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Verbeeck doubles up at Crankworx Rotorua with Fox Air DH win

Bas van Steenbergen lands second straight podium in New Zealand

2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck

Two wins in two races in two days. Vaea Verbeeck’s 2019 season is off to an impressive start at Crankworx Rotorua.

Verbeeck was on the top step of the podium in New Zealand again Wednesday, adding a Fox Air DH win to Tuesday’s 100% Dual Slalom victory.

2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck
Vaea Verbeeck. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx

“I’m over the moon. I definitely couldn’t ask for more than two for two,” said the 28-year-old Canadian. “I was going for today, somehow won yesterday, and then was just focused on making sure that I made today happen. So now my goals are achieved I can just keep going.”

2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck
Aneeke Beerten. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx

Anneke Beerten was second behind Verbeeck for again on Wednesday, but just barely. The Dutch rider was 2.4 second behind the winning time, but just 0.02 seconds ahead of New Zealand’s Shani Rawson. Beerten finished the fast, Fox Air DH course in 2:27.53. Rawson’s time was 2:27.55.

RELATED: How to watch: 2019 Crankworx Rotorua

With her second straight win, Verbeeck leads the season-long Queen of Crankworx competition, 200 points to Beertens 160.

Squamish’s Miranda Miller, racing for her new Kona Enduro team, finished sixth. The event is a warm up race for Miller, who takes the start of her first Enduro World Series event of 2019 this weekend in Rotorua. Casey Brown of Revelstoke, B.C. finished 16th.

2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck
Bas van Steenbergen. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx
Van Steenbergen pulls into early King of Crankworx lead

Mitch Ropelato made up for an off-night at the Dual Slalom with a unexpected win in the Fox Air DH, beating last years winner Mick Hannah by a slim, 0.2 second margin.

“I’m stoked. I’ve never won an Air DH,” said Ropelato. “After Slalom I thought ‘Oh man, I’m gonna leave here without a medal’ ‘cause I don’t normally do that good at Air DH…so to do good today is pretty sweet.”

2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck
Mick Hannah. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx

Bas van Steenbergen narrowly landed his second straight podium finish at Crankworx Rotorua, finishing third behind Ropelato and Hannah. The Canadian had two New Zealanders hot on his heels, though. Last years King of Crankworx Sam Blenkinsop and Pivot Factory Racing’s Matt Walker  both finished within a tenth of a second of van Steenbergen.

Making their first racing appearance of 2019, Rocky Mountain / Race Face’s Remi Gauvin and Jesse Melamed finished 15th and 16th in the Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH. Devinci’s Jonathan Lefrançois finished 21st. Like Miller, all three are preparing for this weekends EWS season opener.

2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck
Remi Gauvin. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx

With two podiums in two days, van Steenbergen pulls into a very early lead in the King of Crankworx race. His 140 points puts him 14 points up on Keegan Wright in second.

Crankworx Rotorua keeps rolling with the Oceana Whip-off championships and Mons Royal Speed & Style Rotorua on Thursday. The Speed and Style event will kick off the live streaming coverage of Crankworx, which you can pick up on Red Bull TV or crankworx.com.

2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck
2019 Fox Air DH podium. Image: Fraser Britton / Image: Fraser Britton
2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH – Women’s results
1 Vaea VERBEECK CAN 02:25.1
2 Anneke BEERTEN NED 02:27.5
3 Shania RAWSON NZL 02:27.5
4 Emilie SIEGENTHALER SUI 02:30.1
5 Camille BALANCHE SUI 02:30.9
6 Miranda MILLER CAN 02:31.7
7 Rae MORRISON NZL 02:32.5
8 Caro GEHRIG SUI 02:33.3
9 Anita GEHRIG SUI 02:33.7
10 Isabeau COURDURIER FRA 02:34.5
11 Noga KOREM ISR 02:34.7
12 Danielle BEECROFT AUS 02:35.4
13 Kialani HINES USA 02:35.5
14 Ronja HILL-WRIGHT AUS 02:36.9
15 Chloe TAYLOR GBR 02:37.6
16 Casey BROWN CAN 02:38.1
17 Ellie CHEW NZL 02:38.2
18 Rachel STRAIT USA 02:43.9
19 Harriet BURBIDGE-SMITH AUS 02:44.3
20 Laura BRUNEAU FRA 02:48.8
2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH Verbeeck
Bas van Steenbergen. Image: Fraser Britton / Crankworx
2019 Crankworx Rotorua Fox Air DH – Men’s results
1 Mitch ROPELATO USA 02:11.6
2 Mick HANNAH AUS 02:11.8
4 Samuel BLENKINSOP NZL 02:13.8
5 Matt WALKER NZL 02:13.8
6 Bernard KERR GBR 02:14.7
7 Adrien LORON FRA 02:14.8
8 Wyn MASTERS NZL 02:15.0
9 Fabien COUSINIE FRA 02:15.1
10 Keegan WRIGHT NZL 02:15.2
11 Cody KELLEY USA 02:15.4
12 Kilian BRON FRA 02:16.0
13 Tomas SLAVIK CZE 02:16.1
14 George BRANNIGAN NZL 02:16.5
15 Remi GAUVIN CAN 02:16.6
16 Jesse MELAMED CAN 02:17.2
17 Louis HAMILTON NZL 02:17.3
18 Connor HAMILTON NZL 02:17.6
19 Francisco PARDAL POR 02:18.4
20 Hamish MCLEOD NZL 02:19.7
21 Jonathan LEFRANCOIS CAN 02:20.3