Crankworx Press Release
Alexandra, New Zealand, November 29, 2021 – The first race of the Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand has wrapped, with Louise Ferguson and Bradley Harris taking the first pro wins of the series and distinguishing themselves as the masters of jank.
Bradley Harris, charging high above Alexandra for the win in the inaugural race of the Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand. Photo: Clint Trahan
The Alexandra Super D served up three rocky tracks, a tasty sampler of the area’s distinctively technical and gnarly terrain, linked together for an 11+ minute race run.
“It feels amazing,” said Ferguson of her podium-topping finish. “Really unexpected, but really good. I was just riding my bike and I ended up coming in first.
Ferguson, who hails from Scotland but now calls Queenstown home, clocked the fastest times on the first two sections of track, and the second-fastest on the last.
Bas van Steenbergen attacks one of the gnarlier descents in the Super D. Photo by Clint Trahan
“My favorite stage was Stage Two,” said Ferguson. “I got a little bit sketchy at the bottom, but it was just really rocky and there were big compressions one after the other and when you got it right it felt so good.”
Her final time of 13:13 managed to ward off a stacked field of pros including Vaea Verbeeck, the 2021 Queen of Crankworx, Red Bull sponsored Harriet Burbidge-Smith, and Canada’s Casey Brown, who grew up 10 minutes from Alexandra.
Jenna Hastings, Casey Brown and Harriet Burbidge-Smith had a good chance to see how their speeds compared during practice. Photo by Clint Trahan
“It was a good day,” said Brown. “Yesterday was very slippery in practice. You had to kind of just remember that the rocks are now grippy and the dirt is now slippery. Kind of backwards from yesterday. It was just kind of observing the trail ahead of you. I didn’t really have much practice yesterday or anything, so you’re still kind of riding on the edge, interpreting the trail as it comes at each stage.”
“You had to be really careful where you put your pedals and where you put your pedal strokes, where you placed your bike on the trail,” she added of Alexandra’s techy terrain. “You had to ride pretty gingerly because there are a lot of secret rocks sticking out in places where if you do take a full pedal stroke you’ll clip a pedal on a rock. You had to be super aware of your surroundings and observe the trail carefully. I was stoked to just be out there. You get a full taste of what these trails are like and what the Matangi Station bike park is like…It’s been great. I’ve got family here. My mom’s here, my aunt and my sister came and watched today. It’s pretty cool. I never thought in a million years that Crankworx would come to Alexandra.”
Third place went to young Kiwi rider Jenna Hastings, coming off a win in the Downhill race at Crankworx Rotorua, her top pro result to date.
Full results – Alexandra Super D: Pro Women
- Louise Ferguson (GBR)
- Casey Brown (CAN)
- Jenna Hastings (NZL)
Louise Ferguson topped the Pro Women’s Super D podium, with Casey Brown (left) in second, and Jenna Hastings in third. Photo by Clint Trahan
On the men’s side, the locals came out swinging on their backyard tracks, with Alexandra’s Bradley Harris coming out on top.
“It’s great,” he said of winning on home turf, “it is just the best feeling!”
Times among the men were tight. Another local, Matt Scoles, was in the lead at the first split. Australia’s Dan Booker had the fastest time through the second. Harris took the third, with his strong and consistent times enough to push him into first with an overall time of 11:04.
New Zealand downhill pro Sam Blenkinsop took third in the Pro Men’s Super D. Photo by Clint Trahan
“Definitely the second,” he said in answer to which stage was the most challenging, echoing Ferguson. “It was really physical, and you just have to get a good rhythm going. You just had to keep the flow going and try and stay on the track.”
Booker would take second on the day, with the New Zealand National Downhill Champion, Sam Blenkinsop, taking third.
“I’m stoked to get third at the end of the day,” said Blenkinsop. “The trails are amazing. I had fun yesterday in the wet, and then today in the dry it was like two different days of riding. So what we had was amazing weather and amazing people riding, and the trails were amazing. So it was sick here in Alex. I had a good weekend.”
Bradley Harris won the Pro Men’s Super D, with Dean Booker (left) second, and Sam Blenkinsop (right) third. Photo by Clint Trahan
Full results – Alexandra Super D: Pro Men
- Bradley Harris (NZL)
- Dan Booker (AUS)
- Sam Blenkinsop (NZL)
Super D is a unique discipline in mountain biking, in that it links together multiple Downhill tracks to create one long track. Racers in the Alexandra Super D tackled a total of 5km of trail, dropping 678m over their total runs.
A total of 86 total racers tackled the first race of the series, including 25 CWNext racers, 14 amateurs and 47 pros.
Overall, the Crankworx Summer Series brings the best of summer – sun, road trips, bikes, friends, party shirts, adventure, and real fruit ice cream – as local riders face off against their mountain bike heroes.
The full schedule of events and locations includes:
- November 27-28: Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park, Alexandra
- December 3-4: Skyline Queenstown
- December 4-5: Queenstown
- December 9: Cardrona Alpine Resort
- December 11-12: Bike Glendhu, Wānaka
- Alexandra: Super D
- Queenstown: DH and Pump Track
- Cardrona: Air DH
- Wānaka: Dual Slalom
Events to be live broadcast on crankworx.com are the Queenstown Pump Track and Wānaka Dual Slalom.
For the full schedule and information about riders and destinations, visit https://www.crankworx.com/festival/crankworx-summer-series-new-zealand/
About the Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand
The Crankworx Summer Series (CSS) kicked off in British Columbia in 2020. 2021 will see the multi-stop mountain bike festival bring the world’s best riders and the Crankworx vibe to Central Otago. The region sees the best of NZ summer and is earning its place on the global mountain bike map with terrain and tracks to suit every rider, from beginners and families after a cruisy lakeside trail to avid riders looking to test their limits on the rocky alpine tracks.
About the Crankworx Summer Series
The Crankworx Summer Series (CSS) brings together races staged in new, epic destinations on world-class tracks. Multiple stops are strung together to create the series, which turns it into the ultimate mountain bike summer roadie. CSS races bring Crankworx-caliber competition to communities outside the usual Crankworx World Tour circuit. Races and competitions give local and up-and-coming racers a chance to race with national and international heroes, providing a path to potential future Crankworx World Tour greatness, and a real good time along the way.
Crankworx is the ultimate experience in mountain biking. Born in Whistler, B.C. in 2004, Crankworx has evolved into a multi-stop international festival series. The Crankworx World Tour brings together the best mountain bike athletes to compete in elite-level competitions in a variety of disciplines. Crankworx World Tour festivals also host races for amateurs, CWNEXT categories for next gen athletes, Kidsworx contests for young riders, participatory events, and celebrations of mountain bike culture, all while showcasing amazing destinations.
For additional information, visit Crankworx.com.