Scoles proves pedi­gree with Open win

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL SPORT - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

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.

Photo: JAMES AL­LAN

Dirt mas­ter: Ocea­nia down­hill cham­pion Matt Scoles in win­ning form at the an­nual Linger and Die event on the week­end.

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