Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand – Cardrona Downhill

Stop number three of the Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand brought us to the spectacular Cardrona Alpine Resort for the Cardrona DH. The Cardrona valley views and world class riding were all time with a stacked list of downhill legends like Loris Vergier and Tracey Hannah on course. With a bout of dodgy weather on the horizon, it felt quite touch and go as to how the race would play out. Mother nature really dealt everyone a solid with rain mostly happening overnight, granting some hero dirt conditions, and sunny blue skies.

The race course itself brought the riders down Dirt Star Downhill into Long Black, both very technical single track providing plenty of rock gardens and line choices for the riders.

Check out the Cardrona DH race recap here:

Our first place finisher in the Women’s Elite field, Tracey Hannah, said it best as someone who had never ridden the track prior to racing it:

“I had a really good race run, I mean when you’ve only got 3.5 hours to practice a track you’ve never ridden, you really have to take notice of the track and be really aware of everything,” Hannah said. “I made a pretty good plan for my race run, and it worked out at the end of the day.”

It was ‘choose your own adventure’ through the rock gardens and Tracey Hannah had her lines dialled. | Photographer: Clint Trahan

Kiwi rider, Toby Meek, is really making a name for himself as of late earning himself the top spot on the podium in the Elite Male category. Loris Vergier seeded first, but Meek was able to catch-up and snag fastest time of the day finishing with 2:36.847.

“This has been a great training and warm-up for the season ahead,” says Meek of his exceptional start to the 2023 season. | Photographer: Clint Trahan

“I’ve been on a bit of a roll,” Meek said of his recent hot streak. “I got first at nationals two weeks ago, and then before that the national series but nationals was kind of the first big one for me. Good confidence builder. I was feeling good on this track. I didn’t quite think I had it but I am stoked I got it. I thought Vergier was going to just beat me.”

Rider: Loris Vergier | Photographer: Clint Trahan

Vergier finished second place in the elite male category with a time of 2:37.880, and Kiwi rider Sam Gale was hot on his heels with a time of 2:39.967, earning himself the third place position.

“I just have come back from an injury, I had a broken collar bone so it was the first few weeks riding here,” Vergier said of racing Cardies. “I had a few days here of testing and then we came for this race. I was just having fun really but it was perfect. Good vibes, good track and a short track also because I wasn’t physically ready yet so it was perfect. We had a great time and looking forward to maybe coming next year again.”

Second place finisher in the Elite Women’s field, Jess Blewitt. | Photographer: Clint Trahan

Red Bull rider, Jess Blewitt put down a heater of a race run, with a time of 3:04.797, taking home some silver hardware from the Cardrona DH. Louise Ferguson seeded first in the Women’s Elite, but had an unfortunate crash in the rock garden bringing her down to 6th place in the finals.

Seth Stylie has been on a hot streak throughout the whole summer series, with another gold medal to add to his collection. He really lived up to his name throwing down a stylish whip on the final step down runout through to the finish line. The local U17 boys once again showed us what was what with Malik Boatwright and Rory Meek outpacing even some of the elite male category today with finishing times of 2:45.053 and 2:45.467 respectively.

1st Place: 301 STYLIE Seth, 2nd Place MUIRHEAD Ty, 3rd: FERGUSON Angus | Photographer: Clint Trahan

Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand – Cardrona Downhill Results:

Elite Category:

  1. Tracey Hannah (AUS) – 3:03.673 // Toby Meek (NZL) – 2:36.847
  2. Jess Blewitt (NZL) – 3:04.797 // Loris Vergier (FRA) – 2:37.880
  3. Izabela Yankova (BUL) – 3:13.587 // Sam Gale (NZL) – 2:39.967

Open Category:

  1. Ricardo Munoz (CHI) – 2:58.050
  2. Shakar Yakthumba (NEP) – 3:05.640

CWNEXT U19 Category:

  1. Vanesa Petrovska (SVK) – 3:33.120 // Seth Stylie (NZL) – 2:49.290
  2. Tyler Muirhead (NZL) – 2:49.303
  3. Angus Ferguson (NZL) – 2:50.370

CWNEXT U17 Category:

  1. Hayley Harris (NZL) – 4:32.743 // Malik Boatwright (NZL) – 2:45.053
  2. Rory Meek (NZL) – 2:45.467
  3. Finn Almog (NZL) – 3:10.790

CWNEXT U15 Category:

  1. Ryan Hartnell (NZL) – 3:16.543
  2. Arnaud Mackenzie (NZL) – 3:19.663
  3. Blake Cooper (NZL) – 3:31.687

Full results: https://www.crankworx.com/results/

We are coming to the last stop on this epic journey through the Southern Lakes Region of New Zealand with Queenstown Pump Track with qualifiers taking place this Saturday, March 11th and finals on Sunday, March 12th. Key highlights from the Alexandra Enduro, Wanaka Dual Slalom and Cardrona DH will be featured in the Queenstown Pump Track broadcast which scheduled to air on Tuesday, March 14th, 7:30 pm NZDT on the Crankworx YouTube Channel. Follow @Crankworx and @CrankworxRotorua for updates over the next few days as well!

Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand After-Party

Did we mention the Crankworx Summer Series after party?! Here’s all you need to know below!

Crankworx Summer Series NZ and AJ Hackett Bungee are throwing a FREE event at the Kawarau Bungy Bridge, as part of the official Crankworx Summer Series After Party.
It all officially kicks off from 6pm until 10pm, but we will be Bungy Jumping and having fun on site from 4pm onwards with the Locals, so if you are driving or riding by on the bike trail, stop by and check us out!
🎧DJ’s and Entertainment by No Trace
🍺Liquid Courage Bar Open with local craft beers & new bar menu
🚲 Bike Ramp Bungy from 7.30pm until sold out*
🚌 FREE Transport from Queenstown & Frankton**
To have a crack at the Bike Ramp Bungy and for more info on the free transport options see below:
*Bike Ramp Bungy is $99, give our team a call on 0800 BUNGY JUMP to secure a spot.
**Transport is on a first come first served basis, until we are full! But don’t worry, we have plenty of space…
FREE TRANSPORT SCHEDULE – Look out for the big Bungy Bus!
5.30pm first pick up from Queenstown (Outside The Station Building)
5.40pm first pick up from Frankton Bus Stop
6.30pm second pick up from Queenstown (Outside The Station Building)
6.40pm second pick up from Frankton Bus Stop
9pm first transport back to Frankton/Queenstown
10pm second transport back to Frankton/Queenstown

Come and get amongst it and celebrate the rad riding that went down over the last two weeks 👊👊👊