Bik­ers big bat­tle at Te Miro

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On -

New Zealand’s top moun­tain bik­ers com­peted in per­fect con­di­tions in round two of the MTBNZ Na­tional Sum­mer Se­ries Cup at Te Miro Moun­tain Bike Park on Sun­day, Jan­uary 17.

Te Miro MTB Club chair­per­son Shane Mel­low said many of the 68 com­peti­tors had stayed in the Waikato and BOP for a week af­ter com­pet­ing in round one of the se­ries held the pre­vi­ous week in Ro­torua.

An ex­tremely tough Olympic dis­tance course was set by Com­mon­wealth Games sil­ver medal­list Sam Gaze, of Cam­bridge, Mel­low said.

‘‘This in­cluded sev­eral tor­tur­ous climbs, one of th­ese is to the top of the in­fa­mous ‘Dirt­bag’ track which in­cluded 80m of ver­ti­cal climb in a very short dis­tance,’’ he said.

‘‘This was fol­lowed by a very steep down­hill sec­tion with a ‘rock gar­den’ fea­ture and sev­eral tricky drop offs which claimed a few com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing Sam.

The six-kilo­me­tre lap was com­pleted from two to five times. Elite men raced five laps of the course with the win­ning rider John Meri­ung com­plet­ing the race in 1h 50m.

The women’s race pro­vided spectators with some ex­cit­ing rac­ing with a very tight field at the front.

Elite women’s win­ner In­grid Richter, of Nelson, even­tu­ally proved too strong, tak­ing out the race by com­plet­ing her four laps in 1h 26m.

There were four races through­out the day with many cat­e­gories rang­ing from Un­der 15 to Masters 3.

Mel­low said this was the first high-level moun­tain bike event held at the Te Miro park, which has been de­vel­oped into a fam­ily friendly moun­tain bike fa­cil­ity in the past three years.

‘‘Sarah Gaze did a tremen­dous job or­gan­is­ing the event with the help of a com­mit­ted group of vol­un­teers and sup­ported gen­er­ously by busi­nesses through­out the Waikato,’’ he said.

The event was run un­der the frame­work of Moun­tain Bike NZ and Cy­cling NZ.

Both or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vided ex­pert ad­vice and sup­port prior to the event and on the day, he said.

Medals were pre­sented to the win­ners by Mel­low and Mata­mata-Pi­ako district mayor Jan Barnes at the end of the day’s com­pe­ti­tion.

PHOTO: KELLY HODEL/FAIRFAX NZ.

Har­ley Go­ing com­petes in the men’s elite race at Te Miro Moun­tain Bike Park.

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