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Our Time In Cardrona Has Come To A Close

Short, ever so sweet, and just the right amount of rowdy. That best sums up our time at Stop number three of the Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand in Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Just 30 minutes over the hills from Queenstown, then up, up, up into the mountains, Cardrona brought the goods. Actually first it brought snow (sorry ops crew), and then it brought the goods.

But in the words of Vaea Verbeeck: “But that’s fun. That’s why we race mountain bikes. It’s always different.”

From the rocky gnar of Alexandra, to the rowdy vibes of Queenstown, every stop on the Summer Series has brought something a little different to the table. We’re pretty used to the epic flow and dirt gold of Rotorua, so getting to taste a full sampling of what New Zealand has to offer has been a treat and a half.

Cardrona brought us a masterpiece of a jump track, linking Mile High with Morning Glory for 2.5 kilometres of jumping, squashing and scrubbing over 38 jumps and two drops. The results: a big practice day and trains with mates, record-breaking seeding, hero dirt for race day, records broken again, and a real good time through it all.

Full results – Cardrona Air DH: crankworx.com/results/

Vaea Verbeeck, sending it off the track’s second drop. Photo: Clint Trahan
Blenki, smooth and precise through the berms. Photo: Clint Trahan
Billy Meaclem, bringing the style. Photo: Clint Trahan
Blenki with that signature style. Fastest in seeding and setting a new track record. Photo: Clint Trahan
Bas said he wasn’t sure if he could catch Blenki for race day. “It was hard. I knew I had to put down a heater of a run to beat him, so I’m stoked that it worked out. Just.” Photo: Clint Trahan
Finals race results for Pro Women mirroring seeding: 1. Vaea Verbeeck 2. Jenna Hastings 3. Casey Brown Photo: Clint Trahan
Van Steenbergen and Blenki swapped 1 and 2 in finals, and Tuhoto-Ariki Pene pushed for a podium spot. Photo: Clint Trahan
Queen and King, sharing the top step again. Photo: Clint Trahan

The final stop and fifth race is coming in hot, as we look to close out the series and an epic MTB season. Practice is going off at Bike Glendhu in Wānaka as this is being written, with a new Dual Slalom track set to challenge racers. The race will also determine the overall winners of the series, with Scottish racer turned Queenstown local Louise Ferguson currently in the lead for the women, and the legend himself, Blenki, leading for the men. Go the Kiwis.

The Dual Slalom will be broadcast live on crankworx.com from Bike Glendhu in Wānaka Sunday (New Zealand time) – schedule details at crankworx.com.

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