Māori expert gives festival indigenous name, as trail builders finish building and buffing tracks and courses for first Crankworx World Tour stop of 2020

WHISTLER, B.C. February 25, 2020 – Tere Panuku (/Teh–reh Pah-noo-koo/): in te reo Māori (the language spoken by the indigenous population of New Zealand) it means to glide, soar and rise, all qualities associated with the Kings and Queens of mountain biking who gather to compete at Crankworx. In that spirit, a Māori name for Crankworx was recently bestowed on the festival by Kingi Biddle, Pūkenga Mātauranga Māori (Māori Knowledge Specialist) at Rotorua Lakes Council, just as competitors prepare to descend on the North Island city, March 1-8, 2020.

In addition to being a global MTB hotspot, Rotorua is also New Zealand’s first bilingual city.

The name was further explained by Ariki Tibble, Event Director for Crankworx Rotorua

“Māori is a metaphorical language so it’s not a direct translation. ‘Pa’ is a fortification. It also means to strike. ‘Nuku’ is a reference to shifting or moving. ‘Tere’ is a reference to speed. So in essence it means to rapidly push boundaries in a way that is underpinned by strategy.”

Crankworx is influenced by each of the locations that make up its World Tour. Over the past five years, Rotorua with its warmth, generosity of spirit, and pure, unadulterated passion for mountain biking and the environment that makes the sport possible, has come to encapsulate the soul of the festival.

Four days from now, this soul will be set afire as nine competitions, contests and races take place over eight days – the ultimate arena in which the 138 of the world’s best mountain bike athletes will test their mastery of the sport and share their commitment, love and skill with the world.

Awaiting them? New courses, returning favourites and reworked features set to challenge and elevate.

Here’s a roundup of how Crankworx Rotorua 2020 is taking shape. 

New Dual Slalom track

2020 will see the debut of an all-new Dual Slalom course in Rotorua to challenge pros, CWNEXT competitors and amateurs alike. The 100% Dual Slalom Rotorua will move to the main festival grounds at Skyline Rotorua, bringing it closer to all the Crankworx action. Famed course building duo Adam King and Chris Martin of Empire of Dirt will be bringing to life a world-class course that’s steeper and more technical, leading to tighter racing over shaped berms, rollers and flat turns. As the resurgence in popularity of this old-school discipline continues, 2020’s new track will set the stage for some epic battles that will call on racers to be on their game from start to finish. 

Rework for Speed & Style and Slopestyle

The blueprint for both courses, where the most stylish riders in the world are primed to prove themselves, will remain relatively similar in 2020, with some changes to a few key features.

“We’ve been cranking away on the Dual Speed & Style course for the past few days and the changes are looking great,” says Tom Hey of Elevate Trail Building of the revamped course for the CLIF Speed & Style presented by Mons Royale. “We’ve moved the first jump down the hill which gives it more width, and it’s a step up which should be great for tricks. We’ve added a multi-option rhythm section straight off the start and extended the middle straight. We’ve also taken out the cannon logs and added more classic slalom berms into the new improved last trick jump. Looking forward to seeing the boys and girls throw down!”

2020 will be the first time a women’s category of Speed & Style is run in Rotorua, with 15 women on deck top compete.

As for the famed course for the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza, imagined, designed and built by Hey and his partner, the late Kelly McGarry:

“The course works so well it’s hard to change much in case it isn’t as epic, but we are going to tweak up the cannon log feature to make a more technical multi-option feature which should bring out some interesting combos from the riders.”

Revamp for annual kick-off to DH racing season 

As the first international downhill competition of the year, Crankworx Rotorua is often the first glimpse riders have into how their off-season training has set them up for the season ahead. Those lining up at the start gate in the Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull will be challenged to some new twists, turns and chutes.

“Riders will face different challenges in several sections of the course this year,” says Race Director Dave Hamilton. “We have new lines through the upper grass slope resembling the high speed Les Gets course. The infamous steps in the Larches have been bypassed with steep, off-camber chutes. The end drop in the last jump has been re-routed into what should be a spectacular finish of a shark fin launch pad into the finish arena”

Get the full details on all the riders who’re getting ready to take on Crankworx Rotorua: https://www.crankworx.com/preliminary-athlete-lists-released-for-crankworx-rotorua-march-1-8/

Keep up with all the action from the Crankworx World Tour on Crankworx.com, including LIVE event coverage, schedule and broadcast info, tickets, event details, and results from across the tour.

You can also follow along at RedBull.com/Crankworx, including LIVE coverage on Red Bull TV of:

CLIF Speed & Style presented by Mons Royale 

Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza 

100% Dual Slalom Rotorua 

RockShox Rotorua Pump Track presented by Torpedo7 

Crankworx Rotorua Downhill presented by Gull

Head to RedBull.com/Crankworx for broadcast details and times.

Release photos: Dropbox

Photos: Flickr

News: Press releases
General resources: Media kit

About the Crankworx World Tour
Crankworx is the ultimate experience in mountain biking. Born in Whistler, B.C. in 2004, Crankworx has evolved into a multi-stop international festival series. The Crankworx World Tour brings together the best mountain bike athletes to compete in elite-level competitions in a variety of disciplines. Crankworx World Tour festivals also host races for amateurs, Kidsworx contests for young riders, participatory events, and celebrations of mountain bike culture, all while showcasing amazing destinations. For additional information, visit crankworx.com.

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Media Contact
Julia Montague | Communications Manager, Crankworx World Tour