Moun­tain bike champs be­gin

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MAR­JORIE COOK

More than 200 moun­tain bik­ers are con­verg­ing on Cardrona Alpine Re­sort this week­end for their na­tional cham­pi­onships.

The event is be­ing or­gan­ised by Bike Wanaka’s Mickey North­cott and Cy­cling New Zealand of­fi­cials.

North­cott said en­tries were al­ready higher than last year and top cy­clists had en­tered in most cat­e­gories and grades.

Wanaka’s Phoebe Young is gun­ning for a spot in New Zealand’s team for the junior world champs at Cairns in Septem­ber, and will be com­pet­ing in the cross coun­try.

Com­mon­wealth gold medal­list An­ton Cooper, of Christchurch, is look­ing to fol­low up his re­cent wins at the Ocea­nia champs in Queenstown and the South Is­land Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships at Hawea Flat.

Pro­fes­sional en­duro rider Wyn Mas­ters, of Taranaki, is also start­ing. He won the re­cent Top Gun event in Nel­son.

North­cott said a large num­ber of in­ter­na­tional rid­ers should pro­vide good, spec­ta­tor-friendly com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We have re-in­vented a large per­cent­age of the cross coun­try course this year and made the course a whole lot more spec­ta­tor friendly and a whole lot more chal­leng­ing for the rid­ers as well,’’ he said.

North­cott is call­ing for more vol­un­teers. Con­tact him via Bike Wanaka Face­book page.

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