Third national cyclocross title for Hurst
‘‘It was similar to a Huttcross course ... I felt really well prepared.’’
A Marlborough vineyard was transformed into a Belgian mud bath as Kim Hurst took the Elite national women’s cyclocross title on August 19.
The GP from Upper Hutt was ‘‘stoked’’ to have won the title for the third time, having missed out on the chance to race the nationals at home last year due to injury. Her previous wins came in 2012 and 2014.
Hurst completed eight laps of the track in a time of 1hr 15:06min, over six minutes clear of runner up Anja McDonald, of Nelson/ Tasman.
She said she felt at home on the muddy course, with the track similar to those she encountered in the local Huttcross series.
‘‘It was similar to a Huttcross course. Slightly longer, but with challenging, muddy terrain and tight corners. I felt really well prepared.’’
She was grateful for the Upper Hutt City Council’s support of the series, which was pivotal into her preparation.
Hurst felt even more at home among the large and boisterous contingent from the Hutt Valley and Wellington cyclocross community that had made it across the Cook Strait to Blenheim for the nationals.
’’Even though I wasn’t the local girl, I certainly felt like one.’’
It was a good day for the Hutt and Wellington contingent, with wins to Nicholas Kennedy, Wellington, in the male single speed category, and Yvonne Boland, Petone, and Geoff Notman, Wellington, in the female and male mature masters races. Gary Moller, Wellington, took out the male grand masters and Lisa Hunkin, Lower Hutt, won the female non-champs race.
Hurst has little time to bask in her win, as she prepares to head to the United States next month for two World Cup races.
They will give her the opportunity to qualify for the 2018 World Championships in the Netherlands, where her ultimate goal is to represent New Zealand.
‘‘[I’m doing the World Cup races] all in the hope of securing a top 30 placing.
‘‘If I do, then I can represent New Zealand in Holland in February. Cyclocross is massive over there, they can get crowds of 50,000. To be able to fly the flag in that sort of atmosphere would be incredible.’’
Kim Hurst hurdles a barrier in a race at Ngati Tama Park.