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Local Keegan Wright and fan fave  Caroline Buchanan, steal victory from Pump Track World Tour Champions


Rotorua, NZ, Thursday, March 30 —
A huge crowd-pleasing win for Olympian Caroline Buchanan has the reigning Queen of Crankworx, Jill Kintner, on the back foot, setting the stage for an epic race for Queen in 2017.

Competing before a screaming gaggle of young Kiwi girls─who made their preference for Buchanan (AUS) known with the full rock star treatment from the sidelines when she met up against Kintner (USA) in the finals─Buchanan had to close her eyes to focus, imagining the track from the sidelines each round.

This is only her second shared Crankworx podium with fiancé Barry Nobles (USA), who pulled in for a solid third place, and Buchanan said she could feel the vibe reverberating around her, and had to go back to her BMX training, and visualizations, to maintain her concentration to seal the deal.

“I got out there and really had to commit to those back corners, which I think won it for me today,” she said.

Her race was, nevertheless, not without its bumps. She had to redo her semi-final run when a GIANT clappy banner on the course forced her to slow down. Fresh off her Olympic year, however, nothing seemed to throw her off as she won ladder after ladder, and she came back from this small upset fresh and fighting.

Having scored a four-year gold streak from 2010-2013, with a perfect hat-trick on top of the World Tour podiums last year, Kintner seemed almost pleased to have fresh blood to chase. In the final round she managed to beat Buchanan in the first heat, but lost after the second.

“I just kind of threw it away there,” she said. “I was trying to rip that turn super hard, and then I was just a little bit high in the soft stuff and that was it. I felt good in the first one. I knew I had her, just ‘cause that lane was slower, and I had a real good run. And then yeah, that was that. It was on me,” she said.

She wrapped up her interviews with a big smile saying: “Don’t think for one second that I’m going to accept this.”

Meanwhile, in the men’s race, the undefeated Pump Track World Tour Champion found himself scrambling at the last minute in Rotorua once more. This Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox course is one where Adrien Loron (FRA) can’t seem to catch a break, and he gave his latest opportunity to finally bring home a New Zealand win to local hero Keegan Wright (NZL).

“I’m feeling bad because I’ve never won this one and I thought I did really good tonight,” said Loron, with an affable, if slightly defeated smile.

The loss will by no means crimp his ability to clinch a third Pump Track World Tour Championship. In addition to adding another opportunity to win to this year’s tour circuit, Crankworx Innsbruck, the Crankworx series only requires a rider to achieve the most points of any athlete competing in the tour to take victory. Loron achieved it last year with two second places and a fourth.

“I was doing well until the very last moment, and then I made such a small mistake,” he said, speaking from the sidelines after the event. “I did the biggest part of the job and sometimes it happens. But if it was going to happen, I’m really happy it was Keegan, being the local guy, who took the win.”

Wright, 20, had the crowd in his corner from the outset as he absolutely hammered down the line, time after time, chasing the win with an extra torque on the throttle in the final moments of the last lap.

“I just went out and had fun, and it turned out to be a good day. It’s even better being in front of the home crowd. So yeah, looking forward to the rest of the week,” said Wright, who is known for his easy-going manner.

The next round of the Pump Track World Tour Championships will shake out in Les Gets, France this June, but there will be plenty of action to come for Crankworx Rotorua, with both the Mons Royale Dual Speed & Style and the Official Oceania Whip-Off Championships presented by SPANK slated to run tomorrow. Dual Speed will be broadcast live.

Men’s results:
1. Keegan Wright (NZL)
2. Adrien Loron (FRA)
3. Barry Nobles (USA)


Women’s results:
1. Caroline Buchanan (AUS)
2. Jill Kintner (USA)
3. Danielle Beecroft (AUS)

A complete list of Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox results can be found on Crankworx.com

Crankworx Rotorua will be broadcast LIVE on Thursday in Rotorua, Wednesday in North America and Europe. Here is the complete broadcast schedule:

Up to the minute weather information can be found HERE.

Mons Royale Dual Speed and Style
Friday, March 31                        Thursday, March 30
17h00-19h00 NZDT                  8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. PDT
5h00-7h00 CEST


Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by iXS
Saturday, April 1                         Friday, March 31
16h00-18h00 NZDT                  8:00 p.m.- 10 p.m. PDT
4h00-6h00 CEST


Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza
Sunday, April 2                           Saturday, April 1
11:30-14:30 NZST                      3:30 p.m. -6:30 p.m. PDT in North America
11h30-4h30 CEST


A complete schedule of events for Crankworx Rotorua can be found HERE.

Media kit: http://bit.ly/2jZhu0x
Definitions of disciplines: http://bit.ly/2ldrohr
Get to know the stars: http://bit.ly/2lDSIV8
Image attached: Caroline Buchanan
Image cutline:
Olympian Caroline Buchanan nails her return to the Crankworx scene with a win on the pump track and a boost for her big goal to have a fun year, enjoy the ride and chase down the Queen of Crankworx.
Image databank: http://bit.ly/1JB158w

Media contact:
Jennifer Smith
Crankworx Communications                                   Location: Whistler, British Columbia
Phone: 604-848-8801                                               Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time
Rotorua: +6421771463