AUSTRALIANS CAROLINE BUCHANAN & JAYCE CUNNING STAKE THEIR CLAIM AT THE TOP OF THE PUMP TRACK PODIUM
Home country shoey’s on the podium has been the story all week at Crankworx Cairns
Cairns, AUSTRALIA, October 8, 2022 – It’s only the beginning of a big day at Crankworx Cairns, kicking things off with the Pump Track Challenge. This was a show that did not disappoint with the course itself setting the stage and blowing away riders and spectators alike with its creative and unique design. The team at Flux Trail have done an incredible job with the Crankworx Cairns Pump Track, providing some tight racing today for the riders.
The Elite Male gold medalist, and newcomer to the Crankworx scene, Jayce Cunning, was able to master the track and particularly the back berm, generating more speed than any of the other riders on course today.
“The track has been really good,” the Australian said of breezing through the rounds today. “I’ve really enjoyed riding a dirt Pump Track, and riding with the mountain bike guys trying to keep up. This track is sick. I won the Australian National Pump Track Championships in February on asphalt. This is quite a bit different.”
Cunning dominated with the fastest times of the day, and he prevailed through the gold medal match-up against Bas Van Steenbergen. Van Steenbergen had the advantage through the start gate, but Cunning was able to pull his signature move of the day, launching himself like a rocket ship out of the back berm to gain speed ahead of Van Steenbergen.
“It was actually incredible,” Cunning said of his first Crankworx Pump Track event. “I’ve never heard a crowd so loud. We couldn’t actually hear the gate on the finals because everyone was so loud, but it made it super enjoyable and sick. I hope I can do a lot more of these in the future.”
While Cunning is the new kid on the Crankworx block, the Elite Female gold medalist, Caroline Buchanan, has been up on the Crankworx Pump Track box quite a few times with her recent gold medal at Crankworx Whistler and taking a silver at Crankworx Innsbruck. After tearing her AC joint from her crash at District Ride, it was a real toss up to see how she would do pumping with a freshly rehabbed shoulder. Once the event began, it was clear to see that she was back and ready to rip, stacking up multiple fastest times of the day in the Elite Female category. That shoulder did not slow her down at all, winning the gold medal match-up against American rider, Jordy Scott.
“I love all the Crankworx events,” Buchanan said of Crankworx Cairns experience so far. “I love Speed & Style with so many elements, so much risk reward and it’s really challenging for the girls. Pump Track really plays into my background, and I love that the atmosphere here is really tight for putting on a show and then obviously Dual Slalom is so unreal, and we’ve got an amazing course lined up for tomorrow.”
The Kiwi youngster, Jenna Hastings won the bronze medal match-up against Australian Red Bull athlete, Harriet “Haz” Burbidge-Smith.
“I haven’t had a Crankworx podium in ages. Feels pretty mean. No hard feelings to knock Haz out,” Hastings cheekily said as she was standing with Haz.
This will be an especially big day for the Elite Male bronze medalist, Tomas Lemoine, snagging the third place position from Dan Butterworth. Lemoine had a gnarly crash during slopestyle practice yesterday, but he decided to use the pump track as a way to reset for the big show.
“I was a bit sore after I crashed yesterday, so I thought maybe I was focusing too much on Slope, and decided to do what I do usually,” Lemoine said when asked how he was managing both big events in one day after his crash. “I went to sleep early, woke up and went for Pump Track training. Now I am pretty smoked. I am tired but I will give it all for Slope later today.”
Results: Crankworx Cairns Pump Track Challenge
- Jayce Cunning (AUS) // Caroline Buchanan (AUS)
- Bas Van Steenbergen (CAN) // Jordy Scott (USA)
- Tomas Lemoine (FRA) // Jenna Hastings (NZL)
Full results: crankworx.com/results/
Event replay: Red Bull Bike
Now less than 50 points stand between Tomas Lemoine and Bas Van Steenbergen for the King of Crankworx rankings. Lemoine will top up with points during today’s Slopestyle event, but Van Steenbergen could be hot on his heels for the points with Dual Slalom on the horizon tomorrow. Jordy Scott also bumped ahead of Vaea Verbeeck for the top position on the Queen of Crankworx rankings.
Up later today will be Crankworx Cairns Slopestyle. Tune in to see if Emil Johansson will be winning the Triple Crown of Slopestyle via the livestream at crankworx.com. Crankworx Cairns will close out tomorrow with Dual Slalom as the final event. Often times the Dual Slalom course is shared with the speed & style course, but for Cairns, this is a completely different course and the riders are stoked.
“It’s a good blend of the security of the turns the flat corners and some new elements we’ve never had before with the wall ride,” Caroline Buchanan says of tomorrow’s Dual Slalom track. The team at Flux Trail have done an amazing job and I love this for my home country to have this kind of facility here.”
Stay up to date with all things Crankworx: crankworx.com
Photos for media use: Flickr
About the Crankworx World Tour
Crankworx is the ultimate experience in mountain biking. Born in Whistler, B.C. in 2004, Crankworx has evolved into a multi-stop international festival series. The Crankworx World Tour brings together the best mountain bike athletes to compete in elite-level competitions in a variety of disciplines. Crankworx World Tour festivals also host races for amateurs, CWNEXT categories for next gen athletes, Kidsworx contests for young riders, participatory events and celebrations of mountain bike culture, all while showcasing amazing destinations. For additional information, visit crankworx.com.