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