Mountain biking: Sibling rivalry key to downhill speed

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine


For brothers Louis and Connor Hamilton it's always a case of last one to the bottom loses.

The Rotorua pair have been downhill mountain biking together with their father Dave for many years, reaping the benefits on Saturday by claiming first place for their age groups at the New Zealand Downhill Series.

The five-race series began in Rotorua in September and ended in Auckland on Saturday, attracting competitors from across the North Island.

After their last race in Auckland, the Rotorua Descend pair sat on top of their respective U17 and U19 tables.

Louis, 18, a national champion in the high-profile BikeNZ National Series, won four of his five races beating away competition from 12 other riders in his grade.

Connor, 16, won two of his races and placed in another to claim first overall in his class, which included 31 competitors.

Louis said he and his brother would often push each other to go quicker while out biking together, which helped them on raceday.

"We kind of learn off each other. We often go riding together and over the years we have taught each other stuff.

"The tracks in Rotorua are awesome. There is so much you can do around here."

Next year, Louis will be stepping up to the Pro Elite BikeNZ National Series, which is the highest men's downhill class in New Zealand.

"It's been a good season. I've kept pretty consistent in all my races," Louis said.

"I'm looking forward to the step up into the Pro Elite class where I hope to finish in the top 10."

He said his aim was to represent New Zealand at the highest level at some stage in the future.

Rotorua Descend, the city's largest downhill club, had a great overall performance at the New Zealand Downhill Series.

Of the seven grades, six were won by representatives from Descend Rotorua.

They included Matt Walker, in the Pro Elite class; Adam King, in the Masters 30-plus class; Kaytee Campbell, in the Open Women class; and Cole Lucas, in the U15 grade.

King said it had been a great season, although he was now feeling some of the knocks he gathered during the past couple of months.

"I'm stoked, it has been an awesome season. I picked up a bit of a back injury, though, during the last two races so I must be getting old."

King thanked the awesome work put in by local sponsors who helped each rider, including his own sponsors Mike Metz and Rob Smail at Bike Culture and Rob Metz at Zero Bikes.

The four-race BikeNZ National Downhill Series will be the next big event on the downhill calender, starting at Bluff in January.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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