Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand Finishes In Wãnaka

27 events. Eight destinations. Three continents. Two hemispheres. It has been a big season for Crankworx competitors, with three World Tour stops, and one heck of a season-ender roadie.

The final push of the Crankworx Summer Series NZ brought the crew to Wānaka for a few days of racing and exploring the laid back vibes of this lakeside town in the Southern Alps.

The picturesque Bike Glendhu Dual Slalom track proved to be an all-out pedal-fest, pushing competitors to lay it all out on the dirt for one final push toward 2021’s finish line.

Full results – Wānaka Dual Slalom: crankworx.com/results/

Vibes. Photo: Chris Chase
Louise Ferguson has been sending it all series. She would finish second in the overall race. Photo: Clint Trahan
Blenki, all out til the end. Photo: Clint Trahan
Haz ends her Crankworx season as it began, with a win in Dual Slalom. Photo: Clint Trahan

“I think I was super comfy on the track, I think I only did like one run this morning in practice, and that was it. I wanted to save my energy. And I knew the whole time that I had it dialled, and the only way I wasn’t going to win was if I made a mistake. In the first few runs I was going a little too hard and made a few small mistakes, and then Mikey [Haderer] talked to me and said ‘Chill out.’ So for the final with Caroline [Buchanan] I actually chilled out more, and it went a bit smoother, so that was cool.”

Harriet Burbidge-Smith
Haz was on her game for the final race of the season, besting Caroline Buchanan in the finals by 1.387 after two rounds. She has said she’ll be basing herself out of Queenstown for the summer, and sure to roll into the 2022 season in fine form after a breakout season. Photo: Clint Trahan
Pro Women’s 1/2/3: Harriet Burbidge-Smith, Caroline Buchanan, Jenna Hastings. Photo: Clint Trahan
Pene, charging ahead of Blenki in their second matchup of semis. Photo: Clint Trahan

We…dropped in and we were both yelling at each other on the first straight, having a good laugh while we were racing. We were both just pushing as hard as we could. It was good fun. Loved it.

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, Winner

I’m not here to muck around. I like to do my best, and that’s all I was doing. Obviously I’m pretty stoked to get third today. I felt like I was pretty close to Tuhoto in the semis. We were yelling at each other down the first straight. It was so funny. I was like ‘Oi, I’ve got you, boy.’ I had him on the first straight so I was real stoked with that, but then I fully forgot about the turns and went inside the turns. I was just stoked to beat him on the first straight, so that was my win.”

Sam Blenkinsop, Third-place
Bas van Steenbergen, first qualifier. Photo: Clint Trahan
Tuhoto and Bas, head to head in finals. Photo: Clint Trahan

I was just like: ‘It’s the last race so I’m just going to give everything I’ve got, you know. It’s been a long season so yeah, I just wanted to give it everything. Lucky enough to take the win. I was like ‘yooo.’

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, Winner
Taking his second win of the Crankworx Summer Series. Photo: Clint Trahan
Pro Men’s 1/2/3: Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, Bas van Steenbergen, Sam Blenkinsop. Photo: Clint Trahan

The results from the Dual Slalom provided the final available points for the overall Crankworx Summer Series NZ titles. Clinching the victories, a Kiwi legend and an up-and-comer who’s made a big mark on Crankworx in New Zealand the past few months. Go the Kiwis.

Blenki, with the overall Summer Series title win. Photo: Clint Trahan
17-years-old and making her mark. Jenna Hastings has been solid through Crankworx Rotorua and the Summer Series. Stoked to see where she takes it to in 2022. Photo: Clint Trahan

Outside of race time, Blenki, Caroline Buchanan and Casey Brown got a taste of Wānaka from some different vantage points.

A “day off” with Caroline and Casey, climbing the world’s highest waterfall cable climb. Casual, right?! Photo: Clint Trahan
Blenki, taking in the views. Photo: Clint Trahan
Waterfalls and bikes. A solid NZ dual sport day. Photo: Clint Trahan

And just like that, the 2021 Crankworx season is coming to a close.

It’s been an epic three weeks racing, riding and adventuring around the South Island of New Zealand, capping off what’s been one of the biggest seasons we’ve had, for all the reasons. It goes without saying that the pandemic made it different. But seeing the energy, effort, training, progression, and stoke that our athletes brought to every start line, that was everything. It’s why we do what we do. Thanks to all the athletes for stepping up to the plate, and to our fans for coming along for the ride. It’s been a wild one. Bring on 2022.