The fifth and final day of Crankworx Rotura began with dark skies and a steady rain, an ominous start to what was slated to be an exciting day of slopestyle competition. The precipitation forced a two hour delay, but Mother Nature finally decided to play nice, and soon enough the sun poked through, allowing the black tarps that covered the jumps to be rolled back and for the competition to begin.

Where there s smoke there is fire. Once the sun came out things dried out quickly and the riders got rowdy.
Where there's smoke there's fire. Once the sun came out things dried out quickly and the riders got rowdy.

Brett Rheeder checking the course conditions and the potential to turn the landings into a massive slip and slide.
Brett Rheeder checking the course conditions and the potential to turn the landings into a massive slip and slide.
Tarps kept all the lips and landings from getting destroyed with this mornings rain and were pretty much good to go when the sun came out.
Tarps kept all the lips and landings from getting destroyed with this mornings rain and were pretty much good to go when the sun came out.

Brandon Semenuk all smiles this morning when the clouds broke and riders had confirmation that the competition was on.
Brandon Semenuk was all smiles this morning when the clouds broke and riders had confirmation that the competition was on.

Sweeping up the filth and getting the jumps ridable this morning was a major operation. But clear skies helped cake the moisture out.
Sweeping up the filth and getting the jumps ridable this morning was a major operation. But clear skies helped cake the moisture out.

Always keep a chainsaw handy. Especially when it rains torrentially before slope. You might need to make some repairs.
Always keep a chainsaw handy. Especially when it rains torrentially before slope. You might need to make some repairs.

Greg Watts backflip off the first step down.
Greg Watts backflip off the first step down.

Mitch Chubey indian air.
Mitch Chubey Indian air.

Tommy Genon boosting out of the gate on run one.
Tommy Genon boosting out of the gate on run one.

Anthony Messere didn t quite get the runs that he was looking for today although he had been on fire all during practice.
Anthony Messere didn't get the runs that he was looking for today although he had been on fire all during practice.

Anthony Messere with a big slam on run one.
Anthony Messere with a big slam on run one.
Anthony Messere was going for it this afternoon with a win or die trying approach that didn t go quite as planned.

TMAC through the tress
Tyler McCaul flies through the trees. It must have been nerve wracking for older brother Cam to watch and fulfill his commentator duties at the same time.

Cam McCaul losing his mind as the tricks were thrown down and the judges scores rolled in.
Cam McCaul losing his mind as the tricks were thrown down and the judges scores rolled in.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle images
And the award for best pants goes to.... Tomas Lemoine.

Cam Zink front flipped the first step down and one of the only guys to do so.
Cam Zink front flipped the first step down and was one of the only guys to do so.

Zink over rotated and crashed out on his second run. Still the man was running with a broken hand.
Zink over rotated and crashed out on his second run. Still, the man was running with a broken hand.

bigquotesThis was literally the first time I've landed my whole run in practice - I've never done that before - and then messed up in finals. It's a bummer, but the consolation of it, the little silver lining, is that my run would have been on the podium, and I did it, so it's good to know that for the rest of the year. I've been doing this for twelve years, since the first Crankworx, and I feel like I can be on the podium the rest of the year. - Cam Zink

Whips where a staple today. Sam Pilgrim trowing it out up top.
Whips were a staple today. Sam Pilgrim throwing it out up top.

Sam Pilgrim 360 out of the woods and into the clearing.
Sam Pilgrim 360 out of the woods and into the clearing.

Fully extended tail whip right out of the gate. Tail whip variants seemed to be the most used trick out here today.
Another fully extended tail whip right out of the gate from Tomas Zejda.

Tomas Zejda put down a mean run and looked really smooth out there. 360 table off the boner log.
Tomas Zejda put down a mean run and looked really smooth out there. 360 table off the boner log.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle images
Mitch Chubey lays it flat.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle images
6,000 cheering fans lined the course, an impressive number considering how nasty the weather was in the morning.

