ROTORUA, New Zealand, March 27, 2015— On a course running fast after a week of mixed conditions, Frenchman Loic BRUNI crushed the field in the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS, besting the field by over two seconds.

Ripping through the Redwoods of Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park 13 runs before BRUNI, Eliot JACKSON’S time of 2:53.16 appeared to be the time to beat, holding strong for the bulk of the race, until Bruni hit the start line with only four more riders to go.

“I felt in a really good mood all day and to win here is great stuff for the head—my confidence. I had a really good day. No rain. Good weather. A lot of people on the track. It was amazing,” said Bruni.

Smiling through every rider coming down, Jackson told announcers he was loving the course and had done so many runs in practice he was worried he wouldn’t have the energy to race.

“I think I had a really smooth run. The atmosphere was really good. Everyone was really chill at the top, so there was no pressure,” he said, noting Bruni is an amazing rider with whom he is pleased to share the podium.

Rachel ATHERTON, meanwhile, managed to find a few split seconds of speed to beat out Tracey HANNAH, 3:22.10 to 3:22.84.

“First race of the season and I haven’t raced since the world champs last year, so it’s amazing to come away with the win and quite a confidence boost,” said Atherton.

Both Atherton and Bruni attributed much of their energy to the incredible crowd gathered for the event, the first of the new Crankworx DH Championships.

“The people up at the track made the event. Everyone’s cheering and shouting your name; it’s wicked and cool that everyone’s come out here. This Crankworx is probably one of the best atmospheres for a CWX event. There’s loads of people, but its small and compact so everyone’s in the same place and it’s just amazing,” said Atherton.

Pro Women’s Results
1. Rachel ATHERTON 3:22.10
2. Tracey HANNAH 3:22.84
3. Emilie SIEGENTHALER 3:33.46

Pro Men’s Results
1. Loic BRUNI 2:50.60
2. Eliot JACKSON 2:53.16
3. Sam Blenkinsop 2:53.23

Video highlights of all the action at Rotorua will be released on crankworx.com

Online Results
Event photography

UP NEXT: Tomorrow, the first-round of the 2015 Enduro World Series begins with 400 athletes taking on the opening round of the Series, the Giant Toa Enduro. Dubbed the race of champions, the race will see no less than 15 world champions from across cycling disciplines on the startline at Te Puia’s world-famous geyser, ready to take on the Whakarewarewa Forest’s iconic singletrack. And despite the racers facing seven stages that take in nearly 60km, the top contenders will be separated by just seconds when they drop into the finish line at the Skyline Rotorua Gravity Mountain Bike Park.

For more information about all other Crankworx Rotorua events, visit crankworx.com

Watch all the action LIVE at crankworx.com
Mar. 27 Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox (7-9 p.m. / 11 p.m.- 1 a.m. 26th PST / 7 a.m.-9 p.m. CET)
Mar. 28 Giant Toa Enduro (4-6 p.m. NZT / 8-10 p.m. PST Previous Day / 4-6 a.m. CET)
Mar. 29 Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle (12:30-3 p.m. NZ / 4:30-7 pm PST Previous Day/12:30-3 a.m. CET)

Crankworx is taking its coverage to the next level, crowd-sourcing video and breaking new storytelling ground. Join us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ and hashtag video clips for #CWXLive and #CWXRotorua.

High Resolution Photo: ow.ly/KRAOW
Photo: Chester Boyes
Cutline: French racer Loic Bruni clocks a tight 2:50.60 for the win in the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS, beating out American Eliot Jackson, who held the lead for the bulk of the race.

Jennifer Smith
Crankworx Communications Manager
Cell: 021 0259 4491