Today the Sprint event was held at “Redwoods” park in central Rotorua with courses comprising of an intricate network of tracks and large amounts of clearings and open ground which riders needed to look at their compasses to maintain direction.
Fine weather was welcome after a mudfest yesterday. With most courses averaging a control every 200-300 metres there was some quick decision making needed, and the occasional MP. Australia did better today in the challenge with victories to the W40, M50, M60 and M70 classes thus making the score today as Australia 4 and NZ 5.5 points.
NZ dominated the elite classes with victories to Marquita Gelderman and Chris Forne, despite the latter requiring a hospital visit after a nasty tumble down an uncrossable ditch. The fastest ride of the day was by M20 foot O star Tim Robertson, with Aussies Tim Jackson and Angus Robinson taking the minor placings.
Wins went to Tim Hately (M70) and Gaby Withers (W16), with 2nd places to Peta Whitford (W50), Lucy Mackie (W16), Carolyn Matthews (W40), Ryan Biggs (M16) and thirds to David Firman (M60), Richie Robinson (M50) and Tamsin Barnes (W40).
Tomorrow’s event at Whakarewarewa Mountain Bike Park will now be the long distance challenge. This has the added challenge of navigating using mostly one way tracks, a new concept to most.
Yesterday’s long distance Aus v NZ challenge was voided, mainly due to the atrocious conditions meaning that there were many mechanical DNF’s. The Maramarua Forest is clay based and heavy showers just as the event started caused many tracks to be unrideable. Bikes literally stopped dead in the mud! Those who finished felt justifiably proud. Those of us who have orienteering in NZ over many years felt that this event was the mtbo equivalent to the famous foot o event at Kapamahunga (spelling questionable!).
Results are no longer available