International Rider List Released for Crankworx Rotorua in November

Aug 30, 2021 at 16:02
by Official Crankworx  
Erik Fedko in 2020. Photo: Kike Abelleira


19 months after it last wrapped, and six months after it was originally scheduled to run, the wait is almost over. Crankworx is set to make its return to its Southern Hemisphere home in Rotorua, November 1-7, 2021.

bigquotesI am frothing to be back in New Zealand! After being there in March 2020 last, the world turned into a much different place to navigate and Crankworx Rotorua was the last time we lived as per usual. I know it will still be different going back this time, but part of me feels like I’m going back to my happy place.Vaea Verbeeck

bigquotesI'm super excited to head back to Rotorua, I always love being there and it somewhat feels like a home away from home for us. I'm definitely feeling pretty confident having done well there in the past, so hopefully I can close out the King of Crankworx chase strong!Bas van Steenbergen

Welcoming the Kings and Queens of the sport to New Zealand in 2020. Photo: Kike Abelleira

bigquotesAfter some challenging times with travel I am really looking forward to getting back to NZ for Crankworx. I am going to try to do a run that I am happy with and up the run I did 2020.Emil Johansson

We can't wait to see what that means...

Here’s a taste of some of the other athletes on deck to wrap their competition season in NZ:

On the hunt for the King and Queen crowns:
• Tim Bringer (FRA)
• Tomas Lemoine (FRA)
• Ed Masters (NZL)
• Bas van Steenbergen (CAN)
• Keegan Wright (NZL)
• Georgia Astle (CAN)
• Casey Brown (CAN)
• Danielle Beecroft (AUS)
• Harriet Burbidge-Smith (AUS)
• Robin Goomes (NZL)
• Kialani Hines (USA)
• Vaea Verbeeck (CAN)

Slopestyle’s Elite:
• Emil Johansson (SWE)
• Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)
• Torquato Testa (ITA)
• Erik Fedko (GER)
• Tim Bringer (FRA)
• Paul Couderc (FRA)
• Lucas Huppert (SUI)
• Tomas Lemoine (FRA)
• Max Fredriksson (SWE)
• Lukas Knopf (GER)
• Jakub Vencl (CZE)
• Tom Isted (GBR)
• Marcel Hunt (GBR)
• Griffin Paulson (CAN)
• Bernd Winkler (AUT) (ALT1)
• Lukas Schäfer (GER) (ALT2)

Emil Johansson, dropping into his winning run in Rotorua in 2020. Photo: Kike Abelleira

Top riders, keen to disrupt:
• Tuhoto Ariki-Pene (NZL)
• George Brannigan (NZL)
• Caroline Buchanan (AUS)
• Martha Gill (GBR)
• Mikey Haderer (USA)
• Brett Rheeder (CAN) (racing DH only!)
• Katy Winton (GBR)

Overall, the festival will include Pro, Amateur and CWNEXT racing, Kidsworx competitions, and a ticketed venue bringing together the best of MTB for New Zealanders.

As Crankworx was included on a list of Government-approved events, a small number of athletes and key personnel deemed critical to the event have been granted entry to the country by Immigration NZ.

With the border still closed to recreational travel, Crankworx Rotorua 2021 will provide a unique opportunity for Kiwi fans to get front-row seats to watch the world’s best face off against their local heroes. Those in New Zealand keen to get amongst the action can grab their festival passes today:

Kiwi fans stoked to meet Tomas Lemoine and CWNEXT racers atop the podium in 2020, the first year the category ran in Rotorua. Photos: Kike Abelleira and Jay French

Registration for all Pro, Amateur and CWNEXT events at Crankworx Rotorua is now open, running through October 27 at 11:59 p.m. NZDT. Details:

The full festival schedule is also now available:

Fans will be able to tune into live coverage of Crankworx Rotorua 2021 right here on Pinkbike or on Red Bull TV, including:
• Specialized Dual Slalom Rotorua
• CLIF Speed & Style Rotorua presented by Mons Royale
• Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza
• RockShox Pump Track Rotorua presented by Torpedo7
• Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull

Highlights and additional coverage will be available for:
• TREK Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships
• Crankworx Rotorua Air DH

The Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle contest will be the final event of the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship season and will include the crowning of the Slopestyle World Champion.

