Photos by: @freeridenewzealand
The off-season training put in by the Fox MTB team paid off big at the kickoff to the 2019 season - Crankworx Rotorua. Threatening skies held off most of the week and the dirt was prime for racing and ripping all week long. With 2 wins and 10 podiums across the 7 different disciplines the Fox athletes made Rotorua feel like a second home for Fox fans in attendance!
For the second year in a row, Brett Rheeder started his season off with a bang. Adding multiple new tricks to his program, he rode a nearly flawless run to capture the top step of the podium in the annual Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza.
Anthony Messere was riding on the limit all week and put together a great run to place 6th in the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza. His top six finish means he's punched his ticket into the next round at Crankworx Innsbruck!
Finn Iles put in a blistering run in the warmest conditions of the week in the men’s Crankworx Rotorua Downhill. He rode clean and in control and his performance left him just 0.09 seconds off the top step of the podium. It was a great performance, but being so close left him a little frustrated - something he will use as motivation for next month's Maribor!
It was a disappointing start to the year for current UCI DH World Champ Loic Bruni as a flat in the top section of the course derailed his chances in Friday's Crankworx DH race. He looked good in training and was ready to compete in his first test of the 2019 season. Always a fan favorite, Loic lightened a bad moment as he asked a spectator for his pump and tried to bring the tire back to life. "I just wanted to finish," said Loic moments after the race. This has motivated him even more for the first UCI DH race in Maribor.
Tahnée Seagrave battled through multiple injuries throughout the week to put together a great set of results. She rode multiple disciplines and ended up with three third-place finishes - Dual Slalom, Downhill, and Pump Track. Truly an all-around talent, Tahnée is also a crowd favorite who made the Rotorua fans feel special all week long!
Speaking of fan favorites, local boy Keegan Wright was the hardest working athlete in Rotorua. Competing in nearly every pro men’s division race, he finished the event with a silver medal in both Pump Track and EWS as well as taking the top step in the Crankworx Dual Slalom. His amazing overall performance finds him in second place overall for the King of Crankworx points!
Bas van Steenbergen was another all-around performer in Rotorua. He finished second behind teammate Keegan Wright in the Dual Slalom and was the only Fox athlete to podium in the Rotorua Air DH. These points have him in the running for the overall King of Crankworx title.
Look for Fox MTB athletes at the start of the UCI DH World Cup season in the historic Maribor, Slovenia and then at the second stop of the Crankworx series in Innsbruck, Austria.
The fourth and final stop of the Crankworx World Tour made its return to the epicenter of mountain bike culture, Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Being the largest lift-accessed mountain bike park in the world boasting over 1,500 meters of lift-serviced terrain, the two-wheel culture and lifestyle is like no other.
This year, the Crankworx festival celebrated its 15th year of two-wheel epicness, and the stage was set to draw in the world’s best mountain riders competing for the top honors in their respected disciplines. Throughout the week, riders competed in a variety of events such as Downhill, Enduro, Slalom, Pump Track, Whip-off, and Slopestyle.
The Fox MTB global team was in action all week delivering outstanding performances with multiple podium finishers earning medals. Among the solid results, the notable highlights of the week were the all Canadian podium sweep during the Fox Air DH race and Brett Rheeder's Crankworx FMB World Slopestyle Championship title win.
Fox Air DH
- Gold – Finn Iles (CAN)
- Silver – Magnus Manson (CAN)
- Bronze – Bas Van Steenbergen (CAN)
- Silver - Claire Buchar (CAN)
Slopestyle World Championship
- 1st Place – Brett Rheeder (CAN)
Canadian Open Downhill
- Silver – Connor Fearon (AUS)
- Bronze – Magnus Manson (CAN)
Throughout the week of Crankworx, the Fox brand was also activating on site and engaging with consumers, fans and fellow bike bros to create and share the memorable ride. Events included Custom hat pressing to raise funds for the Stevie Smith legacy foundation, an Ultimate MTB Prize pack that included head-to-toe gear and a GT bicycle, athlete autograph sessions allowing fans to meet & greet with their favorite Fox rider and of course, the infamous Chill N’ Grill hosted for our bike bros.
For live MTB coverage, follow Fox Racing on Instagram at @foxmtb