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Jakob Jewett strikes dual slalom gold at Crankworx Rotorua

Robin Goomes beats Harriet Burbidge-Smith and Caroline Buchanan for historic first women's slopestyle title

With a victory in Saturday's dual slalom, Jakob Jewett now has a medal of every colour from Crankworx Rotorua 2024. 

The Squamish rider beat out Aussie Jackson Frew by the narrowest of margins to claim victory, forcing last year's champ to settle for runner-up status. Jewett thus punches into third place in the King of Crankworx rankings with 240 points behind incumbent monarch Tuhoto-Ariki Pene (302) and Ryan Gilchrist (269). 

Pene, the affable Kiwi, added a dual slalom bronze to his collection. 

"What a week…three events and three podiums!" said Jewett, who also wrapped up downhill silver and air DH bronze last week. "It’s been a fun week [at Crankworx] and I couldn’t ask for a better way to start the season off! Time to go home and keep chipping away." 

Great Britain's Martha Gill broke through in the ladies' competition as Kialani Hines and Jordy Scott finished second and third for the United States. All athletes had to deal with wet and slick conditions on course throughout the day. 

Gill also opened up a slim lead in the Queen of Crankworx race (345) over Shania Rawson (340) and Hines (240). 

Later on Saturday, Gilchrist took a pump track challenge title home to Australia. Pene found enough speed for silver, and Dutch contestant Niels Bensink snatched bronze to leave Tegan Cruz of Pemberton in fourth. 

"Fierce competitor," said Gilchrist of Pene in a press release. "Just nothing but the best he brings to the table at every race. I knew I needed to bring my best, and I did rise to the occasion and I’m very very proud of how I put myself together there."

Enter women's slopestyle

The tenth iteration of Crankworx Rotorua culminated Sunday in a piece of history: the first-ever ladies' slopestyle event. 

Robin Goomes ascended to first prize on behalf of her native New Zealand with an outstanding 90.75-point effort that netted her $16,000 NZD. Harriet Burbidge-Smith took runner-up position (85.50) and Caroline Buchanan held on for third (80.25). 

Close friends Goomes and Burbidge-Smith opted for a celebratory jaunt down the track after their first runs. 

"The plan for run 2 was just to clean that [first] ride up, but instead, Haz [Burbidge-Smith] and I stayed in our positions, and Haz was saying that if she stayed in second, she was happy to just party train down,” Goomes elaborated in a release. “Honestly, that’s the dream: having fun with your friends. It’s been a good week!”  

Buchanan was pensive shortly following the festivities. 

"One of those things I remember, two years ago sitting in the booth here when the men were on and I said, you know, it would be unreal to see women. Fast forward to two years later, now I see the top six ladies in the world who are completely ready for this course and this experience, to just all shine," said the reigning Crankworx Queen to reporters. “There were so many little girls in the stands, there were so many spectators, so many people cheering.

"For me, growing up in BMX since the age of five, it’s really hard to be what you can’t see, so being seen I think is the most important thing right now for the future of women’s slopestyle. To be one of the older girls in the class at 33, still throwing down, this is probably one of my career highlights today.” 

The men elected not to participate amidst ongoing disputes regarding athlete renumeration, weather and course design. However, they did join their female peers in an honourary party train for mountain bike icon Kelly "McGazza" McGarry, who died in 2016 after going into cardiac arrest. 

Full results from Rotorua are available at 

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