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specialized

Matt Begg is on a High Going into Crankworx Rotorua

For the past few months, Matt Begg has been playing in the red dirt of Cairns, Australia as a Flux Trail trail builder, helping bring the tracks of Crankworx Cairns to life. “Seeing the venue from a grass field and trees transform into the venue we rode was quite the experience to be apart of. The Australian red dirt was my favourite part of the build, as it was super nice to dig and shaped really well!” He also seized the opportunity to put down his own tracks on the Speed & Style Cairns course, pulling out a top ten finish, to which he described as “quite the bonus!”

Riding the high, the New Zealand local is now making his way back home for the return of Crankworx Rotorua, the final stop of the 2022 Crankworx World Tour. As a trail builder, it came as no surprise that he’s most looking forward to riding the fresh courses expertly designed by Tom Hey and Elevate Trail Building. “After a few years of riding similar courses it will be a treat to have some fresh designs. The dirt in Rotorua is also one of a kind, so I’m always excited to to go there and ride!”

And as a longtime rider on the Crankworx World Tour, he’s also stoked to reunite with old friends and get the Crankworx Rotorua family back together again. “With the world opening up some more, the variety of riders in the festival is looking awesome. Getting to see everyone back ripping together on the Tour is super cool.”

Understanding the work that goes into trail building and seeing the value in protecting those trails, the Specialized rider is also passionate about trail maintenance and supporting the mountain biking community. “There’s no better feeling than riding your favourite trail when it’s in good condition. To me, mountain biking and trail building are very equal; to put some time into making the trails nice then makes riding them so much more enjoyable.”

On how to support trail builders and ensure a sustainable future for the sport, Begg continued with ways to get involved in your local community. “The Specialized Dig Days are an awesome way to learn new building skills, meet new people and enjoy some fresh turns. There’s also always local clubs hosting dig days which is a great thing to get behind – many hands make light work.”

Begg is getting ready to take on CLIF Speed & Style Rotorua and of course, TREK Official New Zealand Whip Off Championships presented by POC, where he is the reigning champion. However, he’s putting as little expectations as possible on himself to keep the pressure down and make having fun the only goal for his Crankworx Rotorua experience.

In one sentence, he summed up how most are feeling about the full return of Crankworx Rotorua for the first time since March 2020: “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, having a good time, and having the fans and event back in full force!”

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