Day 3 of Crankworx Rotorua saw all the big name downhill Pros come out and play. The IXS Downhill has brought one of the largest fields of professional downhill racers to Crankworx. A lot of the riders are using this race as a great warm-up leading into the 2015 World Cup, with the first race of the season in just over two weeks' time. Riders have had three days of practice on the track so it's no surprise that the top end of the field were as much as nine seconds faster than George Brannigan's National Champs winning run.
I had the privilege of talking to a few of the riders over the week so far, and their thoughts on the track and Crankworx Rotorua in general have been nothing but positive.
Rachel Atherton said, "The track is incredible. It would be suitable for a World Cup event and I think a lot of the riders will be saying it's one of their favourites. I hope in the next few years it will be used for a World Cup."
Brendan Fairclough said, "The dirt is amazing, the course is sick and the features on the course are so well built. The vibe here is awesome!"
After a run-in with another rider on a slippery bridge—slick after the light drizzles that kept rolling through—during practice on Thursday, Gee Atherton made the recommendation that some chicken wire be laid over the bridges. Other than this, the course remained unchanged. The course had dried out a lot from how it was earlier in the week and more cut up lines and blown out corners developed as the traffic increased.
1-Loic Bruni 2-Eliot Jackson 3-Sam Blenkinsop 4-George Brannigan 5-Connor Fearon 6-Brendan Fairclough 7-Sam Hill 8- Brook MacDonald 9-Gee Atherton 10-Bernard Kerr
Pro Women 1- Rachel Atherton 2- Tracey Hannah 3- Emilie Siegenthaler