Sam Blenkinsop (New Zealand) and Vaea Verbeeck (Canada) took the wins in the brand-new Redwoods Downhill competition at Crankworx Rotorua on Sunday.

Verbeeck’s win makes her a threat in the Queen of Crankworx competition currently lead by Casey Brown who won on Saturday. Verbeeck sits with 265 points to Brown’s 325.

“In practice this morning I had two crashes. Same corner,” said Verbeeck. “So for my race I was like ‘Just do it slower. You don’t need to front wheel drift into your first corner. Just go slow.’ So I did, and I felt pretty slow at the top but I realized it and I picked it up.”

Verbeeck added that the track conditions were excellent. “Such a fun track. A track where you can push for speed is just my style. If it had been a really gnarly, steep track that was super physically demanding, I don’t know if I would have been super stoked right after the Enduro, but because this track was so fun I just lapped, lapped, lapped and got to learn it, then pushed for speed. It was awesome,” she said.

The win means that Blenkinsop leads the King of Crankworkx competition with 300 points ahead of fellow New Zealander Keegan Wright who has 275 points. Ken Faubert was the top Canadian in the elite men’s category finishing 13th with Josh Dziwenka and Mitch Chubey also in the top 20. 

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