Dream Run - Nicholi Rogatkin takes slopestyle gold at Crankworx Rotorua
Nicholi Rogatkin has been knocking on the door of a Crankworx slopestyle win since he burst onto the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour in 2014. The 21-year-old American’s hard-charging style and rabid dedication to the progression of his sport are undeniable — and Rogatkin finally bagged his first Crankworx slopestyle win this past weekend in Rotorua, New Zealand.
The Crankworx Rotorua slopestyle event, which carries the tagline “In Memory of McGazza” for the legendary kiwi freerider Kelly McGarry who designed the course, and who died suddenly in 2016, is a favorite amongst riders for its near perfect top-to-bottom flow. It also has a crowd that rivals the season-ending Whistler event, in terms of excitement and support. Rogatkin, whose jersey itself was homage to McGarry, took full advantage of that crowd support to knock out a first-round run that seemed to be a nitro-fueled demonstration of what can be done on a mountain bike.
“Honestly, man, it seemed like some magic was happening on course today,” Rogatkin told SRAM. “It seemed like everyone was going crazy, doing some of the most Hammertime runs anyone has ever seen.
“I was able to put down absolutely a dream run for me — and to do it here, in Rotorua, for McGazza, I’m over the moon. So, [I] couldn’t be more stoked.”
Dropping into run number 2 — basically a victory lap — Rogatkin refused to disappoint the crowd, and threw in, among other things, his signature trick, the Twister.
“That was just a shout-out to the crowd, because their support today was unreal.”
Nicholi Rogatkin and the rest of the world’s best slopestylers will contest the next Crankworx slopestyle round in Les Gets, France, on June 18.