|A new crowd-pleasing hero thrills the fans in the Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox
After many near wins, Tomas LEMOINE (FRA) finally has his first Crankworx gold medal, and five-time pump track queen Jill KINTNER (USA) her redemption, after an epic Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox at Crankworx Rotorua Friday night.
“I’m pretty stoked because I’ve wanted this win for so long. I’m always like third, fourth and this time I won. So I’m pretty stoked. It’s like living a dream,” said Lemoine, whose triumphant shine could only be matched by the fourth place finisher Conor MAHUIKA (NZ).
A rider from the local pump track,16-year-old Mahuika spent almost as much time waving to the crowd and smiling for his new-found fans as he did racing, and it took him until the quarter finals to hit a match up where he would have to make up time.
“I’m stoked to even be fourth. I’m used to jumping the dirt jumps, not going fast. I’m just stoked. This is the first event I’ve ever tried on a pump track. I haven’t had any practice, except yesterday, and a bit today. Seems to be working – kind of,” he laughed.
On the contrary, the women’s race proved a battle of veterans and a rare life do-over for Kintner, who caught her tire and never got out of the gate in the final matchup against 2015 Queen of Crankworx and eventual Pump Track Challenge Champion Anneke BEERTEN (NED) in the inaugural Rotorua competition.
“Last year I didn’t even get a proper race. Feels good to be back here and Anneke is a great competitor—and a worthy opponent. I love racing her, and racing here; it’s always good pressure for the final with the two of us,” she said.
The pump track capped off an action-packed day at the festival with the newest Crankworx event, the Crankworx Rotorua Air DH, giving the pros a chance to race with the Rotorua riding community on Skyline Gravity Park’s jump-laden answer to the Whistler Bike Park’s Aline trail, Mr. Black.
Designed to mirror the Crankworx Whistler Fox Air DH, the race was a 32-jump rip down the mountain and the winner, rocked up, signed up and dialed it in.
“They’ve used the hill really well. It’s quite a flat hill, but it still carries speed everywhere, so they’ve done a really good job,” said George BRANNIGAN (NZL), noting he hopes more pros sign on in years to come and the event builds.
Female winner Rae MORRISON (NZL), a top-10 Enduro World Series rider, said she loved it.
“That was my final event, so it was all about having fun, and after this I can be social and spectate,” she said.
Points are stacking up as the Crankworx season kicks off its four series events and the race for King and Queen of Crankworx. New Zealand’s very own Matt WALKER is coming on strong, leading the race for King, while Kintner, Brown and Beerten are battling it out for Queen. Points to be updated shortly.
Men’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track presented by RockShox
Women’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track presented by RockShox
Men’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Air DH
Women’s winner, Crankworx Rotorua Air DH
Crankworx runs from March 9-13, 2016. Events include the Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS, Crankworx Rotorua Air Downhill, Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle, Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style, Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by SPANK and the Giant Toa Enduro. There will also be an expo at the Skyline Gravity Park, food and entertainment.
TICKETS & VIP INFORMATION: Tickets for all events are on sale now through Crankworx.com.
For those in New Zealand:
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Photo: Tomas Lemoine and Adrien Loron bear down on the finish line in the Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track Challange presented by RockShox Friday night, Lemoine securing the win.
Mountain biking’s defining celebration descends on Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park March 9-13, 2016. Crankworx Rotorua brings the world’s downhill, slopestyle and enduro legends together with the superfans, rising stars, industry innovators and the next generation of mountain bike riders for five days of competition, concerts, and mountain bike culture.
Anointed by dirt, powered by passion, the Crankworx World Tour travels to Rotorua, New Zealand, Les Gets, France and culminates in its Canadian home base of Whistler, B.C.
Tread among the gravity-fed. Join the bike-minded.