Photo Epic: Speed & Style - Crankworx Rotorua 2022

Nov 12, 2022
by Jay French  
 

After what has been a relatively challenging week, weather-wise, it was good to see some sun and blue skies ahead of the Clif Speed & Style. The course held up pretty well given the circumstances, with only a few spots needing to be polished up before racing. Training and Qualification were pushed back a couple of hours to give the course some much-needed time to bake in the sun. There were more spectators than would usually be found on the hill for a Speed & Style event, with racing, generally being on a Friday. The Downhill being run yesterday freed Saturday up, drawing the weekend crowds in to witness the action.

We saw a reduced women's field today, with Jordy Scott having a nasty crash early in practice and Robin Goomes choosing to sit this one out and focus on recovery from her recent injury. This left us with a field of three, meaning everyone should make the podium, assuming they got down safely. With Jordy Scott sitting in the hospital, it meant the door was cracked open for Caroline in the Overall. All she had to do was get down safely, and the Queen of Crankworx title was hers. Vaea Verbeeck raced closely with Caroline to claim the silver.

Tomas Lemoine, once again, showed his dominance, taking four from four. A clean sweep of this year's Speed & Style events. Racing today meant Tomas didn't get a chance to attend Slopestyle training. He expressed his anxiety as he looks at doing his only training for Slope on the morning before the event, something he's never contemplated before, but at least the cheque will make that a little easier for him to make peace with. Peter Kaiser came in for a silver medal on an event that he told us "doesn't suit him", getting redemption from the last time he raced Speed & Style in New Zealand and washed out over the berm three times. Bas Van Steenbergen edged out Joe Simpson for the last step of the podium, adding more points to his already claimed, two-time, King-of-Crankworx title.

Most of the racing managed to take place in dry conditions, until the men's final, where a few drops began to fall as they waited in the gate. As the gates dropped so did the rain. It started off lightly as the race played out, turning into a full-on deluge by the time the podium came about, scattering the crowds to find cover anywhere they could. It was good to see the event completed before the weather turned, and we can look forward to a more stable weather experience when we come back in the summer.

Things started smiley and sunny but turned very serious very quickly once the production started and rain pushed in.
Things started smiley and sunny but turned very serious, very quickly once the production started and rain pushed in.

 
All Robin Goomes cared about out here was styling big Nac s
 
It was great to see Robin back out on course today but opted not to push only just returning from injury.
All Robin Goomes cared about out here was styling big Nac's

With no previous experience riding Speed and Style Blenki was pushing points and had to rely on his raw speed and small bag of tricks from when he was a grom.
With no previous experience riding Speed and Style, Blenki was pushing points, and had to rely on his raw speed and small bag of tricks from when he was a grom.

Blenki and Jackson both in the race for a King of Crankworx placing.
Blenki and Jackson are both in the race for a King of Crankworx placing.

Nice to see Anthony Messere back at Crankworx Rotorua
Nice to see Anthony Messere back at Crankworx Rotorua

Close racing before the weather caved in.
Close racing before the weather caved in.

Joe Simpson with the 3-Turndown over the first booter showing what a deep bag of tricks he has.
Joe Simpson with the 3-Turndown over the first booter, showing what a deep bag of tricks he has.

Bas on his way to claim another medal and take the King of Crankworx title for the second year.
Bas on his way to claim another medal and take the King of Crankworx title for the second year.

 
Bas Van Steenbergen
 
Joe Simpson

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The womens gold medal final.
The womens gold medal final.

 
Vaea Verbeeck was all smiles after claiming the silver here and pulling back second place in the overall.
 
Vaea impresses a big crowd on the mountain.
Vaea Verbeeck was all smiles, after claiming the silver here, and pulling back second place in the overall.

Your gold and silver medalists congratulating each other on a hard fought battle.
Your gold and silver medalists congratulating each other on a hard-fought battle.

With Jordy Scott sitting in hospital after a nasty crash early in practice the door was cracked wide open for Caroline in the Overall. All she had to do was get down safely and the Queen of Crankworx title was her s.
With Jordy Scott sitting in hospital after a nasty crash early in practice, the door was cracked wide open for Caroline in the Overall. All she had to do was get down safely, and the Queen of Crankworx title was her's.

 
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Caroline Buchanan and Bas van Steenbergen watch on as others battle they re was through the soft course
Caroline Buchanan and Bas van Steenbergen watch on as others battle.

It was great to see crowds out again.
It was great to see crowds out again.

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Peter Kaiser making the top-tier Instagram content in the start gate.
Peter Kaiser making the top-tier Instagram content in the start gate.

Fast and weird it s a vibe.
Fast and weird, it's a vibe.

 
Speed Style specialist.
 
The fans on the hill treated to a great view of the action.
The fans on the hill treated to a great view of the action.

Peter Kaiser made things look effortless today floating high above Lake Rotorua and into second place
Peter Kaiser made things look effortless today, floating high above Lake Rotorua, and into second place

Peter Kaiser was stoked to take silver behind Lemoine today.
Peter Kaiser was stoked to take silver behind Lemoine today.

Tomas Lemoine wins yet another Gold medal in the Speed Style
Tomas Lemoine, wins yet another Gold medal in the Speed & Style

Caroline Buchanan committed to the F1 open but snapped the neck of the bottle off.
Caroline Buchanan committed to the F1 open, but snapped the neck of the bottle off.

Your Elite Podium here in Rotorua for this years Speed and Style.
Your Elite Podium here in Rotorua for this years Speed and Style.

Tomas Lemoine special podium shot.
Tomas Lemoine special podium shot.

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Your 2022 King and Queen of Crankworx, Bas Van Steenbergen and Caroline Buchanan

 
 




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