Chal­lenge at­tracts stars

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

If there is one piece of sil­ver­ware that is cov­eted most by the Kiwi dirt bike fra­ter­nity, it is prob­a­bly the trophy for the Suzuki Six-Hour Dirt Bike Chal­lenge.

The event at Ohakuri For­est near Toko­roa is set for Oc­to­ber 5 and has typ­i­cally at­tracted the cream of New Zealand’s off-road mo­tor­cy­cling com­mu­nity.

It has been 23 years since the first race, this is the third year at Ohakuri For­est.

The iconic Suzuki Six-Hour will be fol­lowed by the sec­ond an­nual Suzuki Ju­nior Three-Hour race on the Sun­day.

Toko­roa’s en­duro legend and or­gan­iser Sean Clarke said Satur­day’s race would re­ally ‘‘sort the men from the boys’’.

And the course set out for Sun­day would be ‘‘much more for­giv­ing.’’

Tra­di­tion­ally en­trants pair up for the gru­elling course and share a bike.

How­ever, this year’s race will al­low rid­ers to ride their own.

The course will also run in re­verse di­rec­tion to last year, with steep up­hills be­com­ing steep down-hills and vice versa.

Last year’s cham­pi­ons Brad Groom­bridge and Daryl Hur­ley will be back on the track to de­fend their ti­tle.

Taupo in­ter­na­tional mo­tocross ace Groom­bridge and Hur­ley, Haw­era’s multi-time for­mer na­tional and Aus­tralian mo­tocross cham­pion, may stick to the one bike this year.

‘‘I’ve been do­ing quite a bit of rid­ing lately, so my fit­ness is good, but it’s a dif­fer­ent race to pre­pare for. We’ll need to have spare wheels and things like that on standby, but re­ally, I just ride it like a big mo­tocross race.

‘‘The trick is to keep your con­cen­tra­tion lev­els up. One mis­take and you’re into a tree.’’

The event will bring in those far and wide in­clud­ing Wood­hill Twoman Cross-coun­try se­ries lead­ers Josh Jack and Luke Mob­ber­ley, from Kauka­pakapa and Muri­wai Beach.

Photo: ANDY MCGECHAN, BIKESPORTNZ.COM

The rid­ers are off, bikes fun­nel through the track tape at the start of the Suzuki Six-Hour at the Ohakuri For­est in 2012.

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