of the CLIF Speed and Style presented by Mons Royale is run in Rotorua, with 15 women on deck top compete.

Credit Fraser Britton Crankworx 2018
Tom Hey, moving, shaping and bringing the dirt to life and Skyline Rotorua. Photo: Fraser Britton

As for the famed course for the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza, imagined, designed and built by Hey and his partner, the late Kelly McGarry:

bigquotesThe course works so well it’s hard to change much in case it isn’t as epic, but we are going to tweak up the cannon log feature to make a more technical multi-option feature which should bring out some interesting combos from the riders.

Revamp for annual kick-off to DH racing season
As the first international downhill competition of the year, Crankworx Rotorua is often the first glimpse riders have into how their off-season training has set them up for the season ahead. Those lining up at the start gate in the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull will be challenged to some new twists, turns and chutes.

"Riders will face different challenges in several sections of the course this year,” says Race Director Dave Hamilton. “We have new lines through the upper grass slope resembling the high speed Les Gets course. The infamous steps in the Larches have been bypassed with steep, off-camber chutes. The end drop in the last jump has been re-routed into what should be a spectacular finish of a shark fin launch pad into the finish arena"

Credit Fraser Britton Crankworx 2019
Kiwi rider Sam Blenkinsop, full gas and pedalling for the finish line in the Rotorua DH. Photo: Fraser Britton

Get the full details on all the riders who’re getting ready to take on Crankworx Rotorua:

Keep up with all the action from the Crankworx World Tour on, including LIVE event coverage, schedule and broadcast info, tickets, event details, and results from across the tour.

You can also follow along at, including LIVE coverage on Red Bull TV of:

CLIF Speed & Style presented by Mons Royale
Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza
100% Dual Slalom Rotorua
RockShox Rotorua Pump Track presented by Torpedo7
Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull

Head to for broadcast details and times.

Regions in Article


  • 7 0
 New DS course FTW! #dualslalomforever
  • 5 0
 I would hope the UCI would wake up and remember how attractive and simple those DS races were. They should bring it back as a pre-event for DH WCs, similar XC Eliminator. Make the courses rough enough so Enduro bikes are suitable, and I am sure the sponsors would be totally behind it as well.
  • 3 0
 @cru-jones: literally the EASIEST form of MTB to provide video coverage of...
  • 5 0
 Will need a POV of the DH ASAP
  • 3 0
 of all the courses really
  • 2 0
 I'm gonna miss the carnage that was the Larches in DH Rotorua.....hope there's somewhere else with potential carnage..... ...also bring back Loic's pond jump!

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