Coming into 2016, reigning King Tomas Slavik
(CZE) wasn’t even on the radar, let alone a contender for the toughest competition in gravity mountain biking. But in accumulating more points than any other athlete in the men’s field, the former Fourcross World Champion has set himself a world apart — and put a bullseye on his back for 2017.
“There are so many big names charging for this title, and it’s (worth) so many events and points, it’s almost impossible to say who will be the guy at the end,” says Slavik.
Strong kiwi frontrunners like Sam Blenkinsop, second place in the 2016 King of Crankworx competition, and Berm Bro
, Matt Walker
who led the pack coming out of Crankworx Rotorua
, will no doubt shred in the first round as they look to set the stage for their year.
Walker left Crankworx Rotorua last year leading the race for King, his hopes were dashed before stop two.
“After a strong start, injury put me out of contention and I’m looking for redemption. I’ll be doing as many events as possible to get points across the board,” says Walker, who must also defend his Giant Toa Enduro
A dark horse for the Crown, fellow kiwi and Berm Bro
, Keegan Wright
will also be a competitor for King, and he’s had some interesting victories of late. Wright was the surprise winner in the New Zealand national downhill championships near Wanaka in February, and also won the 2W Giant Enduro last month, in Rotorua, taking out the likes of Wyn Masters (NZL) and Justin Leov (NZL). He’s also podiumed in the pump track in the past.
With less than a month to go before the third Crankworx to hit Rotorua gets underway, it’s anyone’s game and be assured, Rotorua will be out in force to celebrate all things mountain biking!
Crankworx Rotorua runs March 25 – April 2, and will be broadcast live, all season long, on Crankworx.com
. Tickets are on sale now at Crankworx.com