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Mick Hannah and Caroline Buchanan fly to Air DH wins in Rotorua

Bas van Steenbergen finds podium in New Zealand

Air DH podium

Crankworx Rotorua is trucking along in New Zealand with the high-speed flow of Air DH. Australian downhill icon Mick Hannah and reigning Queen of Crankworx earned the wins on Skyline bike park’s Mr. Black track.

Mick Hannah races Air DH at Crankworx Rotorua. Photo: Clint
Mick Hannah. Photo: Clint Trahan / Crankworx

Sik Mik Hannah high-speed hauling at Skyline

Mick Hannah might not race World Cup downhill anymore but the Australian showed he’s not slowed down at all. Sik Mik won the Air DH with a blistering time of 2:10.523.

“My run and Air DH finals was awesome,” Hannah said after his win. “The conditions were quite wet earlier in the week, so the course felt a little bit more sticky than it usually does. I had to maintain my forward momentum and keep grinding away.”

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Hannah put more than three seconds into the next closest competitor. That happened to be Canadian, and reigning King of Crankworx, Bas van Steenbergen.

“I’m pretty happy with today,” van Steenbergen of his silver. “ I wasn’t feeling amazing coming into the race run so to get a second place made me very happy. There is obviously some really strong competition being between Mick and Sam – those guys are both pedalling machines and they’re super fast at this kind of stuff.”

New Zealand’s own Sam Blenkinsop followed less than a tenth of a second behind van Steenbergen to earn the final podium spot.

Canada’s Jake Jewett finished fifth, one spot behind his Pivot Factory Racing teammate, Bernard Kerr.

Caroline Buchanan races Air DH at Crankworx Rotorua. Photo: Clint Trahan.
Caroline Buchanan races Air DH at Crankworx Rotorua. Photo: Clint

Buchanan rules on Mr. Black.

Caroline Buchanan used her powerful combination of BMX speed and mountain bike skils to earn the win at Skyline in the Air DH.

“Everything just came together, and I took my first win – pretty hyped,” Buchanan, racing with the Queen of Crankworx race plate said. “Normally I am like mid 10s to 12th positions on Air DH, but since pre-Cairns last year, I started going to sprint classes with friends and started getting fitter. I think that’s really paid off that I had the ability to sprint, in addition to a really good bike setup.”

Louise Ferguson followed in secon place with Kiwi Jenna Hastings adding another podium for the Pivot Factory Racing team.

Canada was well represented in Air DH with Canada Cup winner Bailey Goldstone (Santa Cruz) in seventh, Georgia Astle (Devinci Global Racing) 11th and Kristen van Horne (Trek) 12th.

Crankworx Rotorua continues into the weekend with more racing and the marquee Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza.

Mick Hannah
Mick Hanna mid-air at the Air DH. Photo: Clint Trahan

Results: 2023 Crankworx Rotorua Air Downhill

  1. Mick Hannah (AUS) – 2:10.523 // Caroline Buchanan (AUS) – 2:27.339
  2. Bas van Steenbergen (CAN) – 2:13.834 // Louise Ferguson (GBR) 2:29.074
  3. Sam Blenkinsop (NZL) – 2:13.924 // Jenna Hastings (NZL) – 2:30.433