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Canadians crowned King and Queen of Crankworx in New Zealand

Verbeeck and van Steenbergen wrap-up year-long globetrotting campaign with coronation in Rotorua

Photo by: Jay French / Crankworx

Vaea Verbeeck and Bas van Steenbergen ended their year-long Crankworx campaign’s with a coronation in Rotorua on Sunday. The two Canadians have followed the Crankworx World Tour around the globe this year, chasing points across disciplines to earn their King and Queen of Crankworx titles.

The golden couple take home a prize purse of $20,000 each for their efforts, as well as two traditional Tewhatewha – a traditional Maori symbol of command and leadership.

Vaea Verbeeck celebrating one of her many victories during Crankworx B.C.. Photo: Chris Pilling / Crankworx

Verbeeck defends her throne

For Verbeeck, it is her second Queen of Crankworx title. With no crown handed out in 2020, the Canadian defends her title from 2019.

To claim the Tewhatewha and title, Verbeeck travelled to Innsbruck, back home for Crankworx B.C. and now to Rotorua New Zealand. The Canadian competed in 14 events over those three weeks of competition, earning seven podiums and an impressive four wins.

Kialani Hines rode a wave of consistency to claim second behind the Canadian. Hines had six podium finishes and three wins. Harriet Burbidge-Smith experienced a breakout season on the Crankworx World Tour, capturing the final podium position behind Verbeeck and Hines.

Bas van Steenbergen. Photo: Jake Paddon

Bas van Steenbergen completes years-long title hunt

While Verbeeck defends her title for Bas van Steenbergen Sunday’s coronation is the culmination of years of effort. The Canadian has come close to earning the King of Crankworx title in the past, but 2021 marks his first time winning the overall title.

To stay ahead of the competition, van Steenbergen also earned four wins in addition to eight total podiums across 16 events. With riders competing across a wide range of disciplines, from pump track to downhill, the 50-per cent podium ratios for Verbeeck and van Steenbergen are remarkable accomplishments.

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, second in the men’s standing, is another revelation for 2021. The relentlessly positive and chill young New Zealand rider not only had success on the Crankworx circuit but also pushed up the elite ranks of World Cup downhill.

Jackson Frew finishes third in the men’s points race, primarily based off of a string of strong results at the week-long Crankworx B.C. event.

Crankworx Summer Series SilverStar Dual Slalom
Vaea Verbeeck and Bas van Steenbergen celebrate one of several times they shared the top podium step, this time nearer home at SilverStar. Photo: Chris Pilling.