Will Nelson / Tourism Central Otago
Cooper Millwood drives to Matangi Station, near Alexandra, one of the chosen sites for the South Island Crankworx event.
The Crankworx international mountain biking event has announced its South Island debut with events in central Otago.
Dubbed the Crankworx Summer Series New Zealand, it will bring some of the world’s best mountain bikers to the region.
The festival has been taking place in North America and Europe since 2004 with a Rotorua chapter included since 2015. This year Rotorua became the final stop on the world tour.
Hopes are high that the event will attract international coverage and visitors when the borders reopen.
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CHRISTEL YARDLEY / STUFF
Cautious analysis indicates that mountain biking injects Rotorua $ 50 million a year.
Crankworx Rotorua attracted over 47,000 onsite visitors in 2020 and just under 700,000 viewers worldwide to watch the action live.
“When the combined exposure of all media, social and production efforts are combined, the global reach of this event is astounding,” said Sanchia Jacobs, general manager of Central Otago District Council.
The Queenstown Pump Track and Wānaka Dual Slalom will be broadcast live on crankworx.com during the series.
A team of nine star runners from Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand have been nominated for the event.
New Zealanders are Robin Goomes, famous as the first woman to backflip at a Crankworx festival, and Rotorua professional mountain biker Keegan Wright.
Wright said he was “super happy” to ride in different places with his peers.
Financial support from the Central Otago District Council, the Southern Lakes Event Investment Panel, and regional tourism organizations in Queenstown and Wanaka, helped secure the event in the region.
Support has also been offered in principle to secure the event for 2022 and 2023 in the region.
It will include five mountain biking disciplines, including a Super D (Downhill) at Matangi Station near Alexandra, downhill and pump track races in Queenstown, an aerial downhill in Cardrona and a double slalom in Wānaka.
The festival runs from November 27 to December 12.
Athletes wishing to participate must register through the Crankworx website starting September 20.