Rotorua Stories

What’s new and noteworthy in the realm of Crankworx this year? Check out our story ideas below for what’s happening across the tour and at each of our festivals.

Crankworx World Tour Finals to Return to Rotorua in 2022

Rotorua secures the final round of the now four stop Crankworx World Tour

New Zealand will once again see the world’s top mountain bike athletes descend on its shores as Rotorua prepares to host the final stop of the Crankworx World Tour November 5-13, 2022.

The Crankworx World Tour 2022 festival series will begin in Innsbruck, Austria before returning to Whistler, Canada for the first time since the global Covid-19 pandemic began. A new location will be added to the calendar before returning to Rotorua for the final stop of the tour to celebrate the season’s champions, including the crowning of the King and Queen of Crankworx.

“It’s a huge opportunity for Rotorua, and New Zealand, to host the final stop of the Crankworx World Tour again in 2022,” Crankworx Rotorua Event Director Ariki Tibble said.

“We are amped to once again be able to conclude the story of a whole year’s worth of competition, hosted across three continents, with the best riders on the planet, all while showcasing the mecca of mountain biking, Rotorua.”

“Our whole community is primed to get another shot at delivering a finals event at the scale we were used to in the pre-COVID world.”

The Rotorua event in November 2021, was significantly affected by the Delta outbreak of Covid in New Zealand. The event managed to take place as a live television show broadcast and webcast globally, however entry for the public was cancelled to mitigate risks of community transmission of the Delta variant, with all ticket holders refunded in full [8 days before the start of the festival].

Rotorua is now in its eighth year of hosting the Crankworx World Tour with hosting rights through to 2027. Beginning in 2015 with a three-year hosting rights agreement, that contract was quickly extended after positive reviews from media, athletes and the Crankworx World Tour management team.

“If Whistler has historically been considered the heart of the Crankworx World Tour, then Rotorua, with its rich heritage of Maori Culture has certainly become the soul,” Crankworx World Tour Managing Director Darren Kinnaird said.

“As we return to a full Crankworx World Tour in 2022 we can think of no better place to cap off a huge year than at Crankworx Rotorua.”

The Crankworx World Tour returns to a four-stop series for 2022 beginning with Crankworx Innsbruck, Austria, June 15-19, Crankworx Whistler, Canada, August 5-14, Crankworx _____, October 5-9 and finishing with Crankworx Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand, November 5-13.

Crankworx World Tour 2020

CWNEXT – the next gen of Crankworx all-stars is on the rise

Kidsworx started in its current iteration (a separate program featuring multiple events for kids and families) in 2013. As it has blossomed over the years, many young athletes have sprouted. Groms have grown into seasoned riders. There are now budding young stars in the mix – the next generation of amateur shredders and professional athletes. These competitors have shown themselves to be worthy of their own event category that reflects their level of skill and dedication.

The next generation of youth are on the rise. As we head into a new decade, it’s time to shine the spotlight on the future of mountain biking. The launch of CWNEXT signifies the creation of an arena in which the next generation of Crankworx Kings and Queens can show the world what they’ve got.

Stay tuned, more to come!

Crankworx Rotorua 2020

Crankworx Rotorua kicks off new year and new decade of international DH racing

As the first international downhill competition of the year, Crankworx Rotorua is often the first glimpse riders have into how their off-season training has set them up for the season ahead.

“You don’t know what to expect,” said Tracey Hannah after her win in the event in 2019. “I’ve been training completely on my own with my coach. I haven’t been riding with anyone. You just don’t know. You just know that you’ve done the work. You don’t know on paper what it’s going to look like.”

As such, the event often brings out a who’s who of elite downhillers, all of whom are chomping at the bit to see how they stack up against their peers.

An added twist for 2020 is that the race will be the first international DH race of the 20s, and include the all-new CWNEXT category. For the first time, racers aged 13-14 are able to take on this track, along with youth 15-16 and 17-18 categories. All said, this race is sure to attract many eyes and spark much discussion about the future of the sport as DH racing charges into the next decade.

New dual slalom course set to challenge riders

2020 will see the debut of an all-new Dual Slalom course in Rotorua to challenge pros, CWNEXT racers and amateurs alike.

The 100% Dual Slalom Rotorua will move to the main festival grounds at Skyline Rotorua, bringing it closer to all the Crankworx action. Famed course building duo Adam King and Chris Martin of Empire of Dirt will be bringing to life a world-class course that’s steeper and more technical, leading to tighter racing over shaped berms, rollers and flat turns.

As the resurgence in popularity of this old-school discipline continues, 2020’s new track will set the stage for some epic battles that will call on racers to be on their game from start to finish. Fans can expect to see local favourites take on international all-stars from across disciplines and continents in this raw showdown of mountain bike skill, strength and stamina.

Crankworx Rotorua expands “Share the Ride” program

A key component of Crankworx is inspiration for the next generation. Whether through Kidsworx, CWNEXT, or simply through the creation of the arena in which young fans can watch their heroes compete. The hope is that witnessing the magic of Crankworx will spark imagination and dreams and get more kids out on bikes.

Taking that to the next level, the “Share the Ride” program was created to break down barriers and make mountain biking more accessible for those who can’t afford bikes. This joint initiative between Crankworx Rotorua, MDA Experiences, Mountain Bike Rotorua, and Giant Bicycles gifts bikes to familes so they can enjoy the freedom and pleasure of riding.

Now in its fifth year, the program is expanding in 2020, with over 20 families being presented with bikes during the festival.