Good turnout for first down­hill event of the sea­son

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

The Down­hill NPS for 2016 or­gan­ised by the Malta Moun­tain Bik­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and spon­sored by Wheel Wizard of B’Kara kicked off re­cently at Wardija with a very en­cour­ag­ing turnout of par­tic­i­pants reg­is­ter­ing for this ex­cit­ing event.

As in pre­vi­ous sim­i­lar events the MMBA went into de­tailed plan­ning to en­sure a safe and zero neg­a­tive im­pact to the site.

The ini­tial driz­zle did not dis­cour­age par­tic­i­pants from reg­is­ter­ing and gear­ing up for the first run down the 700m de­scent – the crowd present, in­clud­ing cu­ri­ous passers-by were in for a treat of adrenalin-charged rid­ers each thun­der­ing down this tech­ni­cal down­hill course, en­gag­ing them­selves in a show of speed, nerves, con­cen­tra­tion and ex­pert bike han­dling es­pe­cially when tack­ling loose gravel and rough ter­rain on the sharp bends.

Run no.1 of 2 got un­der­way with the ladies cat­e­gory – Gabriella Veneziani fin­ish­ing in at 2:41:39 af­ter en­coun­ter­ing tech­ni­cal is­sues fol­lowed by Clau­dine Gatt who had to aban­don her run also due to tech­ni­cal is­sues and hav­ing to wait till the sec­ond run to ob­tain an of­fi­cial qual­i­fy­ing time.

The men’s cat­e­gory proved to be a closely con­tested one with the first pro­vi­sional 4 plac­ings sep­a­rated by less than 2 sec­onds from each other - Jonathan Dar­manin clock­ing in at 00.58.94, Mark Zam­mit at 00:59:43, Wayne Schem­bri at 01:00:23 and Ryan Dar­manin at 01:00:91.

With the first run con­cluded, the rid­ers were now con­fi­dent, re­laxed and ea­ger to give it all in the 2nd and fi­nal run – the ladies cat­e­gory re-com­menced the ac­tion with both par­tic­i­pants dras­ti­cally gain­ing on their ini­tial tim­ing. Gabriella Veneziani placed first with an im­pres­sive run of 1:24:17 and Clau­dine Gatt con­clud­ing her run to fin­ish sec­ond at 1:24:83.

Ex­pec­ta­tions were high for the men’s cat­e­gory 2nd run and the crowd present was not dis­ap­pointed ei­ther thanks to a highly charged and ex­cit­ing con­test with Jonathon Dar­manin plac­ing first af­ter cap­ping a bril­liant run in 00:58:03 fol­lowed by Mark Zam­mit in sec­ond place at 00:58:16 and Wayne Schem­bri plac­ing third at 00:58:24.

The event was con­cluded with the pre­sen­ta­tion of tro­phies by the event’s main spon­sor Wheel Wizard.

The MMBA thanked its main spon­sor and all other spon­sors, all mem­bers and vol­un­teers, ser­vice providers and ul­ti­mately the rid­ers/par­tic­i­pants for as­sist­ing in yet an­other suc­cess­ful and colour­ful event.

Next DH NPS 2 is sched­uled for 15 Oc­to­ber, at 3pm at Sel­mun.

Up­com­ing sched­uled event – Ma­gri Cy­cles MTB XC NPS 4 9 Oc­to­ber at 8am at Sel­mun.

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