Compton enjoying pro experience
He’s won Karapoti and been tested on some of Europe’s best courses, but Jack Compton still has a lot of love for Wellington’s trails.
The Whitby 20-year-old mountainbiker has been back in New Zealand for two months, after a busy season.
He bookended his year with two impressive wins - the Karapoti Classic in the Akatarawa Range in March and the gruelling Whaka 100 in Rotorua last month.
Working for ANZ bank in the mobile support team is a more sedate pace for Compton, then.
‘‘It is a little less exciting but I do need a bit of extra pocket money,’’ he said.
Compton spent six months from April on the World Cup circuit in Europe with Italian team Sixs-Devinci Pro Team.
Since coming home, he enjoyed his first break in a long time.
‘‘I cleaned the bike and then left it in the shed for two weeks. It was my first proper break in about four years, so it was good to just stay away.’’
When he did get back in the saddle, the region’s trails gave him much-needed practice.
He gave the thumbs up to Mana Cycle Group’s efforts in making Rangituhi-Colonial Knob a worthy test.
‘‘It’s awesome having this on my doorstep - I can ride through Bothamley Park and up to the tracks in no time.
‘‘Crash Palace [on Rangituhi] is a real challenge and others at Makara and Wright’s Hill are gnarly.’’
In Europe, Compton’s best cross-country finish in 20 races was a 32nd, which he said was disappointing but ‘‘characterbuilding’’.
He said to get a contract with a pro team was special.
‘‘It’s the third year I’ve been in Europe, but the first two times I was on my own. I’m the only foreigner in an Italian team and while my accent confuses them at times, they’ve taken me in like a brother.’’
The coming months will be busy with a new coach, before nationals in Cardrona in February and Oceania Championships in Toowoomba, Australia, in March.
Then it will be back to Europe again, where Compton hoped to break through with top-20 or higher finishes.
You can follow Compton on Instagram - search for Jack_ Compton.
Kiwi mountainbiker Jack Compton in action in Andorra for his professional team in September.