Photo Epic: Air DH Finals - Crankworx Rotorua 2019

Mar 20, 2019
by Andy Vathis  


The Air DH event is always an interesting one as it sits somewhere between downhill, dual slalom and, to some degree, pump track. It's also the catch-all category, where most racers will the do this plus something they actually specialize in. Held on a flowy jump trail, the object of the game is to keep it low and to absorb as much as the terrain as you can in order to keep the speeds up. Of course, timing your body language is everything. The old adage goes that anything is technical if you ride it fast enough and staying on the rev limiter gets scary fast, unless you just enjoy laying out multiple fat whips in your race run to please the crowd

We're just two events into Crankworx at this point and already some King and Queen contenders are emerging. On the women's side Vaea has now gone two from two, pushing Anneke Beerten into second place both times. In the men's race, Bas VanSteenbergen showed his face on the podium again but was pipped by Mick Hannah and Mitch Roelato, who took the win by 0.2

The lineup at the start gate was growing with the shadows getting long. Some racers kept it easy on the grass while others opted for sprints.

Noga Korem tapping into the zone.
Noga Korem tapping into the zone.

Line choice discussions between the top women.
Strategy discussions between the top women.

Remi Gauvin has his sights set on the EWS this weekend. I guess you can call this training then.
Remi Gauvin has his sights set on the EWS this weekend. I guess you can call this part of his training then.

Miranda Miller is another multidisciplined rider competing in the EWS.
Miranda Miller is another multi disciplined rider competing in the EWS. She's back between the tape looking comfortable on her new bike after a win in Tennessee a couple weeks back.

Connor Mahuika letting it all hang out.
Connor Mahuika letting it all hang out.

Anneke Beerten finding her pace in practice.
Anneke Beerten finding her pace in practice.

Emilie Siegenthaler buzzing down.
Emilie Siegenthaler buzzing down.

Ryan Howard towing in Mitch Ropelato on a cruiser.
Ryan Howard towing in Mitch Ropelato on a cruiser.

Casey Brown hasn t had the strongest start point wise but there is no shortage of a good time on her face.
Casey Brown hasn't had the strongest start point wise but there is no shortage of a good time on her face.

Rachel Strait charging the course.
Rachel Strait charging the course.

Cody Kelley is one of the smoothest and skilled riders out there and it showed in practice. He was doubling and manualling wherever he could find space.
Cody Kelley is one of the smoothest and skilled riders out there and it showed in practice. He was doubling and manualing wherever he could find space.
Cody Kelly showing Rotorua how to land in a manual and keep it going.
Case in point with this lanual.

No wheelies today for Wyn Masters.
No wheelies today for Wyn Masters?

Vaea was pretty relaxed up top before dropping the hammer.
Vaea was pretty relaxed up top before dropping the hammer.

Mick Hannah is one of most experienced riders here between the tape.
Mick Hannah is one of most experienced riders here between the tape.

Mick Hannah working the view and into third for the Men s.
Mick Hannah working the view and into second for the Men's.

Last bit of light with R-Doggy Style living up to his name.
Last bit of light with R-Doggy Styles living up to his name.

Remi Gauvin sat in the hotseat for a good while after his run.
Remi Gauvin sat in the hot seat for a good while after his run.

Bas van Steenbergen floated into a solid third place finish.
Bas van Steenbergen floated into a solid third place finish.

New Zealand s Shania Rawson took third place once the dust settled.
New Zealand's Shania Rawson took third place once the dust settled.

Anneke Beerten dialing in.
Anneke Beerten dialing in.

Anneke Beerten into the last bit of light on the dusty track. She fell second place to Vaea for the second event in a row and will certainly be looking to change that.
Anneke Beerten into the last bit of light on the dusty track. She fell second place to Vaea for the second event in a row and will certainly be looking to change that.

Vaea Verbeeck tucked over the table tops aiming for the finish. She was the fastest in last night s Dual Slalom and enjoyed a champagne shower for the second night in a row.
Vaea Verbeeck tucked over the table tops, aiming for the finish. She was the fastest in last night's Dual Slalom and enjoyed a champagne shower for the second night in a row.

Mitch Ropelato s training regiment is surely paying off earning him the top spot on the podium.
Mitch Ropelato's training regiment is surely paying off, earning him the top spot on the podium.

The 2018 King of Crankworx Sam Blenkinsop loving the racing here in Rotorua.
The 2018 King of Crankworx, Sam Blenkinsop, loving the racing here in Rotorua.

Autograph sessions and Crankworx definetly go hand in hand.
Autograph sessions and Crankworx definitely go hand in hand.

Two for Two for Vaea.
Two for two for Vaea.

Mitch Starting off his 2019 season on the right foot.
Mitch starting off his 2019 season on the right foot.

Air DH winners waiting to be summoned to the podium.
Air DH winners waiting to be summoned to the podium.

Air DH Pro Podium
Air DH Pro Podium.

Bit of champaigne to wash down the dust.
Bit of champagne to wash down the dust.

RESULTS

Posted In:
Stories Crankworx



36 Comments

  • 21 0
 Heck yeah Andy nice article!
  • 16 0
 before someone else points it out, Remi Gauvin with the 69 plate nice
  • 3 0
 Sixty-nice.
  • 1 0
 goddammit, i was gonna say that!
  • 12 0
 Vaea is on fire! Quebec Air Force is going strong! Bravo Vaea!!! Smile
  • 3 0
 Would love to watch the events later after work - are these not streamed !?
  • 3 0
 It wasn’t live broadcasted. Check our guide to see which events will have video feeds: www.pinkbike.com/news/the-complete-2019-crankworx-rotorua-schedule.html
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: bookmarked ! somehow missed that post - now, where can I apply for a job at streaming crankworx content !?
  • 3 0
 Mitch won the Air DH on a Santa Cruz 5010 - the 2019 model of that bike is an absolute beast in the right hands!!
  • 1 1
 And he was running X01 AXS!
  • 4 0
 I totally have to learn how to "lanual" lol
  • 3 0
 I mean technically that was a wheelie in the picture of Wyn...
  • 1 0
 Only if he was pedaling.
  • 2 0
 Vaea vs Anneke this is so cool! Both riding so strong. Crankworx is sick!
  • 5 4
 Bunch of Faces not enough bikes
  • 1 0
 Why does it look like Rachel Strait has 2 front brake cylinders/levers?
  • 1 0
 Isn't one to actuate the seatpost?
  • 1 0
 Lot of gloves for a race in NZ.....
  • 1 0
 Good write up and photos, but gotta work on this pan shots. Razz
  • 1 0
 Great photos!
  • 2 2
 Nz$1500 equates to us$7.00
  • 1 0
 "Lanual"
  • 1 0
 SO EPIC
  • 1 0
 Go Anneke!
  • 2 3
 Winner gets $1.5M?
  • 2 0
 $1500.00
  • 3 0
 if only...
  • 1 8
flag dhmad (Mar 20, 2019 at 7:22) (Below Threshold)
 @Oolex: Half for the girl...
  • 3 1
 @dhmad: We can't see the amount Vaea won, but Anneke (2nd) got the same amount as Mick, also 2nd. Also 3rd place got equal amounts, so I guess first place does as well.

Too bad there's a decimal point in there somewhere Smile
  • 3 0
 @zonoskar: you can... look at the text!
  • 3 0
 @zonoskar: Yep, equal prize money.
  • 2 0
 @dhmad:
It literally says "one thousand five hundred" on the cheque she´s holding...
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: think Crankworx announced they were doing this a couple of years back eh?
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: Reading is hard though.....
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: Wasn't that readable on my phone. sorry.

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