New Crankworx Rotorua Dual Slalom a masterpiece

Mar 5, 2020 at 21:36
by Graeme Simpson  
"I still feel like I don't know how to ride it," said Men's Winner, Kyle Strait after taking the top step on the podium at the 100% Dual Slalom at Crankworx Rotorua 2020.
"I honestly am kind of baffled."

Women's champion, Jill Kintner, felt the same.
"It was crazy because it started out really packed in and really nice and then started deteriorating and deteriorating, and the flat corners were really kind of the breaking point a lot of times. You can't override it, you can't come in too fast. You just have to be really patient and look for the next gate," she said
"So it's easy to mess up and easy to be impatient, especially in a race. It was a nice mix of challenging features."

Full results: PRO MEN | PRO WOMEN

For Chris Martin and Adam King from Empire of Dirt, the team behind the new course at Skyline, venue for Crankworx Rotorua since 2015, the build was a major challenge, too, over a very hot, dry summer in the city.
They also built the Dual Slalom in the Wattles next to Tarawera Road which was the venue for the event at Crankworx 2019.
Gifted to the city, it's now very popular with the local groms.

Vicki Cawte from the Crankworx media team had a chat to Chris and Adam the week before the competition:

What’s the secret to a great build?
Chris: “Good design, communication between Adam and I and with whoever we’re contracted to. You’ve got to have passion for the work and also attention to detail. That’s all it is.”

A new Dual Slalom, how exciting?
Adam: “Out of 10? Probably 11.”
Chris: “We’ve got more gradient this year, so faster racing and a more technical track.”
Adam: “It’s definitely more spectator friendly this year. Without the trees at the Wattles you can see the whole track. This is going to be wicked.”
Chris: “It’s going to have an awesome atmosphere being here at Skyline. Everyone can go from one event to the other.”

How has the big dry impacted the build?
Adam: ‘This is definitely the driest year that we’ve had working at the Skyline site. It’s a bit like digging in flour. It’s been a lot of hard work. A lot more physical in the hot weather, a lot more time compacting and testing the track.”

What’s the EoD philosophy and what’s next after Crankworx?
Adam: “Making dreams come true for many mountain bike clubs around the country.
“We’ve also been getting into building asphalt pump tracks, a big thing for local Councils. We just finished a little pump track in Hillcrest in Hamilton…so, very community driven initiatives by the Councils.
“We’re currently working on the Forest Loop as part of the Whakarewarewa Forest upgrade with Rotorua Lakes Council and Rotorua Trails Trust. That’s a big job and Crankworx is a yearly event for us in Rotorua.”
Chris: “Also a track for the Bikes in Schools programme at Rotorua Primary School.”
Adam: “We’ve got a big A-line style jump trail to build in Arapuke in Palmerston North. They’re pretty excited about and we’re excited to do it. A lot of our jobs are out of town these days.”
Chris: “We have got a few jobs coming up in the Bay of Plenty which we can’t disclose – they are top secret.”

As volunteer chairperson of MTB Events Inc, the not-for-profit company that oversees Crankwork in Rotorua, Dave Donaldson keeps a close watch on all new developments.
“Adam and Chris nailed it again,” he says. “In 2020, Red Bull Media House picked up all Crankworx live broadcasts and asked for the Dual Slalom to be added to the 4 from last year.

“Logistically, it was just too huge a job to get the OB vans etc across town to the Wattles and back, so thanks to the Rotohokahoka Trust, the team has master-minded this mega-venue with all 5 live-broadcast events arriving at the arena for Red Bull Media House to stream to their millions of followers worldwide.
“For Rotorua that is incredibly exciting.”


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