Crankworx Rotorua downhill 2018
It was one of those races where the cleanest ride would inevitably be the fastest.
After yesterday's slopestyle turned slopstyle, the writing was on the wall for the downhill and a saturated track was a rude wake up call for those who had been enjoying a dusty off-season in the summer hemisphere.
As the first big race of the year, it should have been a chance to see who had been putting in the work in the gym but instead it was about who could keep it rubber side down as the finish line was littered with mud-splattered bodies.
Despite a few mistakes, in the men it was Sam Blenkinsop. He said: "I got away with it. I buzzed my leg on my tire on the way out and I almost slid out but I rode out. After that I was like, ‘now it’s chill out time and have a bit of fun on the rest of the track.’ I’m happy with how the day went and how the week’s gone so far. I’m stoked for the season." It was his second win of the week after taking the Redwoods crown.
Tahnee kicked off her own season with a win on the big bike too - her first ever podium at Crankworx. She said: "the track itself is super boggy, so sticky and such hard work. I was a bit gutted because I didn’t practice any of the b-lines, ‘cause I worked up to hit all the jumps and I was super excited about that. Obviously it was impossible. So I hit the b-lines a bit blind but it all worked out."
Check out all the action from the slop.