Motocross rider wins top sportsman’s title
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.
Tangata Toa o Te Tau Trophy for Sportsperson of the Year recipient Daniel White.