Photos and highlights from the 2021 Crankworx finale in Rotorua!
Emil Johansson capped off an incredible year with one of the most coveted prizes in slopestyle. The Crankworx Triple Crown of Slopestyle is given to any rider who can pull off three slopestyle victories in the Crankworx series within the calendar year. Until this weekend, only one rider had ever accomplished the feat — Nicholi Rogatkin, who took third in Rotorua.
Johansson laid down his winning run on a first attempt that seemed effortless. Watch it below, courtesy of Red Bull TV. (Oh, and also be sure to check out the run from Johansson’s point of view.)
By the start of his second run, Johansson knew he had secured the Triple Crown, giving him the freedom to relax and style out as he rode the line one last time and soaked in the atmosphere. When he got to the finish, he was mobbed by friends and competitors, who congratulated him by dousing him with champagne.
Johansson has now won six Slopestyle events in a row, extending a streak that began at Red Bull Joyride on July 17, 2019. He is the class of his discipline at just age 22, with unrivaled technicality and style.
“Pinch me!!!” He wrote on Instagram afterwards. “Yesterday’s dream … today’s reality. 🤯😭 what a day.”
Caroline Buchanan wins pumptrack
Caroline Buchanan didn’t have the start she hoped for in Rotorua. During the Speed & Style finals, she over-rotated on a backflip during her matchup against Vaea Verbeeck and crashed, before ultimately finishing fourth in the event.
That mistake didn’t hurt her confidence, however. The next day, Buchanan showed off her bike handling and won the pumptrack event in a tight contest against Kialani Hines:
“Loved the nerves, excitement and focus of being back up on the top step of the box today!” Buchanan said after her win. “I think my last Crankworx Pumptrack and last win was 2018. It’s been a little while. I missed it. Watched a lot of the live feeds of Crankworx over the last few years, so to actually be back it feels really refreshing.”
Harriet Burbidge-Smith takes Speed & Style
A number of top competitors struggled to stay upright in a women’s Speed & Style event that featured difficult conditions. Harriet Burbidge-Smith — a.k.a. “Haz” — was the last rider standing, and won her second ever Crankworx gold medal.
Literally, Haz cruised to the win solo after her opponent, Verbeeck, opted out of her second run.
Haz, just 25, also won the Crankworx Breakthrough Award after an incredible year in which she finished third on the Queen of Crankworx standings. The young Aussie rider is just getting started.
Casey Brown finishes fourth on the Queen of Crankworx standings
Casey Brown, the two-time Queen Crankworx, finished fourth in the standings this year after taking fourth in the dual slalom event and third in the downhill event in Rotorua. She once again took on all challenges this year, finishing second in the whip-off and dual slalom in Innsbruck, winning the ultra-steep Psychosis downhill event in British Columbia, and tacking on three other Crankworx downhill medals.
Brown embodies Crankworx as well as any rider can — so much that she won the event’s Spirit Award. We can’t wait to watch her light up the circuit again in 2022.