Brandon Smenuk Cork 720.
This is where it all started to go wrong for Brandon Semenuk. He got tossed hard on the landing of a 720 bar spin, smacking into the ground with his head and shoulder.

Brandon Semenuk
The brown soil packed into Semenuk's helmet and handlebar says it all.

Two jumps in and this was about as far as Brandon Semenuk would get on course today.
Two jumps in and this was about as far as Brandon Semenuk would get on his second run today.

A crash in the first run and a mistake right out of the start gate would spell disaster for Brandon Semenuk today
Tyler Morland consoles Brandon Semenuk after a rough day at the office for the Canadian rider. Semenuk attempted a second run, but pulled the plug after the third jump due to the blurred vision he was experiencing.

Martin Soderstrom tuck 360 in the Rotorua redwoods.
Martin Soderstrom tuck 360 in the Rotorua redwoods.

Soderstrom with a tuck no hander of the boner jump. While he was a favorite today he just couldn t put down the run to beat Rheeder.
While he was a favorite today Soderstrom just couldn't put down the run to beat Rheeder.

Martin Soderstrom 360 Double Tailwhip over the final booter proving that he is back and going to be a regular threat.
Martin Soderstrom 360 double tailwhip over the final booter proving that he is back and going to be a regular threat.

Thomas Genon looked oh soclose to catching Brett Rheeder on his second run but in the end the judges would score him in second
Thomas Genon looked oh-so-close to catching Brett Rheeder on his second run but in the end it wasn't quite enough.

Thomas Genon Tuck no hander heading into the Whale tail. Genon placed third.
Thomas Genon tuck no hander heading into the whale tail en route to a third place finish.

Nicoli Rogatkin was killing it today. He was going hard in practice throwing triple whips of the log boner and and kept the intensity in both his runs.
Nicoli Rogatkin was killing it today. He was going hard in practice, throwing triple whips of the log boner and he kept the intensity in both his runs.

Nicolai Rogatkin backed up his break out season in 2014 by going huge here in New Zealand kicking off 2015 with a 2nd place.
Rogatkin backed up his break out season in 2014 by going huge here in New Zealand, kicking off 2015 with a 2nd place.

Nicolai Rogatkin robot cork 720.
Nicolai Rogatkin robot cork 720.

Brett Rheeder flip off the flat drop.
Brett Rheeder throws a flip off the flat drop.

Brett Rheeder took his first win today. After battling a stomach flu he was the one who found the gold at this first Crankworx.
Rheeder took his first win today. After battling a stomach flu, he was the one who found the gold at this first Crankworx.





Ingredients of a Winning Run

• Backflip tailwhip
• Corked 720
• Backflip opposite tailwhip
• Opposite tailwhip
• Double truck driver
• Opposite truck onto platform
• Flat drop backflip
• Tailwhip
• Backflip barspin to stretch tuck no hander


For Rheeder this has been a long time coming. Do pull this off after being ill all day yesterday just goes to show how solid he is right now.



Brett Rheeder victory lap flip.
Brett Rheeder with a well deserved victory lap to with Crankworx Slopestyle.


bigquotesI had one in the tank if I needed it, but I didn't. I can't describe my happiness right now - I'm really stoked. I feel really relieved that I made my run and I'm down at the bottom, and I'm even more happy that I got through a victory lap with my Ontario homeboy. I was sick in bed at the hotel all day, and I missed practice, so to be on top right now is a relief. - Brett Rheeder

Cheers to beating the rain today and end of the first Crankworx of 2015.
Cheers to beating the rain today and the end of the first Crankworx of 2015.

