The Giant 2W Gravity Enduro Series wrapped up on Saturday and it was a pair of local riders with the most to celebrate when the final results were announced.
• Premium - Rotorua's Jenna Hastings looks to complete trifecta at Giant 2W Gravity Enduro
• Mountain Biking: Rotorua's Giant 2W Gravity Enduro Series starts this weekend
• Gravity Enduro: Shaw and Hastings go two-from-two
• Sam Shaw and Jenna Hastings take race one in Giant 2W Gravity Enduro Series
Going into the third and final race in the series, Rotorua's Sam Shaw and Jenna Hastings had won two from two to lead the men's and women's standings respectively.
The predicted storm held off and the small amount of rain that did fall erased the dust and ensured the trails were running smooth and fast.
Shaw was able to complete the clean sweep, winning race three and securing the overall men's title while Hastings' second place finish, behind Rotorua's Janine Kavanagh, was enough to take the series win in the women's division.
Shaw was not feeling too confident at the end of the race, feeling he may have been a bit slow on some of the stages, so to take the win was a nice surprise.
"It's hard to explain but I'm super happy. To be honest, I had some really good stages that I was really happy with but a few that I wasn't. So I was quite doubtful that I was going to take the win but I tried as hard as I could and it showed cause there was only a second between me and Dan Self, he was hot on my heels."
Meanwhile, Hastings' win was extraordinary in the fact that she is only 15 years old, beating women who have been racing for as long as she has been alive.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"I'm really stoked, to be 15 and take overall is really cool. I've always known I'd be up there but I didn't think I'd be that fast to take the win. I kind of just forgot about the series standings, I just went out there to ride and have fun - the results would speak for themselves."
Hastings said the rain made for a few slippery moments but she tried to focus on riding her natural style.
"The courses were really good through the series, I liked them all. I like all the tracks in Rotorua so to ride them one after the other is cool as and there were some unique combinations."
At prizegiving, Shaw's successful day out got even better. Each year, at the conclusion of the series, the $10,000 Mark Dunlop Scholarship is awarded to a rider to support their international racing dreams. Dunlop, an avid mountain biker, committed suicide in 2016 at the age of 31.
On Saturday, Shaw and fellow Enduro World Series rider Connor Hamilton were named as joint recipients of the scholarship, the first time it has gone to two riders. Shaw struggled to put into words how much it meant to him - in previous years on the Enduro World Series he has had to live on a serious budget which is not ideal for an athlete looking to compete at the highest level.
"It will help a lot, it will help me look after myself and spend more time overseas doing more key events. I was on peanuts pretty much, I've done a lot of these trips camping which I really like doing, it's really fun but it makes it hard to achieve the goals you want to achieve.
"I'm super stoked to share it with Connor, it's cool that they split it and it's really cool that Connor got it as well."