The Crankworx World Tour hits Rotorua next weekend and one local mountain biker has the bruises to prove he's well prepared for the action ahead.

The defining celebration of world-class mountain biking, Crankworx Rotorua begins on March 25 with the season starter for the eight-stop Enduro World Series. The GIANT Toa Enduro will see the world's top riders descend upon the Whakarewarewa Forest.

Last year's event attracted more than 15,000 visitors to Rotorua. This year's festival has been expanded to nine days, finishing on April 2.

When it comes to pulling off impressive feats of gravity on two wheels, practice makes perfect - and Cameron Osborne can attest to that, after falling 15 times while learning to backflip ahead of the festival.


And it's not just for the glory - the Rotorua local made a promise to himself to learn the trick as a tribute to Kiwi freeride mountain biker Kelly McGarry, who died last year.

"The backflip was a good goal to set my mind to - it gave me a lot of motivation while I was practicing, and I was so focused on getting it for Kelly that I didn't get distracted by anything else," he said.

"The worst crash I had was on my third day out practicing. It was dry so the dirt was rolling quick and it was hard to judge your speed. It was becoming both physically and mentally challenging by this stage as I'd clocked up over 10 crashes."

But after 15 attempts and 15 falls, he pulled it off.

"I was both ecstatic and relieved as I landed smoothly - it was definitely the best feeling I've ever had on a mountain bike."

As well as Rotorua, Crankworx makes three other stops around the world: Les Gets, France; Innsbruck, Austria and Whistler, Canada.

Riders competing for the King and Queen of Crankworx can enter up to 20 events in the four countries to generate enough points to take out the title.

18 Mar, 2017 11:30am
3 minutes to read

Last year, Rotorua local Matt Walker finished Crankworx Rotorua at the top of the King leaderboard - so we'll see if he can do it again this year.

Crankworx World Tour

25 March to 2 April
Skyline Rotorua, 185 Fairy Springs Road
Buy tickets here