Big sur­prise for a small bike fan

Napier Courier - - NEWS -

World Cup moun­tain biker Brook MacDon­ald re­turned to his old school, Ta­matea In­ter­me­di­ate, to pay it for­ward re­cently.

Year 8 stu­dent Tay­lor Lil­ley has idolised Brook for years and told teacher aide Deb­bie Melling how ex­cited he was to be learn­ing in the same class as his hero. Tay­lor found out where Brook sat as a stu­dent and liked to sit in that spot. Lit­tle did Tay­lor know, Deb­bie was plan­ning a spe­cial visit for him to meet his hero.

Brook re­turned home to Napier for a two-week break while com­pet­ing in the world cir­cuit and has now flown to Canada, where the next round starts in Que­bec.

In 2009 Brook won the Ju­nior World DH Cham­pi­onship, then fin­ished sixth over­all in the UCI World Cups in 2011 and then backed that up with a sev­enth in 2012.The fol­low­ing year he se­cured NZ Down­hill Cham­pi­onships and in 2014 fin­ished fifth in the World Cham­pi­onships and 11th in the World Cup Series. In 2015 he rounded out the top 10 in the UCI World Cup series with Trek World Rac­ing, be­fore sign­ing with GT Fac­tory Rac­ing Team for 2016.

Teacher Dan McAleese says he was “ab­so­lutely rapt” to see his former and cur­rent stu­dent shar­ing such a spe­cial mo­ment.

“Tay­lor’s mouth was wide open and in shock for a while.”

Tay­lor later told his teacher “That was the best mo­ment of my life”.

YEAR 8 stu­dent Tay­lor Lil­ley was sur­prised by a visit from his idol, World Cup moun­tain biker Brook MacDon­ald.

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