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Crankworx loves Rotorua, signs to 2027

The defining celebration of world-class mountain biking has signed its longest contract to date, committing to Crankworx Rotorua for the next 10 years.

Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by Rockshox. Photo Chester Boyes.jpeg

Riders go head-to-head in the Crankworx Rotorua Pump Track Challenge presented by Rockshox. Photo: Chester Boyes

With the signing of this 10-year contract, event director Tak Mutu says Rotorua has secured its status as the first stop on the tour for the next decade. He says this is a game changer for the New Zealand festival, which generated more than $8 million for the Rotorua economy in the 2016 event week, according to an APR consultants economic benefit report.
 
“More so than any other cycling event in the world, Crankworx opens a world of possibilities that go far beyond the riding," Mutu offers.
 
“Knowing that we can plan 10 years ahead allows us to unlock our creative minds and keep the Crankworx festivals on the cutting-edge of mountain bike events ­– it can be about more than just the competition.”
 
Crankworx Rotorua is coming into its third year and will host an extended programme of events for 2017, running nine days from March 25 to April 2 – a full four days longer than in its first two years.
 
The growth is to be expected, according to Crankworx Events Incorporated general manager Darren Kinnaird, who says the passion for mountain biking in Rotorua really makes the festival what it is.
 
“Crankworx Rotorua has become the unofficial launch to the mountain bike season. It’s the start of the year for athletes, the industry and mountain biking fans,” said Kinnaird.

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Crankworx general manager Darren Kinnaird at the 2016 event. Photo: Derek Morrison


Rotorua Lakes Council Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson, who chairs Mountain Bike Events Ltd and signed the extended deal yesterday, says a 10-year contract to run the event outside of its home in Whistler, Canada, was unprecedented.
 
“Rotorua has really adopted this event and our aim has always been to work towards a longer-term deal to make this the home of Crankworx in New Zealand. The first two years have shown its huge potential,” Donaldson said.

“It’s been a big hit here – largely due to the passion of a fantastic group of people who have run with it and poured all their efforts into ensuring its success, giving Crankworx Events Incorporated confidence in Rotorua as a host venue.”
 
Rotorua Lakes Council Mayor Steve Chadwick says it’s fantastic news for Rotorua.
 
“We’ve offered something unique here which has been recognised. I’m thrilled we’ll be hosts for another 10 years for an event which has really captured our local community – bikers and non-bikers – as well as visitors from around the world. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

About Crankworx

The Crankworx World Tour travels to the world’s top mountain biking destinations, including Rotorua, New Zealand, Les Gets, France, and Innsbruck, Austria, before returning to its Canadian home base of Whistler, B.C. each year.

Plan your Crankworx journey right here

  • Gabby Molloy (left) and Justin Leov chase each other down the Grade 2 Simple Jack trail at the Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park. Photo: Nick Lambert
    Skyline Rotorua is home to the world's first year-round Gondola-assisted bike park, Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park. The gravity park accesses the world-class downhill mountain biking trails on the flanks of Mt Ngongotaha. The 8.5km trail network has a variety of trails with something to suit most skill levels. There are six mostly downhill trails emerging from the top of the gondola, ranging from Grade 2 to Grade 5. Home to Crankworx and UCI World MTB events, Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park, has become a must-do highlight on any traveller's itinerary. 
  • 20120925_CorridorW_GM_0002.jpg
    Whakarewarewa Forest is one of the most established mountain bike networks in New Zealand and has earned a worldwide reputation as one of the best. Also known as the Redwoods, there are more than 150km of trails in the forest that cater for all levels of rider, from beginners, through to family groups and expert riders looking for an extra challenge. From buff flowing trails to fun jump lines and rooty technical singletrack, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. This is the forest that put Rotorua on the world mountain biking map ... come and explore it for yourself. 
  • Riders meet their transport – the Chris Jolly Outdoors water shuttle on the Waihora section of the Great Lake Trail, Taupo. Photo: DGLT
    The Great Lake Trail is a scenic 71km Grade 3 trail that follows the northeastern shoreline of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The all-weather, all-season trail traverses through native forest providing stunning views across Lake Taupo to the majestic volcanoes of Tongariro National Park. With three distinct sections, the trail has something to suit all fitness levels. 
  • A group of riders pause to soak in the ancient bush of the Moerangi Trail near Whirinaki, New Zealand. Photo: Derek Morrison
    The Moerangi Track is a 35km adventure ride through pristine native forest with historic huts and sections of trail that will bring about an immense sense of accomplishment. The Grade 3 trail will take riders approximately 5-10 hours to ride, and while not technically difficult, the track does traverse some steep bluffs with a few long, grunty climbs. The excellent condition trail leads riders up to 1000m above sea level, before the well-deserved descent of 15km through epic native bush completes the journey. 

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    When Justin Leov touches down in Rotorua he has one forest on his mind. RideNZ.co talks to the 32-year-old professional downhill and enduro mountain biker about why he loves the trails of Whakarewarewa Forest and why Rotorua has become the heart of mountain biking in New Zealand. 
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    It was the passion of the community for mountain biking and the quality of the trails that convinced Crankworx general manager Darren Kinnaird to bring his beloved festival to Rotorua, New Zealand. 
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    “The only thing I miss about Auckland, is going to Rotorua for the weekend”. That's the world according to Gaz, who caught up with mountain bike writer Graeme Simpson. Drop that name into a conversation with a lot of New Zealand (and Australian) mountain bikers and you will get a knowing nod in return. Gaz, or Gary Sullivan as his mother called him, is a life-long biker. He was a New Zealand representative on the track back in the 1970s … best known for his fierce riding skills and a mountain bike clothing business called Nzo. 
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    Lewis Ryan only recently turned 18, but that didn’t stop the mountain biking and off-road triathlon star from wrapping up the 15-19-year-old division of the Xterra Asia-Pacific Tour in Langkawi, Malaysia, in May. He just may be the friendliest guy in adventure sport, but he doesn’t rest easily on his laurels. Just last weekend he raced to the overall victory at Xterra Lake Tahoe, California. It was his first overall win in this intense off-road triathlon genre. We caught up with Lewis in his hometown of Rotorua before he jetted out for his first leg of international events.