Mountain biking: Downhill bikers do gap jumps

By Eric Cawte

Local downhill mountainbikers were in action at the fourth and final round of the 2013 New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup held in the Hunua Forest.

Around 90 riders, including several international professionals, raced on the fast track, featuring several spectacular gap jumps which provided entertainment for the enthusiastic supporters.

The best result came for Bike Culture-sponsored junior under-19 rider Lawrence Cawte riding the locally-designed Zerode bike.

He posted his third win in a row to take the championship in this category with the maximum available points.

His Descend Rotorua clubmate Louis Hamilton, riding in his first year in the elite men's, capped off a great debut series in this category by racing to seventh among a number of professionals on the day, but finishing the series in fourth place, a few points shy of the podium.

Rotorua Mountainbike Club's Steve Pattle was rewarded for consistent placings with a third place overall in the senior men, and under-15 rider Hamish McLeod raced to third place on the day to finish fourth in the series.

New Zealand and international professionals dominated the elite categories for this race, with Christchurch's Sam Blenkinsop taking his third win and clinching the series from Napier's Brook Macdonald and Kawerau's Matt Walker.

Frenchwoman Emmeline Ragot raced to first place in the women's elite section, followed by Jess Stone of the United Kingdom and Alanna Columb of Queenstown.

The riders converge on Rotorua for the National Mountainbike Championships, with the downhill race set to provide some excellent spectator entertainment on the Taniwha track in the Whakarewarewa Forest on Sunday.

Eric Cawte is a local mountain biking enthusiast.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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