Nel­son rid­ers shine at Ocea­nia champs

The Leader (Tasman) - - UNDER ONE ROOF - TIM O’CON­NELL

A young con­tin­gent of Nel­son cross coun­try rid­ers achieved some podium-hog­ging results at the UCI Altherm Ocea­nia Moun­tain Bike Cham­pi­onships in Dunedin last week­end.

Held in ro­ta­tion be­tween Aus­tralia and New Zealand - it was Otago’s turn to host the best Cross Coun­try and Down Hill rid­ers from around Ocea­nia at Sig­nal Hill from 9 - 11 Fe­bru­ary.

While the heav­ily-an­tic­i­pated match-up be­tween NZ rep­re­sen­ta­tives An­ton Cooper and Sam Gaze drew a large num­ber of spec­ta­tors to the event, there was dou­ble suc­cess in the wom­ens age groups with Re­becca Huf­flett win­ning the un­der-15 ti­tle and Zoe Nathan claim­ing the un­der-17 hon­ours.

Win­ning in a time of 40 min­utes 43 sec­onds, Huf­flett fin­ished six min­utes clear of lo­cal hope Rachel Cun­ning­ham of Mos­giel.

Nathan, a run­ner-up in the na­tional cham­pi­onships last year,˘con­tin­ued˘her rise after suf­fer­ing from sco­l­io­sis which re­quired spinal surgery.˘Her time of 1:02.35 was also six min­utes ahead of Ash­bur­ton’s Caitlin Titheridge (1:08.31).

In other results, Henry Jaine fin­ished sec­ond in the five-lap Un­der 23 race, just over two min­utes slower than the win­ner, Porirua rider Eden Cruise.

Cameron Jones came fifth in the Un­der 19 race.

The Dunedin results bode well for the 2018 na­tional cham­pi­onships, sched­uled to be held at Cardrona this week­end.

SUP­PLIED

Zoe Nathan in ac­tion at the UCI Altherm Ocea­nia Moun­tain Bike Cham­pi­onships in Dunedin.

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