Motocross rider wins top sports­man’s ti­tle

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

Daniel White’s stel­lar past 12 months was capped by be­ing named Sportsper­son of the Year at Te Awa­mutu Col­lege prize­giv­ing.

The 16-year-old Year 12 stu­dent took out both the New Zealand Se­condary Schools Cross Coun­try and Motocross ti­tles, win­ning the crosscoun­try cham­pi­onship with a re­mark­able last to first vic­tory in a field of 120 riders.

His skills on the bike have not gone un­no­ticed, he’s been train­ing, dig­ging, pre­par­ing and test­ing new jumps for the Nitro Crew. A lot of the in­ter­na­tional stars of the show and Red Bull TV per­son­al­i­ties were do­ing tests of dif­fer­ent sized jumps at Franklin Farm near Toko­roa. His mother Cather­ine says her son is lov­ing hang­ing with these “crazy dudes” on a ca­sual un­paid ba­sis at present as work ex­pe­ri­ence.

The teenager’s record in the NZSS Motocross speaks for it­self — run­nerup in 2016, cham­pion in 2017 and cham­pion again in 2018 rid­ing his Wilks Penny sup­ported Kawasaki KXF250. He won this year’s 15-19 years 250cc class withe two wins and a sec­ond from three races.

Daniel not only claimed the over­all crosscoun­try win for the sec­ond year run­ning, he also took out his 14-16 years 250cc class in Cam­bridge.

This year’s crosscoun­try vic­tory was par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive.

The race is started with a ‘dead engine start’ where all riders have their bikes turned off and hands on their heads await­ing a shot gun start. Many bikes are now be­ing man­u­fac­tured with elec­tric starts but for those with­out, it is all about tim­ing the kick start and hop­ing it roars to life on the first kick.

Daniel was one of the last off the start line, hav­ing to make his way through the pack of 120 ex­pert class riders at high speed dur­ing the 90-minute en­durance race over a 10km all ter­rain loop south of Cam­bridge.

He quickly made amends for a bad start, tak­ing the lead by the end of the sec­ond lap and cleared away from the field.

Photo / Sup­plied

Tan­gata Toa o Te Tau Tro­phy for Sportsper­son of the Year re­cip­i­ent Daniel White.

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