The hills around Rotorua have been overrun with daring athletes as enthusiasts from all round the world compete in the inaugural New Zealand round of the 2016 Crankworx Festival.
The world's largest mountain bike festival, Crankworx is in its 13th year of operation. Prior to 2015 there were two events on the international calendar, the first and original in Whistler, Canada and the second in Les Deux Alpes, France. Now for the second time the event comes to Rotorua as part of the World Tour.
Hosted at Skyline Rotorua’s Mountain Bike Gravity Park, Crankworx Rotorua has kicks off the 2016 international mountain bike season, attracting 750 of the world’s elite mountain bike athletes and poised to highlight New Zealand’s international status as the mountain biking mecca of the Southern Hemisphere.
Mountain biking is already a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy – in Rotorua alone, mountain bikers put many times more money into the region than the primary industry of forestry. The evolving cycling and mountain biking landscape includes the Skyline Rotorua Mountain Bike Gravity Park, while new trails continue to be built in the Whakarewarewa forest.
The 750 competitiors – 80% from overseas – are taking part in a variety of disciplines including downhill, slopestyle, pump track and dual speed & style. There’s big money up for grabs – first prize in slopestyle, the marquee event which involves stunts, jumps and concrete obstacles, is set at $US50,000, and the best all round athletes, male and female, will be crowned King and Queen of the Tour and pocket $25,000 apiece.
Crankworx isn’t just for mountain bikers – anyone who enjoys watching highly skilled athletes demonstrating finely honed skills at high speed and all angles against the wonderful scenic backdrop of Rotorua will be in for a treat. Organisers are expecting around 8,000 people – possibly up to 12,000 – to turn up for the inaugural event’s five days of competition, culture and concerts.
The Bikes and Beats Music Festival, a free event at the Rotorua Village Green, will feature some of New Zealand’s top artists while an expo at the Skyline Gravity Park will showcase the biggest names in mountain bikes, technology, clothing, parts and accessories – and more.
Family-friendly zone Kidsworx will inspire and encourage the pros of tomorrow, as well as those who just want to give it a go, with specially designed children’s bike tracks, scavenger hunts, races and a chance to meet the stars of Crankworx. Kids can bring along their bikes or borrow one on the day to test out their skills, learn some new ones and pimp their rides with number plates, stickers and bike bling.
Skyline Rotorua is now home to New Zealand's first year-round gondola-assisted bike lift, accessing world-class downhill mountain biking.
The Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park – New Zealand’s first year-round mountain biking facility - gives riders easy access to an 8.5-kilometre trail network featuring trails with varying terrain for all ability levels, with dedicated bike gondola cabins taking the hard work out of getting back to the top of the run.
NOTE: The Crankworx World Tour 2106 in Rotorua ran from 9 – 13 March, 2016.
The 2017 Crankworx Rotorua is scheduled for 25 March - 2 April, 2017.