Photo Epic: Going Big at the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle

Mar 26, 2018
by Cameron Mackenzie  


Once again the crowds gathered on the sides of the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza course to witness some incredible two-wheeled trickery. Scheduled for Saturday, the big show was all set to get underway but as the tarps got rolled off the weather rolled in. In a holding pattern, the riders had to wait anxiously as the first phase of showers came and went. Now two hours behind schedule, the course began to dry out and riders once more had to get themselves in the zone ready to do battle. As the final practice runs came to an end Mother Nature decided today wasn't to be the day and let rip all she had. Heavy rain quickly created streams down the hill and the crowds had vanished from the sides of the course.

Roll on Sunday. Last chance Sunday. With early morning downpours wreaking havoc on the downhill course just meters away, the likelihood of the slopestyle going ahead looked slim. But Rotorua's changeable conditions played in everyone's favour. As expected, the rain held off for just long enough and without any unrequired delay riders began to spin and flip their way down the newly revised course.

This years event saw the notable absence of Brandon Semenuk who left the door wide open for previous champs Brett Rheeder and Nicholi Rogatkin to dual it out for the slopestyle title. It wasn't all smooth sailing for the previous winners though, with Tommy G back on form and a few dark horses in the mix. After the first runs, Brett was in the lead with a 98.40, and Rogatkin was sitting in 2nd on a 92.40.

Come to the second runs, riders knew what they had to do. Go big or go home. One by one, they each took turns to try and better Rheeders score but kept falling short. Genon came through, laying down a highly technical and dialled run that saw him take 2nd place. Diego Caverzasi pulled a twister that he had never done in competition before and slipped into 3rd. Come Nicholi's run, he had slipped three places from 2nd down to 5th and knew he had to go big if he wanted to walk away victorious. Unfortunately for Rogatkin, he had to settle for fifth place with a 86.75.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Riders ready, tools on standby. Practice may have been short-lived on Saturday, but with all the harsh landings the dirt took a beating.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
With what looked to be a good window of clear weather approaching, crews scrambled to get things dried out.
Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
That meant torching the dirt to bake it hard and burn the water off.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Without delay, Brett Rheeder was quick to get runs in and started by tail-whipping the new left-hand hip where the boner long used to be.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Spinning up onto the whale tail.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Reed Boggs hitting the boost button off the super booter.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Rheeder looked to be the one to watch showing some of his cards and landing every trick cleanly.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Tomas Lemoine spinning off the boner.

godziek
Szymon Godziek floating up in the trees.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
With raindrops falling, rider's safety was paramount and the course was closed for the final time.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Quick hands required around here.
Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Everyone rushed to cover up all the features and landings as quickly as possible to avoid any water damage.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
Within 10 minutes the course went from dry to soaked. The weather hit hard and fast and left everyone wondering whether the competition would go ahead on Sunday.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Sunday's weather began to play ball, though, and riders started to throw down.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018 - Day 1
With both the McCaul's in the commentary box it was set to be a great show.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Sunday's forecast proved to be incorrect and as soon as they could, things got underway without further delay

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Backflipping the long & low.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Two legends of the sport hanging out and talking turkey. I wonder what they were saying?

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Reed Boggs turned on the show for the crowds but didn't get the score he needed to be a podium threat.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Diego Caverzasi went all in and tossed a twister for the first time, stomping it clean and firmly placing him on the third podium step.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Nicholi risked everything today but sadly he ran out of airtime during his 1440 on the last feature. He hit the deck and watched it all slip away.

Brett Rheeder had the eye of the tiger all night long. He didn t even take the shuttles to the top electing to walk up the opposite side of the track to everyone else and then to take to the woods behind the start gate to get some alone time.
Brett Rheeder had the eye of the tiger all night long. He didn't even take the shuttles to the top, electing to walk up the opposite side of the track to everyone else and then took to the woods behind the start gate to get some alone time.

Nicolia Rogatkin winding up his 1440 spin during the last run of Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
With one last chance, Nicholi Rogatkin went all in and attempted a 1440 on the final jump.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Caption this.
Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Brett Rheeder's shiny new hardware.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Your 2018 Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle Podium.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Rheeder's name will now take pride of place behind these previous winners.

Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle 2018
Until next time Big Fella.

Results

1st - Brett Rheeder
2nd - Thomas Genon
3rd - Diego Caverzasi

Full Results


Mentions: @cameronmackenzie @officialcrankworx




23 Comments

  • + 34
 Most communities have someone die and everyone moves on and forgets but props to the mtb community for keeping the spirit and heart of Kelly around in remembrance. A very rare and admirable quality
  • + 2
 Agreed @preach. I've been at all of these and his presence looms large among riders and fans alike. The train, riders circling in remembrance and the number of McGazza shirts on display are all genuine testaments.
  • + 12
 The initial scores for Reeder and rogatkin are wrong. Reeder had a 94 or 95, not a 98, and rogatkin and an 86 or 87, not a 92
  • + 3
 Yeah rheeder was a 94 and ratking was 86 something. Irks me when this info is everywhere and they still get it wrong.
  • + 1
 @makripper: Yeah, I totally noticed the incorrect score for Rheeder!
  • + 10
 Does no one proof read these articles? Cool photos.
  • + 8
 Wait they have words in these articles? I don't believe you.
  • + 4
 Yep, that photo of the 3 table that was pretty boosted was actually Reed Boggs, but the caption says Brett Rheeder
  • + 1
 This whole part is poorly written:edited.
“This years event saw the notable absence of Brandon Semenuk who left the door wide open for previous champs Brett Rheeder and Nicholi Rogatkin to dual it out for the slopestyle title. It wasn't all smooth sailing for the previous winners though, with Tommy G back on form and a few dark horses in the mix. After the first runs, Brett was in the lead with a 98.40, and Rogatkin was sitting in 2nd on a 92.40.”

Sooo why did rogatkin “have to settle for an 86”
not only that; Rheeder only got a 94, not a 98.
I’m gonna go ride my bike..
  • + 10
 Well done mate! Great photos as always. #mcgazzaforever
  • + 8
 Well I'm glad Lemoine was spinning "off" the boner. Spinning on the boner would have sounded a liiiittle weird.
  • + 3
 Huge disparity between prize money of slopestyle and every other event at Crankworx. Come third in the Enduro...heres $750.00....come third in slopestyle....lets add a zero.... and first place in slope gets you 13x more than 1st in DH or Enduro or Air DH.....
  • + 2
 I couldn't believe first gets 20k!
  • + 6
 Agreed, that being said.. This is the very upper echelon of Slopestyle competition, where crankworx Dh and enduro is sort of shadowed by the likes of UCI DH and EWS.
  • + 2
 Slopestyle; a highly marketable event where someone who has little to no knowledge of the sport can still be wowed by the show the athlete's put on. Toss in the ability to have branding and logo's be highly visible through most of, if not the entire run.

Downhill; almost the exact opposite of that (unfortunately).

Now lets just say you are the head of a companies marketing department. Where would you put your $$$?

Capitalism yo!

DH still rules.
  • + 2
 @juicestain: i would still watch, even if they made 5k. 20k is outrageus compared to how much shit the enduro guys put up with. hours and hours of racing vs spinning of a jumps for maybe 45 seconds?
  • + 1
 @makripper: would still watch what, the slopestyle?

I personally am not saying I think slopestyle is a superior sport and therefore deserves more reward. My personal opinion aside, I am saying that the money is in slopestyle due to a percieved value and ROI in a sponsors eyes.

You feel me?
  • + 3
 @juicestain: I'm glad to see these guys making some big cash! They totally deserve it for putting it all on the line! High Risk should equal High Reward!
  • + 1
 @juicestain: it's wierd though because lots of the guys don't have proper sponsorship. The guy who came 3rd has some random small time non bike related sponsors and logan peat doesn't have a bike sponsor for example.
  • + 3
 @dawgdude: I am with you. After years of borderline offensively small prize purses for the slopestyle athletes, I was pumped to see a $20,000 cheque for first!
  • + 3
 Brett Rheeder looks more and more like Aaron Chase with each passing day.
  • + 1
 Rheeder won the first Rotorua slopestyle in 2015. Why he is not on the trophy as well?
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