Well there we have it…the 2020 season is underway!!!
Crankworx Rotorua is always a great event and this year promised to be no different delivering the goods once again… 4 Podiums for the first event of the year! First up was the Toa enduro with both Eddie Masters and Matt Walker competing. A one-day enduro with 6 pedally stages and tight liaisons meant it was a heavy and intense day in the saddle.
After quite a few stage wins and solid results on the others, Eddie took the first win of the first race of the 2020 seasons. It was also the first win for the new Switchblade, which Eddie only had one previous day of riding it before the race. Just nipping at his toes and rounding out the podium was Matt with a solid 3rd place!
Next up was the Air DH race down the rather flat and not so whistler A-line track but none the less a fun track here in NZ. Matt was the star of the show here with another 3rd place on his new switchblade! After a rather disappointing run and a small mechanical issue, Bernard Kerr finished in 12th place with Eddie having a little too much fun on track and finishing 16th, but keeping the fans happy!
Dual Slalom was the next event for the crew and the track was RAD! After a lot of feedback from the year before, Crankworx moved the track to the main venue and added one of the coolest stall wall features we have seen yet. Good times were had by all! After some intense racing, Bernard finished last out of the team in 12th place with his arch nemesis Eddie in 11th! Haha! Going all the way to the final, Matt claimed the Bronze medal, his third of the week, all while riding his new Switchblade.
Whip Off was once again held under the lights and night. With the wind blowing pretty strong, Bernard was the only one that rode aboard his Shuttle E-bike. Feathers were ruffled but he had a great time, making more runs in than anyone else and getting some good coverage all over the web!
The DH race was on the last day of Crankworx Rotorua – Sunday. It was on a mostly new course this year after being very much the same for the past 4 years. Day 1 of practice was very slow as there were pretty much no lines and everyone was just trying to work out where to go. Once the second day rolled around and a couple of hundred amateurs had been down the track, it was a very different story. Continuing onto race day the track deteriorated like no one has ever seen since we all started racing, massive holes littered with massive roots, heaps of dust and all on off camber hill side, it was carnage!
Unfortunately, after only 3 real days on his DH bike coming into this event and a slightly tweaked wrist from practice, Eddie decided it would be best that he sat out of the race on Sunday and concentrate on the upcoming EWS races.
Matt had a solid run and finished in a strong 8th place. Bernard, knowing he was feeling good all week and wanting to put something special together, pushed too hard in the loose conditions causing two big mistakes having to paddle his way to get going again, finished in 5th place. Being just 1 second off the podium and 3 off the win, it was not the result he wanted.
All in all, the team had a great week and had a great time riding bikes!
Absent from this first stop of the Crankworx calendar was Emilie Siegenthaler who is still recovering from an ACL and meniscus repair, but she’s working hard to get back to full health as soon as possible. The newest addition to the team, Morgane Charre is in Portugal suspension testing with Fox ahead of her team debut at the first EWS race in a few weeks’ time.