So the Crank Taupo event is back for the second year. It’s a DH event, an XC event and an all-mountain event rolled into one. Unlike other all-mountain events where you compete on one bike that is sometimes weighed between disciplines (to ensure that no changes have been made), this one you use two bikes for the two disciplines. This year though entrants to the “all-mountain” side of things will only be competing against other all-mountain riders for points. The orgainisers hope this will even things out a bit. You can enter here, and check out the full poster and press release below.

1 mountain, 3 events, 1 day…

Back for year 2 comes a unique mountain bike event from Epic Events.  Featuring the CamelBak Cross Country, Wide Open Downhill and the Events Capital All Mountain comp the event provides heaps of fun for contestants and entertainment for spectators.

21 May is the date set for the occasion with the event located on the North East side of Mount Tauhara, just 15 minutes from Taupo.

There is quite a contrast between the speed and intensity of a 2 minute DH course compared to the endurance and distance of 2 hour Cross country event, but DH and XC are cousins in the MTB world and get together for this event to form the ‘All Mountain’ comp.

Riders gain points for the All Mountain Comp by first competing in the Cross Country 30km race before taking on the Downhill.  Riders may use 2 different bikes.  A big change for 2011 is that the All Mountain competitors will only compete with each other for points.  Rather than gaining points from their overall position. This should even up the comp for a more exciting result.

The first event held in May 2010 was a ripper and was held in beautiful sunny conditions on the North side of Mount Tauhara.  Crank attracted a top caliber of participants including Taupo local Mike Northcott who blitzed the CamelBak 30km XC race in a time of 1:21.  Chased by Mark ‘Cabin’ Leisham from Rotorua in a time of 1:23.

First 30km XC female home was Michelle Bellamy in a time of 1:48 followed by ‘All Mountain’ competitor Sarah Beadel.  The 20km XC race was won by Geoff Smith in a time of 1:13 with Madeline Taylor taking first female just 7 minutes behind.

In the DH finals Matt Walker took the Wide Open Downhill title with a final run of 2:22.   Glenn Haden finished 2nd with Des Curry in 3rd.  It was a winner takes all final with riders giving it everything they had trying to find the fastest lines down the mountain.

In the Events Capital All Mountain men’s category it was an easy win to Des Curry with 6th placing in the XC and the 3rd place in the DH final gaining 9 points.  Mark ‘Cabin’ Leishman was 2nd, because even though he got a 2nd in the XC, his DH placing of 29 meant his total score was pretty high.  (The least points won the All Mountain comp).

The Wide Open DH track is designed by DH guru JK (John Kircaldie).  It is fairly challenging but does include chicken options for riders keen to have a go at DH, but don’t want to take on the jumps.  The course features some native bush (with roots), pine tree section (with a drop onto a road), berms, jumps, pungas, switchback, fence jumps, and a farm gulley with wooden ramp jumps to finish.  2 South star shuttle buses ensure heaps of DH runs for every participant.

The Cross Country course is constructed in a pine forest with flowing forest trails and single track and finishes with a wicked grass downhill to the finish.  Course options include 20km and 30km for riders wanting a more serious workout.  The base course is 20km long with riders competing in the 30km option repeating the outer 10km.

A key feature of both tracks is Taupo’s world famous pumice soil that provides excellent and predictable traction even if wet.

The day pans out as follows.  9am The Downhill format consists of a period called the Prologue which is open practice and qualifying for most of the day meaning riders get almost unlimited runs.  XC riders depart around 10am.  DH finals are on at 3pm.  All Mountain competitors have plenty of time to race the XC then get back to the base to post some scorching DH runs.

Key features of Leatt Crank Taupo are:  Event operates on private land accessible once per year only.  Pumice soil means great traction even if wet.  Open DH format means heaps of runs per rider and lots of entertainment for spectators.  Unique ‘All Mountain Comp’ decides the overall multi skilled competitors.

So Leatt Crank Taupo is back for year 2 promising to be a bigger and better fun and entertaining day out on 2 wheels.  Entries out really soon, make sure you are part of the action.

More info at


Leatt Crank Taupo –

CamelBak Cross Country –

Wide Open Downhill –

Events Capital All Mountain Comp –

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