NZ takes lead in MTBO Challenge

NZ inched ahead of Australia today in the first of the three events of the 2012 MTB-Orienteering Challenge at Roxburgh, by 5 classes to 3. The visitors won the Men’s 20, the Women’s Open and Women’s 40, while the hosts won the rest of the Men’s classes and Women’s 50. Australia met with bad luck in the last when Peta Whitford took a tumble while negotiating a stream crossing, and Helen Edmonds missed a control point, leaving the team with insufficient times for a result. The best two out of three riders per class are counted

Oscar Phillips.

Oscar Phillips.

Riders were complimentary about the gold-mining terrain over the river from Roxburgh, where locals have created a maze of tracks in an area only 1km long and 500m wide. Planner Conal Boland-Bristow of Christchurch set 5 sprint-distance courses of up to 7km in the tiny area. Only Bruce Meder (M60, NZL) beat the target winning time of 22 minutes, though Chris Forne (M-Open, NZL) came close with 22-29. After the teams had ridden 100 other orienteers between 14 and 70 rode the courses. The challenge continues tomorrow at Alexandra.  (MWood)

Many classes rode the same courses allowing for time comparisions. Kiwi Chris Forne was dominant on course 1 taking 22 minutes in winning men’s open. Queensland junior Chris Firman impressed in taking the 2nd best time, with 25.53, easily winning M20. Greg Barbour (Aussie resident but NZ team member) won M40 in 27.16. Alex Randall (VIC), Ricky Thackray (WA) and Oscar Phillips (VIC) were next, closely grouped all in the 27 minute range. Maquita Gelderman had a time of 30 minutes in winning the women’s open, but Mary Fein (NSW) and Melanie Simpson (NSW) weren’t far behind and gained Australia an important class win.

The fastest time in course 2 was recorded by M50 winner NZ’s David King (27.04) but Aussie star Carolyn Jackson rode well to be 2nd overall (and win W40) with a time of 28.34. NSW’s Carolyn Matthews made an outstanding Australian team debut to finish 3rd in the same class and clinch the class victory.   (KHaarsma)

Team results (provisional)

Full results at http://www.obasen.nu/winsplits/online/en/

M-20: AUS 58-53, NZL no team          M-Open: NZL 53-32, AUS 55-18

M40: NZL 55-34, AUS 59-15               M50: NZL 63-15, AUS 66-27

M60: NZL 44-14, AUS 53-31               W-Open: AUS 61-56, NZL 62-37

W40: AUS 63-27, NZL 66-02               W50: NZL 79-06, AUS no result