Cruise controls Karapoti Classic
Porirua mountainbiker Eden Cruise showed his class this month, when he became the youngest winner of the Karapoti Classic.
The 15-year-old from Whitby crossed the finish line in the gruelling 50 kilometre event in Upper Hutt on March 7 in a time of 2h 28min 1s.
He was 45 seconds in front of pre-race favourite Matt Waghorn, from Feilding.
Cruise impressed race organisers and riders much older than him with his smart riding.
‘‘Last year I led early on and everyone just sat behind me and then rode away on the first hill,’’ Cruise said. ‘‘ So this year I decided to sit back and let other riders fight out the early stuff.’’
The lead changed several times in the opening stages before Cruise and Wellington’s Ed Crossling settled at the front.
At the top of the last climb, Cruise was second but gaining ground, when Crossling suffered a puncture.
Six years ago Cruise made headlines as Karapoti’s youngest finisher when he rode the full 50km with his father.
In the past two years he has ridden faster at Karapoti than Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anton Cooper did at the same age, and has now won the title a year younger than Cooper was when he won in 2011.
More than 800 riders from 10 countries took part in the Karapoti Classic, which had its 30th anniversary this year.
On his own:
Karapoti Classic winner