Unfortunately, the season started on a sad note for Unior Devinci Factory Racing. Earlier this week, Damien Oton had a small mishap in the bike park while going for a few training laps and injured himself. The result: a broken scaphoid. Damien is now back home in France to start the recovery process.
In addition to all the Enduro World Series, Keegan will also focus on the Crankworx events this year. He’s chasing the King of Crankworx title… and he started off Crankworx Rotorua on a high, getting the win at the first event of the week, the Dual-Slalom.
”It’s amazing to get the win here in front of the home crowd! Good way to start off the season! The Sabbath was awesome on this course!”
– Keegan Wright
Keegan also competed in the Air DH. He finished in a solid 10th place and scored some important points for the King of Crankworx title. After a few laps on the Devinci Django, Keegan decided to race on his enduro race bike, the Troy 29 Carbon.
The next event for Keegan was the RockShox Pumptrack Challenge. Keegs is no stranger to Crankworx Pumptrack events. He dominated at this event in 2017 in Rotorua and also in Les Gets, France last year. And he was looking to do the same again this week!
Keegan was on fire! He managed to get all the way to the final round against Frenchman Tomas Lemoine. Keegan won run 1 but Tomas was faster on run 2 and came away with the win. A solid 2nd place for Keegs and another Crankworx podium for him this week. Pinkbike followed him throughout the race; it’s a great way to get a glimpse of Keegan’s attitude under pressure. A must watch! Link here
On the very same day, our busy Kiwi also competed in the DH race, placing 14th. Again, some solid points for the overall Crankworx standings. Unstoppable!
The Enduro World Series was Keegan’s top event this week. He was hoping to do well for the opening round of the 2019 EWS as it took place in his hometown on his home trails. Family and friends were all there to cheer him on.
Despite skipping a few stages during training due to overlapping events, Keegs was very confident. He started his race day in good form, with a13th place on the first stage to set the pace for the rest of the race.
After Stage 1, the riders were shuttled from Skyline Bike Park to the Redwoods trail network where the next three stages were located. Keegan got the second-fastest time on Stage 2. He stood in 2nd place overall after that stage.
Stage 3 was also a good stage for our Kiwi. Keegan clinched 2nd place on that stage which was the longest stage of the race. With two stages to go, Keegan was in the silver medal position.
Keegan continued his 2nd-place streak on stage 4, finishing 8 seconds behind Martin Maes, who was on fire.
For the last stage of the day, the riders were shuttled back to Skyline Bike Park. Stage 5 shared bits of the trail with the famous Rotorua DH track, which was a good challenge for the riders. But nothing was going to stop Keegan from getting that EWS 2nd place!
“Awesome week with the boys! Gutted for Damien but really happy for Keegan! I rode with him during the trainings and it was amazing to see his speed. GG Keeg!! He was also really easy on the material this week which was good for me! Haha! Can’t wait for Tasmania!”
– Phil Ricard, Team Mechanic
“Great to see Keegs doing well early in the season! I can’t believe he managed to survive this crazy week! This will help his confidence and boost his momentum going into the season. And of course, bummer for Damien. We wish he were here with us today! We are now packing up everything for Round 2 of the EWS in Tasmania, Australia!’’
– Bastien Major, Team Manager
Dual Slalom 1st
Air DH 10th
Overall ranking King of Crankworx standing - 2nd
Stage 1 0:04:18.71 13rd
Stage 2 0:03:17.05 2nd
Stage 3 0:08:00.76 2nd
Stage 4 0:07:12.81 2nd
Stage 5 0:04:45.50 10th
Overall ranking 0:27:34.83 2th