German Erik Fedko pushed Nicholi Rogatkin all the way at Saturday’s Crankworx Cairns Slopestyle event as he finished second behind the American with Emil Johansson’s amazing Crankworx win streak coming to an end after he crashed out in the first run.
Johansson was on an incredible eight Crankworx contest winning streak as the likes of Fedko and Rogatkin had to settle for places down the order thanks to the Swede’s technically brilliant displays.
The Cairns slopestyle course down in Australia had 10 features with 13 opportunities for tricks including a flat deck, on/off switch, dirt pipe and final money booter trick jump that was 4m high and 8m long.
After Johansson triumphed at Innsbruck in June – where Fedko finished an excellent second – and Whistler in August, he was looking to make it win number nine in a row only for a crash on the final feature seeing him escorted off by the medical team with a sore head.
It was left to the rest of the 14-man field to thrill the fans on the red dirt in thick humidity with Fedko’s superb first run of 92.75 seeing him go clear of Rogatkin’s score of 90 and Briton Tom Isted’s 85.50.
With Johansson missing the second run, Swede Max Fredriksson banked an 88.75 to push Isted down to fourth and Rogatkin’s brilliant second run of 94.75 pushed Fedko down to second who was unable to respond last man down when he picked up a flat tyre halfway down the course.
After a four-year wait for another Crankworx win, 26-year-old Rogatkin revealed: “Me and Australia have just been a match made in heaven. I live off the crowd so much.
That’s why I was kind of bummed after the first run. I got a little tripped out by seeing a bunch of the guys mess up their runs. So I kept it really safe. But in the second runs I was like ‘I’ve got nothing to lose, if I want to win this event, I’ve got to get this done.’ So, I’m so stoked that the run worked out.”
Fedko, 24, said: “Landing that first run felt amazing. I saw Nicholi and I knew he was going to land the run. I always have my first run dialled and then I’m stoked for the podium, but this time I was hungry and I went for it. I blew up my back wheel on the step up, so it didn’t work out.”
Fredriksson, whose last Crankworx podium was third at Red Bull Joyride in 2016, added: “It’s indescribable. It was a scary contest. It was hard conditions, but we all just fought through. I’m just super happy to be back on the podium again after tons of injuries and other hassles.”
Elsewhere, after winning the Speed & Style event earlier in the week, Australian Harriet Burbidge-Smith dug deep in the final Dual Slalom event on Sunday but lost out to compatriot Caroline Buchanan in the final with the last 2022 stop in Rotorua, New Zealand from November 5-13.
Crankworx Cairns Slopestyle result
1. Nicholi Rogatkin USA 94.75
2. Erik Fedko GER 92.75
3. Max Fredriksson SWE 88.75
4. Tom Isted GBR 85.50
5. Ben Thompson CAN 74.50