Crankworx is not just a festival for mountain bikers who can do mad stunts - it's got something for just about everyone.
Crankworx Rotorua is back again in 2020, and the global mountain bike festival continues to expand each year. But there's a downside to that. You might just see the whip offs, pump track and slopestyle events - but Crankworx is about a whole lot more. You might even ask - what's the big deal with Crankworx Rotorua anyway? We answered that here.
Here's a run down on the line up in 2020, across the dates 1-8 March.
Sunday 1st March
The Giant Toa Enduro is part of the 2020 EWS Asia Pacific Series and is the first event in the Crankworx Rotorua mountain bike festival. This will see a mix of the world's best Enduro racers and the fastest in Australia and New Zealand. Watch some of the best in the business tackle the variety of trails through the infamous Redwoods.
Tuesday 3rd March
It's time for the opening ceremony. If you've come to Rotorua for a bit of a cultural experience as well - then you can't miss this, as there is a powhiri (a traditional Maori welcome) and more.
Wednesday 4th March
The Rotorua Air DH is in the Skyline mountain bike park, on on Mr Black. It's chock full of hits and features and yep - lots of big air. You'll see the best in the world from Enduro and Downhill laying it all out there to come out on top - line the track and make some noise! This starts at 5:30pm so you can have a whole day of riding before watching racers rip in the afternoon.
It gets better as the Whip Offs start in the evening. This is one of the biggest evenings of the festival, so watch the whip trains do their thing.
Thursday 5th March
From midday the Liv trail ride goes down. Book a ticket for this women's only event, where a few trails are off limits for everyone else. From 5:30, get yourself trackside for Dual Slalom - as nothing is better than watching some bar to bar racing action.
Friday 6th March
The Speed and Style event is all about a rider's creativity on the bike and using the terrain that the course presents, but if you're getting tired of watching bikes whizz by you can't miss the Deep Summer photo competition. There are four photographers out there shooting to deliver what they believe the essence of mountain biking in Rotorua is. It will all be on display on Eat Street in Rotorua.
Saturday 7th March
Saturday arvo brings Slopestyle, in memory of Kelly McGarry who passed away in early 2016. Expect to see riders throwing down their best moves in honour of McGazza all afternoon.
Come 7:30pm, the pump track challenge is on. This is one of the most action packed events, with riders getting every inch of speed out of their bikes and the pump track as they go head to head. Come, cheer, jeer and have a good time.
Sunday 8th March
Today is all about the Rotorua Downill. Riders tackle Mount Ngongotaha at Skyline Rotorua, and the track has a mix of raw and off-camber trail, tacky Rotorua dirt, and built step ups and jumps. Every festival has to go out with a bang and this is how Crankworx Rotorua does it.
How do I keep kids entertained?
The Kidsworx arena means that Crankworx offers a complete family experience. This one is for kids 12 and under, so if you see that they get to meet and ride with some of their heroes in the Kidsworx arena, you'll have to cover up your jealousy. There's a range of things going on, from scavenger hunts in the expo area to events out on the trails. Any kids aged 6-14 can enter the Kidsworx Challenger events to take part, or the Kidsworx events for those with a competitive streak.
So what's the vibe like?
Plenty of the world's best riders get to Crankworx Rotorua, but it's not about what is happening between the tape - but it's due to the whole festival.
“Crankworx Rotorua is always a great event for the southern hemisphere,” says Josh Carlson. “It signals the kickoff to the International racing calendar and season of travelling. One thing I enjoy the most is how Crankworx brings together so many different athletes from varying types of mountain biking. All in the one place to enjoy the festival atmosphere and shred bikes together!”
"I love Crankworx because it brings a whole community of professional riders in countless disciplines together to have fun on their bikes, without too much pressure but some fun competition," says Tracy Hannah. "Crankworx displays the vast degree of abilities and skills of different riders competing in several different events showcasing just how talented they are. The crowds that come to Crankworx are bike loving community and Crankworx is a perfect stage for a MTB fanatic.“
"There are times when your mountain bike takes you away from all the traffic, and there are times when it brings everyone to you, sort of," says Chris Panozzo, somewhat cryptically, "as long as you're willing to take a short hop across the pond. It's one thing to see the best in the world on social media, but when you can see it first hand it will leave an impression that will last for years to come, especially after the chance to ride those same trails after the racing is finished."
Crankworx brings a huge party to Rotorua - it's on the side of the course, in the forest, on the trails and in the town. Get full details about the mountain bike festival online: