It was some christening.
New Zealand’s inaugural Crankworx Summer Series began at Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park at the weekend, something park developer Helen Sanders described as “super exciting”.
The event served as a soft opening for the park, which officially opened yesterday.
A total of 86 total racers tackled the first race of the series D , including 25 CWNext racers, 14 amateurs and 47 professionals.
For the pros, the race win was up for grabs, along with points for the overall male and female Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand champs titles.
Alexandra has quietly celebrated some of the best MTB trails and conditions in New Zealand for many years
New Zealand and international riders alike were stunned by both the scenery and quality of riding at the new Matangi Station MTB Park, which features some of Central Otago’s most raw, rocky and technical trails.
The vision for the summer series was to bring some of the thrill and experience which the Crankworx World Tour festival offers to other parts of New Zealand.
Crankworx Rotorua event director Ariki Tibble said it was an extraordinary privilege to share some of the Crankworx Rotorua experience with the people of Alexandra and Central Otago.
“Having international riders hit your local trails, competing against local talent, creates a sense of pride that’s hard to describe.
“We’ve seen it in Rotorua over the years and it’s been invigorating to see that reflected in the local riding scene.”
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.
The Alexandra Super D served up three rocky tracks, a tasty sampler of the area’s distinctive, technical and gnarly terrain, linked together for an 11-minute plus run.
The Sanders family developed the Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park alongside their high country farming operation in Little Valley, behind Alexandra’s famed clock on the hill.
these things in the air all coming together now, which is such a good feeling. It’s been a ride,” Mrs Sanders said.
The family had been overwhelmed by the community spirit involved in preparing the park for opening Crankworx event humbled that people “put their hand up and got a job done and didn’t make any fuss”.
Word was spreading about the park, which was “no normal bike track”, she said.
“It’s rocky, it’s gnarly, it’s not for the faint-hearted.”
From Alexandra, Crankworx moves to Skyline Queenstown tomorrow and Saturday for the DH, while Pump Track will also be held in Queenstown over the weekend.
Next week the action moves to the Cardrona Alpine Resort for the Air DH on December 9 then on to Bike Glendhu, Wanaka, for the Dual Slalom on December 11 and 12.
Alexandra Super D: Pro Women
Louise Ferguson (GBR)
Casey Brown (CAN)
Jenna Hastings (NZL)
Alexandra Super D: Pro Men
Bradley Harris (NZL)
Dan Booker (AUS)
Sam Blenkinsop (NZL)