Crankworx bringing bike action to Otago trails

A rider gets some air at Alexandra's Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park. Photo: Will Nelson
A rider gets some air at Alexandra's Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park. Photo: Will Nelson
Otago mountain bike trails will take centre stage later this year when the world-renowned Crankworx event hosts its first New Zealand ‘‘ultimate mountain bike road trip’’.

New Zealand’s inaugural Crankworx Summer Series, featuring a host of international all-stars along with amateurs, is being held across the region, starting at Alexandra’s Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park on November 27-28 for a super downhill before rolling into the Wakatipu.

Riders will then compete in downhill at the Queenstown Mountain Bike Park and a pump track event at a yet-to-be-announced location on December 4-5 — the latter will be broadcast live on crankworx.com

Next, riders will head to Cardrona Alpine Resort for an air downhill on December 9, and then finish the summer series at Bike Glendhu, Wānaka, on December 11-12, also being broadcast live.

Crankworx managing director Darren Kinnaird says the idea of the ultimate mountain bike road trip was born in British Columbia last year.

‘‘It created such a great opportunity to bring a taste of Crankworx to different locations and get athletes out racing in different places outside the Crankworx World Tour circuit.

‘‘I can’t wait to hit the road after Rotorua and bring the action to these other iconic riding destinations, and take the world along for the ride,’’ Kinnaird says.

Kiwi pro Keegan Wright says he’s ‘‘super-stoked’’ to be heading south.

‘‘With each spot having totally different terrain to the other, it’s gonna make for awesome racing.

‘‘[I] can’t wait to kick the New Zealand summer off in true style.’’

Other all-stars already confirmed are Canada’s Georgia Astle, Casey Brown, Bas van Steenbergen and Vaea Verbeeck, the United States’ Kialani Hines, Harriet Burbidge-Smith and Danielle Beecroft, from Australia, and Kiwi Robin Goomes.

Crankworx Rotorua event director Ariki Tibble says their event’s raised Rotorua’s profile as a mountain biking destination over the past six years, and the team’s excited to ‘‘unlock some of these benefits for other regions in the country’’.

‘‘The mountain biking in Central Otago, Queenstown and Wānaka is out of this world, not to mention its world-renowned scenery and epic summers ... we can’t wait to bring a grassroots version of our Crankworx Festival to the South.’’

Athletes can register from September 20. 

 - tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz

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