In addition, as the final event of the Crankworx World Tour season, Rotorua will be where the season’s overall King and Queen of Crankworx will be crowned.

With that, we're stoked to share an additional piece of news was released today. Going forward, Crankworx Rotorua will shift permanently to the final stop of the Crankworx World Tour, closing out mountain bike competition season.

Casey Brown, charging in the Rotorua DH in 2020. Photo: Kike Abelleira

bigquotesWe are thrilled to be the grand finale of Crankworx season going forward. While the Northern Hemisphere is wrapping competition season and gearing up for winter in late October and early November, New Zealand is in the thick of spring. The dirt is prime, the energy is high, and the appetite to get out and celebrate is on another level. To be able to bring all this together and share it with our mountain bike family will be something special. While this year we can’t invite the world to celebrate with us in person to preserve the health and safety of our island home, we are beyond thrilled to be able to host some of the world’s top athletes. We look forward to putting on a great show for our local crowds and for fans around the world on Red Bull TV in 2021, and to welcoming everyone back to New Zealand for Crankworx in 2022.Crankworx Rotorua Event Director Ariki Tibble

bigquotesComing back to Rotorua feels like we’re bookending a very strange chapter in our history. Things were relatively normal the last time we were all together in New Zealand. The Crankworx World Tour was kicking off as usual in 2020. We had begun to hear whispers of COVID, but it wasn’t until the event wrapped and everyone got home that the world shut down. Since then, as event producers, we’ve had to draw on every ounce of creativity and tenacity we have. While not always easy, it has paid off. Our athletes have been able to keep competing. The media are still out there shooting and sharing the stories of our sport – a sport that’s progressed rapidly over the past year. And our fans have had something to look forward to and get excited about. Through it all, I am proud to say our team has never stopped pushing for what we believe in: creating opportunities, sharing our passion, celebrating the culture of mountain biking and the places steeped in the sport, and doing it all safely. I want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all those who were pushing and cheering alongside us over the past year and a half. We are here, preparing to wrap the final event of a full Crankworx World Tour in 2021, because of you. We’ve got some big things coming, and we can’t wait to share them.Crankworx Managing Director Darren Kinnaird

Get all the details of the 2021 Crankworx World Tour, with updates to come about both Crankworx B.C. (September 22-October 2) and Crankworx Rotorua (November 1-7):

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Member since Jul 14, 2011
363 articles

  • 16 1
 So I take it brett is done with slope ? Which I have no beef with it seems like he's pushing into other endeavors. I just hope he's got enough things in place to sustain an income indefinitely, he seems like a really nice guy and just want nothing more than to see the guy remain successful.

Emil has a friend who's doing backflip windshield wipers, curious when we see him on the scene. He was at audi 9's, Lukas Skiold. Potentially a more disruptive trick bag than Emil's, but of course sending a few single jump lines is a different animal than linking everything together on an entire slope course.
  • 1 0
 I’d be guessing Brett might be looking at King of CW?? He’s done well in DH and would be up there for Speed and Style, Air DH etc.
  • 9 1
 How many of these athletes will get MIQ spots? our own riders are returning from events overseas plus this additional load of visiting internationals. Dont get me wrong im stoked to have the event happen at all that im just curious.
  • 3 1

"Documents obtained by RNZ show overseas participants in a mountain bike festival are the latest group to get the nod for government-mandated spots in managed isolation, with the government asked to approve 70 foreign athletes and staff attending November's Crankworx event in Rotorua"

Other slots of note were 60 for Winter games and 400 for Antarctica.

