Compton en­joy­ing pro ex­pe­ri­ence

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - KRIS DANDO

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.

PHOTO: PAUL FOULONNEAU

Kiwi moun­tain­biker Jack Compton in ac­tion in An­dorra for his pro­fes­sional team in Septem­ber.

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