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Rotorua-raised biker hopes to replicate his 2023 Crankworx performance

Te Ahikaa Trotman

Crankworx returned to Rotorua this week for its 10th-year anniversary.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene was crowned King of Crankworx in Canada last year and he wants to repeat the feat.

The overall titles of Crankworx King and Queen are awarded to BMX riders who accumulate the most points across a multidisciplinary challenge, involving multiple events and disciplines, over the four international festivals.

“Last year I was crowned ‘King of Crankworx’ because I placed high in every category.”

Crankworx managing director Darren Kinnaird holds high praise for the reigning king.

“Tuhoto is such a multi-skilled, multi-talented athlete. Any bike you put him on, he has style and control and speed and power.”

“He can truly do amazing things on a mountain bike, he’s such a joy to watch, he’s so humble and he’s an amazing king of Crankworx.”

World Cup goal

Pene has been riding for 20 years, and says that the end goal for him is to travel the world and bring a BMX World Cup back to his home.

“I’m happy to be able to travel the world doing the sport that I love and, as Māori, you don’t really get to see that, and it’s like not even work for me, it’s just enjoying it.”

“The goal is to achieve more, I’ve won Crankworx now, so the end goal is to win a world cup.”

“It’s all about what’s in your mind, so I’d say, if you can believe then you can achieve.”

Pene says his family’s sacrifices are what he’s most thankful for.

“At the start it was just my family that helped out. They did a lot of fundraising, I knew what I wanted, I knew I wanted to go overseas and race, I’d say that made all that happen.

“It took everything, it took not even eating sometimes, we were poor as, so we had to find a way but, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be able to do this, I wouldn’t have made it this far without them.”

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