Ju­nior cross coun­try starts

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News - Rachel Can­ning

“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]

Photo / Wendy Brightwell

Un­der 17 and Un­der 19 year old boys con­tem­plate the sec­ond race in the se­ries at Sum­mer­hill MTB Park, Tau­ranga.

Photo / Paula Pi­etersma

Taupo¯ ju­nior moun­tain bike rider Daniel Pi­etersma hav­ing fun on the Sum­mer­hill course.

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