Podium
Your 2015 Crankworx Rotorua slopestyle podium. 1. Brett Rheeder 2. Nicolai Rogatkin 3. Thomas Genon


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71 Comments

  • + 147
 As always, after every event, so proud of our team, in this case, Cam Zink, Logan Peat and Brandon Semenuk. From Zink who had one of the gnarliest crashes ever 2 weeks ago while filming, breaking his hand, landing on head and still calls us up and says "I am still going to Crankworx, doing all the events, I need a freshly painted lid asap, mine got ruined in that crash", to Logan Peat who is still getting these major competitions under his belt and handles them like a seasoned pro and to Semenuk, who despite some negative comments is one of the most professional athletes we have ever worked with.
We never fault our guys for wanting to win, wanting to be the best, wanting to provide victory to the fans that support them and the brands that partner with them. We support our guys, we feel the pain when they fall, feel the pain when they travel half way around the world to compete at a bike race and we are ok if they get upset at themselves for failing...they are all caught in a moment, suffering through trauma to their mind and body, it is not easy out there. We salute all the competitors, and thank our boys for doing Troy Lee right.
  • + 10
 Well said Stikman! Bravo.
  • + 12
 Now this is mountain biking. Great support.
  • + 10
 Can't understand the negativity, they are all bloody heroes !
  • + 10
 @troyleedesigns Way to support your team. Much respect!
  • + 2
 We are also incredibly proud from Ontario the home of Logan and Brett. Watching them progress and grow as pros has been a sweet run. The victory lap was pure dope.
  • + 86
 Unfortunate for semenuk, I'm by no means a fanboy of his, but people need to cut him some slack as they are at risk of sounding like football supporters (referring to earlier posts).
  • + 77
 Can't be more agree with you,why so many people dislike him?
He has one of the best style i ever saw on a bike,he lands one of the hardest tricks and stunts in the bike's history,he look wise and nice.
Ok he doesn't smile a lot,and doesn't talk a lot too,but who give a f*ck?Keep silent is better than speak for nothing...
  • + 49
 Open you mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence
  • + 10
 First off I couldn't do any of those tricks, and even if I could why risk it this early in the season? Especially when you have blurred vision and can't spot your landings. Totally understand why Semenuk went straight back, hope he gets that sorted out and is 100% soon!
  • + 10
 How can Semenuk's character make him any less of a great rider? His riding and contest domination is so outstanding, it truly speaks for itself. How many riders have that many awesome video parts and wins at various contest in their resume? He has constantly been progressing the sport and comes up with a new trick or two at every event he competes in. Also he excels in many different disciplines which is rare among slopestyle riders and has a unique combination of style and tricks that has yet to be reached by anyone else. Not liking him just because he doesn't smile a lot or gets pissed when he almost knocks himself out on the last trick of a killer run seems a bit irrational.
  • - 7
flag biker3335 (Mar 29, 2015 at 11:01) (Below Threshold)
 Everyone wants to see him land his run but it would be nice to see him at least congratulate the top 3 at the end like everyone else was.
  • + 24
 The hate towards Semenuk is ridiculous. The guy is a legend.
  • - 33
flag biker3335 (Mar 29, 2015 at 11:43) (Below Threshold)
 It's because everyone else can handle the pressure, just because he's the best doesn't make it okay for him to act the way he does.
  • - 6
flag freeride-forever (Mar 29, 2015 at 16:22) (Below Threshold)
 @ridethree, you're fvcked if you think slope riders don't excel in many different disciplines. These are the best of the best bike riders out there, them & the trials riders. You may not see the slope riders on the race course or wherever these other "disciplines" are, but they have the skills. The future is not in racing, it's in freestylin' like it is in any other similar sport. The slope guys are the pinnacle of riding ability. They're the ones setting the standards. They're dedicated to going as far as possible, that's why you don't see them as often in the other, "older" disciplines. It's pretty simple.

@biker3335, no being the best doesn't make it OK for anyone to do anything that wouldn't otherwise be OK. What makes it OK for Sem to "act the way he does" is the fact that he can do what he likes the same as anyone else can as long as he's not hurting anyone else.

His spons may have reason to complain, but stupidiotards like you don't. How do we all know Sem' didn't congratulate everyone? I'm a hardcore Sem' fan (no more than I am a Rheeder the Leader fan though) & did even joke to myself that Sem' was gonna go sulk after his 2nd run, but I'd really hate to think he'd never congratulate the bruhs that deserve it. After he's finished re-running the contest through his head & what went wrong he probably issues props where they're deserved, we just don't see it.

