Hot, Hard & Hilly for Mt Bikers in NZ

Elite victor Chris Forne

Elite victor Chris Forne

Elite Aussie Jenn Graham-Taylor

Elite Aussie Jenn Graham-Taylor

NZ maintained its lead today, in the second event of the 2012 MTB-Orienteering Challenge at Alexandra. The long distance courses in steep hills across the river were run in sweltering conditions, with several errors and retirements in the field of 150.

Australia won the Mens 20 and Womens Open again, narrowly lost Womens 40 by 59 seconds, but picked up Mens 50 after the leading kiwi Rob Garden visited a wrong control point. New Zealand retained Mens Open with Chris Forne leading the field by an incredible 20 minutes. Also both veteran womens classes, plus Mens 40 and 60. Australia’s Melanie Simpson was the fastest Open Woman, 4 minutes ahead of top kiwi Marquita Gelderman.

Riders finishing on the banks of the Manuherikia River were too exhausted to comment on Joe Sherriff’s mapping and courses, but as they recovered the extent of his hard work over many months received recognition. And also the work of his partner Jo Wilson, who had installed a 4-metre control flag next to the town clock on the cliffs overlooking the town.

New Zealand now has a lead of 10-6 going into the final event, a middle distance at Wanaka on Friday. Winning times will be up to 50 minutes depending on class.

(Michael Wood, NZ)

Provisional team results based on the best two riders from each country.

Full results willat

M-20: AUS 234-50, NZL no team

M-Open: NZL 245-09, AUS 284-50

M40: NZL 223-49, AUS 231-23

M50: AUS 211-46, NZL 255-47

M60: NZL 175-25, AUS 212-51

W-Open: AUS 253-01, NZL 275-08

W40: NZL 249-02, AUS 250-01

W50: NZL 237-07, AUS 250-41