Day one of the 2nd edition of Crankworx, Rotorua got off to a stunning start yesterday.
It kicked off early in the Whakarewarewa forest with the Giant Toa Enduro. The race had six stages on the iconic redwood trails before transferring to the Skyline bike park for the final stage.
The Kiwi contingent in the field were on fire all day with local rider Carl Jones leading the way through the first few stages before mistakes on stage 5 (K2) and stage 7 cost him the lead. Eddie Masters made a storming comeback to steal 2nd spot on the podium after a bad start on stage 1. But in the end it was Kawerau's Matt Walker who held off the challengers to take an impressive win, showing that consistency pays off, as he was never out of the top 2 till the final stage.
In the women's event Wellington's Rae Morrison and local girl Annika Smail spent the day chasing down last year's Queen of Crankworx Anneke Beerten, the three of them shared the stage wins between them all day but it was the dutch rider who held on to take the win, with Rae taking 2nd and Annika 3rd.
Just as the excitement of the enduro started to die down the whip off qualifying started on the new monster jump in the arena.
After the huge crows was entertained by hundreds of whips, flips, jump trains and crashes the judges gave the win to last years champ and style master Ryan Howard. Casey Brown took the women's crown showing the local Rotorua girls how to step up and send it with the boys.