Scoles proves pedigree with Open win
Alexandra man Matt Scoles rode away with the open men’s downhill title at the annual Linger and Die Mountain Bike Race near Alexandra last weekend. Oceania downhill champion, and in the World Cup top 20 riders last year, the 22-year-old had taken a year off the international circuit to concentrate on his building career. However, his bike got a good dusting off, not to mention a washing during Saturday afternoon’s heavy downpour on the already rugged Clyde downhill track in a time of three minutes and 34.77 seconds. Sam Perry of Queenstown rode into second place in 3:45.63. Another Alexandra rider, Cam Johnson, place third in the event in a time of 3:56.02, a nice welcome home gift from a Canadian summer, riding and competing in Whistler. Run by Alexandra company Altitude Adventures for nine of its 20-year history, event organiser Phil Oliver said competitors had taken conditions in their stride. ‘‘Saturday was a bit challenging but it went off well. However, Sunday was an awesome day, with ideal cool temperatures for riding.’’ Entries were similar to last year, with about 80 competing in the downhill, and between 65 and 70 in Sunday’s cross-country, around the Alexandra clock area. It had been encouraging to see so many younger mountain bikers in the 8 to 12 age group, Mr Oliver said. Alexandra’s next major twowheeled event would be the Big Bang Bike Festival, on the weekend of November 3 and 4, run by Alexandra Promotions and Alexandra Kindergarten. This would include BMX bike events and a men’s and women’s duathlon – 2.5km walk or run, Senior women: 1 Trish Wrigley Wanaka, 2 Naomi Wilson Queenstown, 3 Julie Scurr Clyde. Cross-country – Senior men: 1 Brent Miller Christchurch, 2 Ryan Cull Invercargill, 3 Matthew Lees Dunedin. 10km bike, 2.2km walk or run. Entry forms are available from Henderson Cycle and Mower Centre, Alexandra.
Dirt master: Oceania downhill champion Matt Scoles in winning form at the annual Linger and Die event on the weekend.