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Johansson seals Triple Crown of Slopestyle title with Rotorua victory

Swede Emil Johansson produced another thrilling run in Rotorua to finish the 2022 Crankworx season on a high with back-to-back Triple Crown of Slopestyle titles as Australian rider Harriet Burbidge-Smith also shone throughout the week in New Zealand.

After winning the first two 2022 slopestyle events at Innsbruck and Whistler, Johansson crashed out in the previous Cairns stop as his breathtaking run of Crankworx victories finally came to an end.

The 23-year-old seemed unfazed at the final stop as he produced a first run of 92.75, his McGazza Money Booter with a 360 triple tail whip trick the first time he has done it at a slopestyle event.

Frenchman Timothé Bringer banked 89.5 – including a double backflip no hander on the first jump – for second place and third overall in the 2022 Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship standings.

Sweden’s Max Fredriksson’s flawless run during the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza event earned himself a score of 86.5 and the final podium place, despite limited practice time due to bad weather.

Johansson said: “I was really prepared and really pumped for the event. For me to be able to put all the stuff down that I managed to put down and perform at the level I did, it feels surreal. I was trying to make decisions without even trying things on specific jumps.”

Earlier on Sunday, the New Zealand Whip Off Championships saw local Kiwi legend Matt Begg overcome rainy and windy conditions to triumph with Austrian Peter Kaiser second and American Allan Cooke third.

Frenchman Tomas Lemoine and Australian Caroline Buchanan won the Speed & Style with Kaiser and Canadian Vaea Verbeeck in second place leaving Canadian Bas van Steenbergen and Burbidge-Smith third.

In the downhill, Briton Louise Ferguson won the women’s race from Kiwis Jenna Hastings and Caitlin Flavell with New Zealand’s Sam Blenkinsop victorious from Brook Macdonald and Matt Walker in the men’s race.

Macdonald, 30, revealed: “To be honest, I had a pretty clean run, nothing too crazy so I just wanted to get from top to bottom clean and put together a safe run. The top is super windy.”

In the Dual Slalom, Australian Jackson Frew edged out Czech Tomáš Slavík for victory with Van Steenbergen third as Briton Martha Gill defeated Burbidge-Smith with Hastings back in third place.

The Pump Track Challenge saw Dutchman Niels Bensink win from Van Steenbergen and Kiwi Michael Bias as Buchanan claimed the women’s honours from American Jordy Scott and the Netherlands’ Manon Veenstra.

Van Steenbergen and Buchanan also received the King and Queen of Crankworx titles respectively for their all-round excellence with the 2023 Crankworx World Tour season returning to Rotorua again in March.

Results – 2022 King & Queen of Crankworx

1) Bas van Steenbergen (CAN) – 787 // Caroline Buchanan (AUS) – 926

2) Tomas Lemoine (FRA) – 665 // Vaea Verbeeck (CAN) – 852

3) Samuel Blenkinsop (NZL) – 632 // Jordy Scott (USA) – 826

Header image: Emil Johansson wins the World Tour Overall at Crankworxs in Rotorua, NZ on November 13, 2022. Credit: Graeme Murray / Red Bull Content Pool

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