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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.
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CRANKWORX-LES GETS WAS EPIC!
The whole MTB industry spent the week in Les Gets for the 2nd stop of the Crankworx World Tour 2017. Luckily, this year the sun was beating down on Les Gets the entire week and all our riders enjoyed the opportunity to ride and compete in the awesome conditions!
BRETT RHEEDER WON THE SLOPESTYLE
Brett laid down a solid first run, which was good enough to take the lead. Nobody managed to best his score with their second runs, so Brett got to cruise down for a victory lap! After wining Rotorua (2015), Les 2 Alpes (2015) and Whistler (2016), the Canadian won yet another Slopestye here in France and was pretty damn stoked: “I just came back after an injury so I feel really relieved to win today. It has been hard work to get back! We had some good practice sessions with all the guys, but it was tough here today with the wind. For sure before my first run I was a bit nervous, I didn't want to screw up, and then sitting up top watching all the guys doing their second runs was hard!"
2ND PLACE FOR LORIS VERGIER AT THE CRANKWORX DOWNHILL
“It is so good to be on a podium again! To be honest, I didn't expect it because my wrist was a bit painful before the start! Because of that, I didn't start my run full gas, and tried to finish a bit faster and it went well for me, I'm proud! Now I take some days off to go surfing with my girlfriend and it will be sweet!" - Loris Vergier
FINN ILES WON IN JUNIOR
After his victory in Leogang World Cup last week, Finn Iles continues to dominate the Junior Category: “I felt I rode well, smooth and consistent so I'm happy with my run and my time. Last year I felt very good on this track, and the whole of this week I was having a lot of fun so I wasn't super focused on the race until day race. I think it's good to do a race like that every now and again, because this week was a bit like a holiday and I just rode my bike as fast as could and it worked well!”
JOSH BRYCELAND 3RD IN THE AIR DH
Air DH in Les Gets is a bit different to A-Line in Whistler, with roots, jumps and steep techy sections and ex World Cup Champion Josh Bryceland demonstrated he still has the speed to compete! Josh ended up in 3rd place and showed that when you have talent running through your veins, you don't have to take racing super seriously to get on the box every now and again! It was so rad to see the Rat back on a podium!