Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand – Wānaka Dual Slalom at Bike Glendhu

The Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand – Wānaka Dual Slalom has come and gone at Bike Glendhu.

This course always delivers for riders and spectators. Most accurately described as a “drag race” track, it’s long, fast and a really good time! The 2021 Crankworx Summer Series Wānaka Dual Slalom elite male winner, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene said it best when he shared his thoughts on the race track.

“It’s a fast, kind of BMX-y type of track.” The Kiwi rider said. “It’s the type of track where you need to fully commit to those corners otherwise you’re at the back. For me, I like that sort of stuff, so it suits me good.”

Check out our video recap below and keep reading for more details and results!

The rain overnight before finals made the track super dialled providing some tacky, hero dirt dreams come true for the riders. The dual slalom track turned into quite the watch party up at Bike Glendhu with fast racing mixed in with some tunes, beers, booch, and a grandstand for catching those photo finishes.

Scottish rider Louise Ferguson smashing her qualifying runs. | Photographer: Clint Trahan

The CWNEXT groms were putting on a masterclass with Seth Stylie (U19) and Malik Boatwright (U17) posting the 9th and 12th fastest overall times of the day during qualifiers, and then once again impressing the fans taking out gold in the U17 and U19 men respectively.

Alexander Blanar took silver in the U19 men but clearly had more gas in the tank as he spent the next hour on the shovel slapping berms ready for the pros. Respect. | Photographer: Clint Trahan

Hayley Harris added another gold to her haul in the U19’s over Morgan Antone, after taking the win at the Enduro earlier in the week.

Hayley Harris putting on a masterclass today, looking smooth as butter. | Photographer: Clint Trahan

Speedy Chilean Ricardo Munoz took the top step in the open men over NZ’s Nathan Peoples who qualified ahead, but another tightly fought battle.

The Women’s Elite qualifiers really set the stage with less than a second between the top four qualifiers; Harriet Burbidge-Smith, Louise Ferguson, Jenna Hastings and Jess Blewitt. Harriet Burbidge-Smith had to pull out due to illness leaving Jess Blewitt and Louise Ferguson to battle it out in the finals. Blewitt took home the gold with a combined time of 1.12.26 of Louise’s 1.12.31. Not bad for her first dual slalom race!

“It was good fun today,” the Kiwi said of her first dual slalom race experience. “First time doing a dual slalom race so I thought I would just give it a go and have some fun. I didn’t really think that I would get first place, and I was going to be happy either way as long as I was having fun – which I did. I’m pretty stoked to take that top spot. It was some tight racing between Louise and I in the finals, I love racing with her.”

First place finisher, first time dual slalom racer, Jess Blewitt making it look easy. | Photographer: Clint Trahan
ilabb athlete, Bas van Steenbergen, starting the season with a W before heading north to compete at Crankworx Rotorua. | Photographer: Clint Trahan

The reigning King of Crankworx, Bas van Steenbergen impressed all day, knowing exactly when to give it the gas and when to conserve energy to make it the finals. The Canadian slalom master had his work cut out for him during the gold medal match-up with Kiwi rider, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene. Pene was looking absolutely dynamic on the bike, and hot on van Steenbergen’s heels during both rounds, but Bas took the win with a time of 1.02.67 over Tuhoto’s 1.02.72.

“I’m stoked and it’s obviously exactly how I wanted my season to start,” a chuffed van Steenbergen said of his first place finish. “It’s a perfect little warmup before Crankworx Rotorua. This event has been good to get the season started and kind of know that my training is working and paying off and I’m going in the right direction.”

Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand – Bike Glendhu Dual Slalom Results:

Elite Category:

  1. Jess Blewitt (NZL) // Bas van Steenbergen (CAN)
  2. Louise Ferguson (GBR) // Tuhoto-Ariki Pene (NZL)
  3. Jenna Hastings (NZL) // Kye A’Hern (AUS)

Open Category:

  1. Ricardo Munoz (CHI)
  2. Nathan Peoples (NZL)
  3. Grayson Hogue (USA)

CWNEXT U19 Category:

  1. Hayley Harris (NZL) // Seth Stylie (NZL)
  2. Morgan Antone (NZL)// Alexander Blanar (USA)
  3. Ruby Smith (NZL) // Thomas Benson (NZL)

CWNEXT U17 Category:

  1. Malik Boatwright (NZL)
  2. Ryan Hartnell (NZL)
  3. Arnaud Mackenzie (NZL)

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

Prior to racing, some of the pros got a chance to experience Wānaka at its finest starting the day with paddle boarding with Paddle Wānaka, then did a ‘peak to pub’ lap from the top of Cardrona right down to the Cardrona valley floor, ending at the Cardrona Pub. Not a bad way to spend a sunny summer day in Wānaka if we say so ourselves!

More images from the event can be found here.

The Summer Series NZ roadie stays in Wānaka for the third stop of the Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand but head slightly north to Cardrona Bike Park for the downhill. Open and CWNEXT category training will take place on March 8th, as well as Elite and U19 seeding. March 9th will be finals for all categories – Open, CWNEXT, U19 and Elite. Check out the schedule for full details and be sure to follow @CrankworxRotorua for any updates. Registration for the Cardrona Downhill event is still open for anyone looking to cure their summer series FOMO.