It's gotta be hard knowing that the only reason you didn't stand on the top of the podium is because of a bad decision on the last jump of the course. If he had eased back on the throttle just a cvnt hair or two, left out the bar on that 7, it'd be an all north American podium again. When it's the difference between a podium or not & between decisions rather than ability, it'd be a tough one to swallow.
  • - 21
flag NiightRider (Mar 29, 2015 at 16:42) (Below Threshold)
 i dont like him because he's a dick..
  • + 2
 @NiightRider Why do you think he is a dick?

@freeride-forever I see what you mean and Martin Söderström is a good example as he won the speedNstyle but i still can't totally agree with you. I think racers will always be best at racing but some freerides are pretty good at racing as well
  • + 4
 I thought Semenuk had the win even if he just threw the corked 7 without the bar. Would love to see his trick list. Amazing comp. Thanks everyone.
  • + 1
 This is just like nyjah huston in skateboarding a shame really. You are just jealous because he is so flipping good.
  • + 1
 I mean to the negative commenters
  • + 39
 I'm noticing how Rheeder keeps winning. He always does a trick then opos' it. Judges love oposite! Still, it's a shame Semenuk got hurt, but to tell the truth, he is the only one pushing it. He always has that master plan, sure he can win without beating a sweat but he wants to do it in a way more extraordinary than a group of gentlemen. If there is a way to bring back unicorns into our lives, so that the public may enjoy some magic every now and then, it's Semenuk. The man rides so clean, Outcast ain't got nothing on him. Go Semenuk!
  • + 7
 Anyone else wondering if Brandon's first run was his "safe run"?
  • + 8
 "To tell you the truth Semenuk is the only one pushing it" you couldn't be anymore wrong dude! Obviously if you place top 3 in a crankworx event you are pushing it. Don't take away from the other riders that Killed it and earned their spot. Especially Ontario's Brett Rheeder who pushes it just as hard if not harder then Semenuk
  • + 3
 it was. it was still a gnarly run, but same with brett, they both had more up their sleaves
  • + 3
 Of course the other riders are pushing like a pregnant woman at a weight lifting competition, but somehow Semenuk in a way has his mind set a little bit different. He has more than once taken a big risk at Rampage and Crankworx, where it backfired, but had it worked, oh lawd the unicorn mane and booty! And I do agree about Rheeder, actually, judging by his last edit with Alcantara... my only explanation for his riding is that he shun Physics and the whole idea that Mr. Newton had.
  • + 2
 Rheeder's trick list is insane. He's easy to root for. Seems like a great guy.
  • + 31
 All this negativity towards Semenuk and the 5th picture in is him with a big smile. He crashed hard, got a concussion, still tried to ride his last run with blurred vision, AND it's the first contest of the year. We all know he trains and lives this shit, give him a break.
  • + 21
 Wasn't expecting so many 720s from everyone this year, the boys have been training hard!
  • + 4
 720's are the new black
  • + 17
 Shame we didnt get to see Zink's full run , considering he reckons it was podium worthy
  • + 13
 The level of riding just got so ridiculous, gonna be an epic season
  • + 10
 Rheeder, Semenuk, and Soderstrom are all absolutely amazing, but if Nicolai Rogatkin can find some fluidity and style he will teach them all a thing or two I reckon.
  • + 6
 that seems to be where he lacks. he muscles out all the crazy tricks, but they just look so forced and choppy compared to rheeder, semenuk, and soderstrom. no disrespect to him, but it definitely holds him back.
  • + 9
 Brandon, what happend ??? PLEASE tell us !!!!!!!!
  • + 28
 Came off, head hit the ground, apparently hard, blurred vision during his second run, called it a day. Not the best way to start a season, hopefully he'll cut himself some slack and not beat himself up over it and get back on the podium asap.
  • - 7
flag Selgovae (Mar 29, 2015 at 13:06) (Below Threshold)
 I think that's what everyone mistakes for sulking.
  • + 2
 read the article! blurred vision!
  • + 6
