Snow flurries hit Gutbuster riders
Wintry conditions greeted over 200 mountainbikers who lined up at the Garston Hotel in Northern Southland for this year’s Bannockburn Gutbuster race.
The 75km journey on Saturday took in over 20 creek crossings through the Nevis Valley, climbing over Duffers Saddle then down into Bannockburn near Cromwell. Riders faced hail and rain showers, wind gusts and snow flurries.
After three gruelling hours there was only one second in it for Tim Rush, first and Michael Vink, second, in the open men’s section. Kate Fluker won the open women’s section with Erin Greene second and Shannon Hope third.
Terry Davis of Highlands Events said ‘‘very tough’’ con- ditions faced the competitors.
‘‘The importance of taking the right gear was re-iterated at the briefing. When people asked if they should take their light or heavier jacket they were told to take the heavy one.’’
Participants had been happy to reach the finish line at the Bannockburn Hotel after the worst crosswinds around Duffers Saddle blew some riders off the track. They had then been forced to battle a solid head wind all the way down into Bannockburn, Davis said.
‘‘Character was the winner on the day. Everyone who competed out there on Saturday showed great strength of character – the winners did amazing times into the wind, and the back of the field guys show incredible perseverance to not give up.’’
The race was the second in the Bike it Now! Cromwell Summer Series. The XS Storage Cromwell Bannockburn Mountain Bike Classic is on December 30, the Golden Gate Lake Dunstan Triathlon on January 2 and Lake Dunstan Cycle Challenge on January 8. These three events would be run by veteran athlete and sports administrator Bill Godsall from Cromwell.
Buchanan, 5.06.33. Andrea Krsinic, 5.13.32.
cher Sharman, 3.38.13.
Tim Rush, 3.05.31.
Kate Fluker, 3.48.02.
Mike Wolfenden, (3rd overall). Annabelle Anderson,
Mary Russell, 4.43.45., Neil Sutherland,
There was only one second in it for Tim Rush, first and Michael Vink, second, in the open men’s section of the Bannockburn Gutbuster.