Snow flur­ries hit Gut­buster rid­ers

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - STAFF RE­PORTER Re­sults: Ju­nior Boys: Open Open Men: Women: Se­nior Men: Se­nior Women: Vet­eran Men: Vet­eran Women: Masters Men: Masters Women: Teams:

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.

3.11.27 3.45.07.

Buchanan, 5.06.33. An­drea Krsinic, 5.13.32.

Flet-

cher Shar­man, 3.38.13.

Tim Rush, 3.05.31.

Kate Fluker, 3.48.02.

Mike Wolfenden, (3rd over­all). Annabelle An­der­son,

Shaun

3.55.35.

Port­e­gys, 3.35.03.

Mary Rus­sell, 4.43.45., Neil Suther­land,

Polly

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.

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