 Sigh, apparently I need to clarify. I read the article, I know he had blurred vision, I was referring to Clarkeh's post saying hopefully he cuts himself some slack. I personally think that what a lot of people perceive as sulking is actually Brandon being extremely hard on himself for not performing to his own standard. I also hope he cuts himself some slack.
  • + 5
 Such sick riding, this season is going to be unreal! I was pretty unimpressed with the course though, I'd rather see some corners and options than a straight dirt jump line. Also the moving picture of Watts tripped me right the fuck out.
  • + 3
 ooooooh man, yeah, thought I was about to stroke out
  • + 3
 Just the one picture. I thought I was losing it.
  • + 2
 Tbh I don't think semenuk really gives a f*ck what a few people are saying about him on a proxy MTB web site, the guy is the best all round rider in the world, u see tho half u people slateing him wouldn't say it to is face you would just bum up to him for an autograph, you are simply mad with him because you aren't him, and how do you know if he quite or not??? Do you know the guy? Bull shit you just go in the way he is petrayed by the MTB media, check yourself before you wreck yourself
  • + 1
 amazing dirt drainage up theyre, I thought in the morning theyd be faced with some tough decisions, stoked they got it under way and amazing effort by all the riders, a game of too halves but the event was the winner on the day, congrats riders, winner, CW, RotoVegas and awesome spectators, tough day at the cricket
  • + 3
 I think Brett's third jump was flip oppo whip, sick run! The overall level has grown so fast!
  • + 1
 Already corrected
  • + 3
 Wow! Video game runs come to life. And how tight were some of those pants? This event brought to you by "Fixie Pants R Us!"
  • + 0
 so tight.
  • + 3
 That's not Kelly McGarry in shot #23...
  • + 1
 I missed the stream (Only caught the hour-thirty mark of the rain delay) but these are excellent fotos! Wallpaper worthy Smile
  • + 2
 Did I just miss it, or are there no photos of Logan Peat?
  • + 20
 Possible santa cruz don't want images posted of him riding the Trek Ticket S
  • + 1
 I missed the chance to watch it live. Is there anywhere that has the full footage available to watch at any time?
  • + 3
 Or you can head to redbull.tv you can choose which riders run you want to see if you don want or have time to watch the whole thing or just want to skip all the bullshit and get to the action
  • + 2
 Hell yeah, this was so sick!!! Glad brett won it!
  • - 1
 those how gives us thumbs down because we dont like him are really intresting people.. Brandon Semenuek is a poor loser.. plain and simple.. He dosent give a fuck about any of you.
  • + 2
 Semenuk the boss!!
What about tom van steezebergen?
  • + 2
 Happy for Rogatkin and Genon. Great job guys.
  • + 1
 I count two boner logs in shot 35.
  • + 2
 Where is sam Reynolds?
  • + 2
 He always gets jacked, even in the highlights. The most moto styler of them all does not seem to earn himself enough points.
  • + 2
 yeah thats true!
  • + 1
 good job Brett
  • + 0
 Semenuk is still 300x more symphatic than Rogatkin to me....
  • + 2
 Not sure what you really mean? Do you have some examples to back that statement up? Rogatkin was high fives all around and called all of the other riders his friends. He seemed pretty chill to me and was chattin with all the other riders, before and after his runs. Is it the squid lid that bothers you? Not sure why this kid gets so much flak.
  • + 0
 MDRipper - IT IS JUST MY OPINION... you dont have to like it. There are just some people in the world who are unlikeable to others... POINT.
Furthermore I dont like the fact that he gets sponsored by "Dubai"... it is no better country than Qatar for a lot of people.
Wink
  • + 1
 I'm not sure what you really mean? Can you please respond with a even more confusing response.
  • - 1
 hahaha... I dont have to justify myself for not liking Rogatkin. Thats it.

And thats why I dont like his sponsorship with dubai... there are a lot of construction zones like this:
www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/17/qatar-migrant-workers-amnesty-international-report
  • + 1
 Thanks for the link.
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