RACE REPORT #1 : Crankworx Rotorua & Enduro World Series #1
Unfortunately, earlier this week Damien Oton had a small mishap in the bike park while going for few training laps and injured himself. The result, a broken scaphoid. Damien is now back at home in France to get the recovery process started.
In addition to all the Enduro World Series, Keegan will also focus on the Crankworx events this year. He’s chasing the King of Crankworx title… And started off Crankworx Rotorua on a high! He managed to get the win during the first event of the week, the Dual-Slalom.
“It’s amazing to take the win here in front of the home crowd! Good way to start off the season! The Sabbath was awesome on this course!” – Keegan Wright
Keegan also competed in the Air DH. He finished in a good 10th place and scored some good points for the King of Crankworx title. After few laps on the Devinci Django Keegan decided to race on his enduro race bike, the Troy 29 Carbon.
The next event for Keegan was the RockShox Pumptrack Challenge. Keegs is no stranger to Crankworx pumptrack events. He took the big honors during this event in 2017 in Rotorua and also last year in Les Gets, France. And was looking to do just the same again this week!
Keegan was on fire! He managed to go all the way into the final round against Frenchman Tomas Lemoine. Keegan won run 1 but Tomas was faster on run 2 and came away with the win. A solid 2nd place for Keeg and another Crankworx podium for him this week.
During the same day Keegan also competed in the DH race. He came in 14th position. Again, some solid points for the overall Crankworx standings. Unstoppable!
After skipping stage 3 trainings due to conflicting events, Keegs was even though very confident. He started his race day in good form with a good 13th place on the first stage to set the pace for the rest of the race.
After Stage 1 the riders were shuttled from Skyline Bike Park to the Redwoods trail network where the next 3 stages were located. Keegan got the 2nd fastest time on Stage 2. He was in 2nd place in the overall of the race after that stage.
Stage 3 was also a good stage for our Kiwi. Keegan managed to score a second place on that stage which was the longest stage of the race. With 2 stages to go, Keegan was in the silver medal position.
Keegan continued his strike of second places on stage 4. He came down 8 seconds behind a Martin Maes on fire. For the last stage of the day, the riders were shuttled back to Skyline Bike Park. Stage 5 was sharing bits of trail with the famous Rotorua DH track, which was a good challenge for the riders. Keegan managed to finish this last stage in 10th.
At the end of the day, the crowd ‘s favorite ended up in 2nd place in the overall of the race. His career’s best ever result in the EWS. It was a busy week for him, and we still can’t believe how he managed to survive this!
“Crankworx Rotorua all wrapped up! It was an amazing week! Trails and courses were perfect, and the crowd was the best! Can’t believe I just grabbed my first ever EWS podium!” – Keegan Wright
“Awesome week with the boys! Gutted for Damien but really happy for Keegan! I rode with him during the trainings and it was amazing to see his speed. GG Keeg!! He was also really easy on the material this week which was good for me! Haha! Can’t wait for Tasmania!” – Phil Ricard, Team Mechanic
“Great to see Keegs doing well early in the season! I can’t believe he managed to survive this crazy week it was! This will help him on the confidence and for his momentum going into the season. And of course, bummer for Damien. We wish he was here with us today! We are now packing up everything for Round 2 of the EWS in Tasmania, Australia!” – Bastien Major, Team Manager
Key facts of the week:
– Damien injured, off the bike for still undetermined period.
– Keegan is now sitting in 2nd place of the King of Crankworx standings
– Keegan is now sitting in 2nd place of the EWS overall standings
– Keegan raced the EWS on the Troy 29 Carbon.
– The team had no mechanical during the whole week.
– Keegan won the Dual Slalom on the Sabbath
– Keegan got 2nd in the RockShox PumpTrack Challenge on the Sabbath
– Team expression of the week: GG boys! GG stands for good game.
– Best team meal of the week: Chicken Burritos
– Team Song of the week: Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods
– Keegan did not train on Stage 3 of the EWS (He had Pump-Track qualies)
– Keegan participated in 3 events in one day (EWS trainings, Pump-Track Trainings Qualies and Race, Downhill Race)
– Keegan’s dog is as crazy as him
LINK: Video reports on CWX TV
Photos by Sven Martin