Junior cross country starts
“Just give it a go” — that’s the advice from Taupo¯ Mountain Bike Club president Paula Pietersma, for youngsters who enjoy mountain biking.
A new Junior Cross Country race series has been created for 11 to 17-year-old mountain bike riders, and this Sunday the third and final race of the event will be held at Craters Mountain Bike Park.
The Mid North Island Junior Mountain Bike Series is a collaboration between Taupo¯ Mountain Bike Club, Tokoroa Mountain Bike Club and Tauranga Mountain Bike Club with the dual aim of getting young people interested in the sport and building riders up to regional and national mountain bike events held January to March each year.
Paula says if you are a seasoned racer or just wish to give mountain bike racing a go for the first time, there is a category for you. She adds that the grade 2 and 3 trails for the novice events are nice and wide, and are commonly used by family groups riding together.
“Kids do not have to currently belong to a club to participate. Riders who are new to the sport can have a go and enter the novice categories.”
The under 13s and novice riders will ride multi laps of Scraggs / State Highway Fun, and the older and more experienced riders will ride multi laps of Beagle Boys / State Highway Fun. Paula says the set-up is a lap-based race, and makes for good spectating as parents and supporters can see the kids come through the carpark as they complete each lap of their race.
“The laps are five to seven kilometres, and the number of laps to be completed will be determined by your age category, but riders should expect to race for one to one and a half hours.”
Paula says all course details and race times are on the Taupo¯ Mountain Biking Club website www.mountainbiketaupo.org.nz and also on Facebook pages @TaupoMtb and @MidNorthIslandJuniorSeries.
The event is sponsored by Mercury Energy, with spot prizes supplied by Huka Cycles, Top Gear Cycles, and Central Plateau Cycles.
“Mercury Energy are right in behind supporting young Taupo¯ kids’sporting endeavours and the local bike shops are providing spot prizes for participants.”
Paula says online entries are now closed but if you are a local rider and want to enter before race day at a cost of $35 email [email protected] by 3pm Saturday, December 1. On-theday entries cost $45.
■ Craters MTB Park, Wairakei Drve, Taupo¯, on Sunday, December 2, 9am-2pm. For more info email Paula at [email protected]
Under 17 and Under 19 year old boys contemplate the second race in the series at Summerhill MTB Park, Tauranga.
Taupo¯ junior mountain bike rider Daniel Pietersma having fun on the Summerhill course.