Kona gravity team rider Miranda Miller finished in a solid sixth place on Wednesday aboard her Process 153 in the Air Downhill race at Crankworx Rotorua. Miller, whose primary focus is the Enduro World Series, was thrilled with her placing and looking forward to practicing for the EWS race, which starts tomorrow.
Words by Kona Supreme, Hannah Bergemann
I successfully finished my first EWS at Whistler last weekend. It was such a cool experience to ride and race with some of the world’s best in one of the best places!
Some highlights of the weekend started with practice on Friday and Saturday. I got to ride some amazing and classic Whistler trails in the bike park and in the valley with people from all over the world. Some rain on Saturday evening made for some tacky dirt and helped hold off the dust for the race.
Race day started with a pedal through the village over to the Blackcomb trails. I was nervous about making my start time and pedaled maybe a little too quickly up the steep road to Microclimate for stage 1. I rode conservatively on this stage with my nerves running pretty high, but rode clean and relatively smooth for such a technical trail.
Stage 2 brought us back up the road to Crazy Train, an even steeper, gnarlier version of stage 1, with more than a few big moves. I felt like I rode my best on this stage, passing a few people and riding clean on all the big features.
After pedaling around Lost Lake and getting stuck in a long line for the Creekside gondola, I rushed over to stage 3 and made my start time with a few minutes to spare. Stage 3 on Delayed Fuse was a bit of a contrast to the previous stages with some steep chutes and greasy roots. I made a few mistakes and ended the stage with a slightly crooked brake lever after a minor tumble in some wet roots.
After a short transfer, I started down stage 4. This stage had a bit more flow, a lot more pedaling than previous stages. I finished completely out of breath but had a clean run.
For the last stage, I took 3 different lifts and gondolas to get to the Top of the World. This stage started us across a suspension bridge hanging across two peaks. The final stage was expectedly brutal, descending 5500 feet from the Top of the World to the bottom of the bike park, and I was definitely low on steam at the end of the day. The top of the stage is basically a 3.5 mile long rock garden. After descending that, we still had to descend another 3000 feet all the way down the bike park (through some rather bump filled, dusty and blown out trails) to the base of the park where we started. When I finally finished the race, I had to peel my hands from the handlebars.
I ended up placing 25th overall, a solid midpack finish for my first EWS. My bike was running great all weekend despite taking some serious abuse on all the Whistler trails. Thanks to everyone for all the support this season!! Looking forward to trying some more big races next season!
It’s been a whirlwind week as we wrapped up Crankworx Whistler, 2018 this past week. We rode the rollercoaster of a parched and smokey Whistler, BC for 10 days and what a ride it was!
With no official booth on site, we spent most of our week competing in events, catching up with old industry friends, and riding some of the best trails in the world.
Kona athletes had a strong showing in the EWS, Speed and Style, Air Downhill, Whip Offs, and the Canadian Open.
Tristan Lemere, who took first place in the men’s junior category for Air DH AND Canadian Open DH!
EWS racer Alexander Kangas
EWS racer Scott Countryman
EWS racer and Kona Supreme, Hannah Bergemann
Super stylish mega whip master, Caleb Holonko
Downhill racer Anthony Poulson
Downhill racer and current holder of the #10 world ranking, Connor Fearon
Master of style and going big, Graham Agassiz
Kangas on course at the EWS
Bergemann navigating the Whistler forests during the EWS
Countryman on his way to 69th place in the EWS
Lemere on his way to victory in the Air Downhill
Kangas finished 35th on the iconic A Line track
Connor Fearon seems to really love the number 10. 10th place in the Air DH for the Aussi.
Anthony Poulson on A Line
Caleb Holonko in Speed and Style
Fearon going big in Whip Worlds
Aggy always gets sideways during Whip Worlds. Unfortunately, he went down and broke his scapula. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery!
Holonko made it to finals and was boosting huge the entire session.
Holonko in the stratosphere
Connor on his way to a scorching 2nd place in the Canadian Open DH.
Tristan Lemere taking his second gold of the week at the Canadian Open DH!
Congrats to all of the athletes and their amazing results. That’s a wrap for Cranwkorx 2018!
“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” Coach Taylor’s mantra from Friday Night Lights applied to the Kona Gravity Team’s youngest member last night as he made the finals at the Crankworx Whip-Offs in Rotorua. The weather earlier in the week has wrecked havoc with the Crankworx schedule and the Whip-Offs were moved from their original timeslot in the daytime to an evening slot under lights. Anthony is in town for the DH but loves getting sideways and could not pass up the opportunity to compete in the event. The Downhill is taking place later today we are hoping Anthony can translate his style on the massive double to a solid result on the race track!
“Yes yesterday’s DH training went really well, the track was super slippery so I put two Maxxis shorty’s on and had a lot of fun. Today’s training didn’t go as planned though. I had a big crash in my first run which left me with a really sore shoulder, I decided to not do any other runs today especially because they were talking about moving the race to Sunday. Now it turns out it’s tomorrow morning! I’ll be changing up some of my lines because the track is pretty much dry now and I’ll hope it’ll work, should be good fun. Tonight was the whip-off comp too, on probably the sickest jump I’ve ever ridden. Had so much fun and made it until the end so I’m really happy!” – Anthony Poulson
Andreu wins VW Best Trick, Bas takes 4th in Slopestyle, Joe Smith Shreds, Grassroots Cleans House
In the six years since it’s inception, Crankworx has become the biggest, wildest, most diverse mountain bike festival in the world. Multimedia shows to live music, outdoor demos to epic parties, and lest we not forget, every single kind of gravity fueled mountain bike competition you can think of: enduro straight through to women’s slopestyle.
Andreu Lacondeguy wins Best Trick during the slopestyle, Bass nabs a very impressive 4th place amidst insane competition, Joe Smith scores 8th in the downhill-with a crash no less, and Kona Grassroots riders haul home all kinds of brass. It was an action packed week all round, stay tuned for more updates.