Todd Blackadder, his FIRST mountainbike race! The Timing Girls, 100% focused, is that a beer, Sarah?
Ewen, Hub Cycles, Christchurch Jono B, Spoke Guy, Wellington Sarah (organiser) & Mel (Entrant from Christchurch)Groms at the Spot Prize's (and Aaron) (Stu Thorp, Quizzing me about gears and suspension, Will it ever take off?)
Wow, what a race, great weather, a super fun and challenging course, great turn out and I gave away a new Heckler DAM (what the!) as a spot prize. Pictures to come, anyhow this is what James Hufflett (one of the organisers) had to say.
Make Sure you schedule this race for next year, I'll be there and who knows what bike I'll give away for that race.
A stunning Nelson day greeted nearly 100 races in the inaugural Santa Cruz Coppermine Epic Mountain Bike Race. The field included some of NZ’s top racers from Christchurch, Wellington, Hokitika and internationals from as far away as the USA and Switzerland. Home advantage was on display early with George Bennett setting a blistering pace off the start line and along the Dun Mountain Walkway. The pace was reduced to a slow crawl as riders reached the Classic Fringed Hill climb, summiting in under an hour at almost 900 meters above sea level. Bennett held his lead into the technical Black Diamond Ridge single track. Game was now on for a race pack in hot pursuit of Bennett which included Christchurch rider Dayle McLauchlan who had been waiting all year for a track like this to demonstrate his impressive technical skills. Dayle quietly weaved his way through the tight tree and root lined ridge track to capture the unsuspecting Bennett who was starting to suffer having worked too hard on the valley floor. McLauchlan lifted the pace again through the Mineral Belt followed by local riders Dean Fulton , Robin Reid and Andy Thompson all loving the natural challenging terrain of this section. Sandy Vincent was leading the charge in the Women’s Epic class closely followed by Tiffany Farnsworth. With the front Enduro course riders now mixed amongst the Epic pack it became even harder to keep track of who your next competitor was. Wellington Rider Richard Ainsworth and Jane Martin lead the Enduro fields through to Coppermine Saddle. What waited ahead of racers was a new challenge in mountain bike descents -“Boulder Valley”. A rugged rock and boulder infested gut track that would change the face of the front runners and add a whole new complexity to the race. Local adventure race director Nathan Faavae had been biding his time until he hit his favorite old stomping ground. Bounding down Boulder Valley with such grace and ease while the leaders struggled to come to terms with the rock laid track. At Solander Creek, Dayle McLauchlan had held onto his lead with Faavae now entrenched in Second place, closely followed by a shaken Dean Fulton, Robin Reid and Andy Thompson. Equally impressive through this section was local Single speed rider Stuart Thorp who defies logic with no suspension to assist his descent. From here it was a fast blast out to the Maitai Dam on the rolling Matai Caves track. Once onto the Maitai Valley road McLauchlan was never seen again crossing the finish line in an incredible winning time of 2hours 23minutes for the Epic Course. Faavae proved that this course suits an experience true mountain biker to take 2nd place in a time of 2.26, with Dean Fulton holding on to third, a further minute behind. Sandy Vincent held out a strong Nelson contingent in the Epic Women’s race to win in a time of 3.05, with Tiffany Farnsworth 2nd in 3.11, and Brenda Clapp 3rd in 3.13. The leading position had also changed in Boulder Valley for the Enduro class with Steve Alloway crossing the line 1st in a time of 2hours 30minutes, followed by Grant Stirling in 2nd place and Richard Ainsworth 3rd overall. Jane Martin Held on to be the 1st Enduro Women home in 3hours 14minutes, with Julie Slade 2nd.
Jordon Blake, current under 19 National Champ, is fast, focused, a hard core weight weenie and usually a hard-tail advocate. So when Jordon broke the under 19 class record at the Karapoti (and finishing 5th overall), he did it on a borrowed Blur XC.
A new Record. A super fast dry course.First time on fully. I just accomplished something pretty good. Last weekend I did the Karapoti Classic 50km mtb race through Upper Hutt's rugged forest. Most people are fully aware that this race is a pretty popular one. Almost every hardcore MTBer in the NZ cycling community has done it and you won't find many who haven't. Anyway I set a new jr record of 2.26 slicing 8 minutes off Carl Jone's record. I rode a Santacruz Blur supplied by one of my sponsors (Alex), I must say I had my doubts at first but that bike is a rocket, it felt as if I was floating the whole time. I managed to ride deadwood and most of staircase, when all the rest were pushing. It's hard to explain in words just how efficiently it climbed, even when there was a rock step the back wheel would just flick me up. And I rode the entire rock garden easily(which I have always struggled with). The best bike to have by far on race day!! I felt like I was going slow. I taped the 2hr 30min time splits onto my stem as I was hoping to go under that time. I was just shocked each time I checked my stopwatch as at top of staircase I was 9 minutes ahead of time. Anyway I stopped 3 times as I got chain suck badly. My fault as I didn't take time with lubing, and one of the times was at the bottom of dopers so I walked the first part, then rode in granny the rest because I didn't want to risk putting it in middle, so I lost 4 minutes just on that hill. Anyway I'm really eager to have ago at Clintons race record next year. I think 12 minutes is achievable with everything going well. Sure enough if Jefe creates a strategic plan and conditions are perfect I may be in for a show watch out next year..