edit: Full list of exempt events/programs -
  • 15 3
 Such times, hey?? We've been working directly with Immigration NZ on this for well over a year. It's meant working through the process in place to ensure those essential to the event can enter the country and have spaces in MIQ.
  • 32 6
 In my opinion it kinda sucks that these events are taking up MIQ spots. People can't get MIQ allocations to return home to see loved ones before they pass away, have kids, or get married but foreign athletes can come for a one off event that most New Zealanders don't care about...
  • 9 1
 So great to hear that Crankworx will be run with a full complement of internationals but it does ask the question as to how these decisions are made when businesses are struggling to get skilled workers/professionals into the country. I wonder if this makes the font page of the papers whether the pin will get pulled.
  • 9 2
 @skengman: as much as I like Crankworx/MTB, I couldn't agree more. Just another proof of how sports is over-valued in this country.
  • 3 1
 @tealdub: for clarification on the Winter Games spots. Winter Games were allocated spots but but gave them back because they didn’t feel it was correct to take up spots for a sporting event. Especially with the current NZ athletes not being able to get spots. E.g. Michael Venus, Braden Currie.
  • 1 0
 @juanmenendez: Oh true good to know, I was just paraphrasing what was in the article, which is obviously a bit outdated now...
  • 1 2
 @officialcrankworx: , Good luck. But getting the MIQ slots is just one small step. With the Delta case numbers rising in Auckland & Northland right next to the Bay of Plenty, you don't have to be a complete pessimist to wonder if your event is going to end up getting cancelled unfortunately.
  • 2 0
 @dirtologist: not disagreeing with you per se, but sport is business really. And possibly, relatively easy GDP to generate?
  • 2 1
 @notsofastoverfifty: like the whole America's Cup showed, I have a suspicion that this claim is over-blown, and that such events never bring back anywhere as much coin as what they claim. I might be bitter and old, the latter is certainly true!
  • 1 0
 @juanmenendez: you sure on that? Surely they gave the spots back because lockdown cancelled the event?
  • 1 1
Obsidian was run last year with no spectators present. (Albeit with just nz competitors) Just like Crankworks will be if run at level 3. ( but using MIQ spots in the process)
Winter Games had issues with athletes not wanting to MIQ for 2 weeks even when vaccinated mid season which is understandable. Crankworks should be giving these spots up to nzers that are here for an actual reason not bounce around on dirt. I love crankworks but public health and people first eh.
  • 1 1
 @officialcrankworx: Do NZ a favour and postpone your event to 2022. With the current outbreak it is highly unlikely to go ahead. NZ need all of its quarantine beds to deal with the outbreak and also to get Kiwi's back to NZ. It would be extremely tone deaf to proceed with running this event
  • 1 0
 @skengman: as much as it isn’t always nice to hear, the government is always making financial trade-offs they do it between putting in median barriers on roads and funding an arts festival, they do it between between a the economic benefit and enjoyment people getting to experience a mountain bike festival and taking up spaces in MIQ. It does suck if you miss out on a spot but it is just a reality and this os a pretty minor example.
  • 5 0
 Good boost for Rotorua, better not get cancelled this time! Good to see Brett Rheeder giving others a chance to win in the slopestyle
  • 7 4
 Oh, how exciting, I love this Fantasy World Crankworx has created where NZ isn’t in full lockdown and you dont need to spend 2 weeks in quarantine if you are lucky enough to get a spot/visa into the country..
  • 7 1
 Rheeder racing DH only wtf is with that??
  • 4 4
 Right! seems like he abandoned slopestyle way to early
  • 2 0
 @kylebirkenfeld22: or maybe he feels he can’t go any further? Semenuk did the same and only produces edits now and then (from what we see anyway, oh and apart from being a sick rally driver) and people thought the same when he left the comps behind.
  • 2 1
 Stoked to see this wrap the MTB series and keep summer going just a little longer! It’ll add a great wrinkle to the format we’ve all grown to expect! Bring on Rotorua. Bring on 2022!!
  • 5 2
 What's the chance this actually happens?
  • 5 0
 yeh a bit iffy for sure. Should know in a week or so if there's any chance of stamping out Delta. Fingers crossed.
  • 2 3
 Yeah, sorry to be a downer. But chances of this happening now are slim to none :-/
  • 1 0
 Exactly. Who announces a rider list for November? Even a month from now, the way we've been going over the last year +, is pushing it. Doesn't make much sense...
  • 1 0
 Seems weird reading this after the Nelson EWS cancellation, and that was scheduled for April next year??!

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