CRANKWORX ROTORUA SLOPESTYLE RIDER LIST UNVEILED AS RHEEDER ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM CRANKWORX SLOPESTYLE COMPETITION IN 2020
14 invited riders for Maxxis Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza announced ahead of March 7 event at Crankworx in New Zealand
WHISTLER, B.C. February 10, 2020 – Three weeks from now on Saturday, March 7, all the action, excitement, inspiration and drama of the highest level of Slopestyle mountain biking will take flight for another season. 14 of the world’s top competitors have been given the golden ticket and are getting ready to descend on Rotorua, New Zealand for the first contest of the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) season.
As the pilgrimage to the Southern Hemisphere begins, the full rider list for the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza has been released.
First up, the top five from the 2019 SWC standings:
Emil Johansson SWE
Dawid Godziek POL
Tomas Lemoine FRA
Torquato Testa ITA
Erik Fedko GER
These riders have earned entry into all Crankworx Slopestyle competitions in 2020.
Noticeably absent from the roster, the reigning Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Champion. In recent years, Brett Rheeder has been the most decorated Slopestyle athlete currently competing on the circuit, second only to Brandon Semenuk in the history of the discipline.
“My decision to step away from competing for part of 2020 was tough to make but I feel good about it, in that it’s a decision that will prolong my career, “ says Rheeder, who turns 27 in under a week. Rheeder has won seven Crankworx Slopestyle comps over the course of his career so far. “Because of the level of riding we’ve reached in slopestyle, the athletes who consistently stand on each podium now have to dedicate everything they have to staying up there. For me, this has been the case for over 10 years and I feel that I’m at a point in my career where it’s important to take a step back and give myself the time to re-focus on elements of my riding that I haven’t been totally satisfied with in the past so that I can continue to achieve my goals for the future.”
Rheeder still plans to return to compete at Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx Whistler 2020, as well as Red Bull Rampage.
With the Canadian removed from the roster, Johansson becomes the top ranked competitor heading into Rotorua..
“2019 was a crazy year filled with ups and down, doctor treatments and contests,” says the 23-year-old Swede who returned to competition mid-season after a year off working through some medical issues. He came out swinging, placing second in Innsbruck and ending his Crankworx season on the highest note possible, winning Red Bull Joyride. “I battled through it all and accomplished a few goals. With 2019 in the back all eyes are looking forward to this season. With a body that is feeling healthier than in the past I am so pumped to get this season started.”
It’s a feeling shared by others who’re chomping at the bit to put their off-season training to work.
“I’m looking forward to this year’s tour and I feel great,” adds Johansson’s Red Bull teammate Erik Fedko who’s been finding his feet at the highest level of Slopestyle competition since he broke through in 2018. “I spent the whole winter on the bike and I’m excited to see how it will go at the first stop in New Zealand. I’ve been working on getting my current tricks even more dialed, plus I’ve got one or two new tricks!”
Following is the next top-seven riders from the FMB World Ranking. The ripple effect of Rheeder’s departure bumps Messere up from first alternate onto the start list.
Alex Alanko SWE
Nicholi Rogatkin USA
Thomas Genon BEL
Paul Couderc FRA
Lucas Huppert SUI
Lukas Knopf GER
Anthony Messere CAN
The world will certainly be watching to see if Rogatkin can find his stride once again in 2020. After winning three out of four events in 2018, the American cracked the top five only once in 2019. Genon will also be looking to better his performance from last season – a fall off the first drop in New Zealand resulted in a shoulder injury that took him out for the entire season.
Rounding things out, two wildcards will join the pack.
Timothé Bringer FRA
Owen Marks USA
Bringer gains entry as the 2019 Red Bull Rookie of the Year, while Marks earns his spot thanks to his strong performance in the 2019 Big White Tom van Steenbergen Invitational.
A new year and a new decade of competition are upon us. Who’s going to step up to the challenge and make their mark?
Tune in Saturday, March 7 to watch it all go down.
Keep up with all the action from the Crankworx World Tour at RedBull.com/Crankworx, including LIVE coverage on Red Bull TV of:
CLIF Speed & Style presented by Mons Royale
Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza
100% Dual Slalom Rotorua
RockShox Rotorua Pump Track presented by Torpedo7
Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull
Head to RedBull.com/Crankworx for broadcast details and times.
You can also catch the action live on Crankworx.com, along with schedule and broadcast info, tickets, event details, and results from across the Crankworx World Tour.
Release photos: Dropbox
Festival photos: Flickr
News: Press releases
General resources: Media kit
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.
Julia Montague | Communications Manager, Crankworx World Tour