Mountain bikers shine in the south

South Island cross country MTB champions: Neve McKenzie, Maddy Sinclair and Ian Thomas. Photo: Supplied.

Three Marlborough mountain bikers picked up South Island titles in Queenstown recently.

On Saturday, February 13, Mountain Bike NZ [MBNZ] hosted the South Island cross country championships at Coronet Peak, near Queenstown, with a strong contingent of Marlborough riders competing on a challenging course.

While the course for quite short, it featured a steep climb up the ski runs followed by a technical download, including rock gardens and steep rocky shoots.

Showing the way for the top of the south club were Neve McKenzie, who claimed the under-15 female title, Maddy Sinclair, who was victorious in the under-17 female section, and Ian Thomas who won the Masters 3 title.

In addition, Cam Anderson claimed silver in the very-competitive under-17 male category. Finn McKenzie, Jeremy McKenzie, Callum Anderson and Lachlan McNabb also recorded top 10 finishes.

Maddy Sinclair launches off a step down near the bottom of her race run at Coronet. Photo: Supplied.
Maddy Sinclair launches off a step down near the bottom of her race run at Coronet. Photo: Supplied.

Neve’s times were very impressive while Maddy put in a courageous ride after crashing while practicing for the downhill race the previous day and ending up in hospital to have suspected broken ribs checked.

The following day the final round of the MBNZ national downhill series was hosted, also at the Coronet Peak course.

Again, the Marlborough Mountain Bike Club was well represented.

The national downhill series had been staged over the previous four weekends and included rounds at 440 Mountain Bike Park in South Auckland, Dome Valley in Warkworth, Kaka in Nelson and at Coronet.

Cameron Clemett and Ben Sziranyi achieved very creditable top 10 results in the ultra-competitive under-19 and under-17 male categories.

Unfortunately, Cameron had a crash in his race run at Coronet that cost him a top five result for the series. Ben produced steady results throughout the series to achieve a creditable overall result.

Maddy turned in a steady race run following her crash on Friday to take the bronze medal in the Coronet round. Following a fourth placing at 440, plus bronze medals at Dome Valley, Kaka and Coronet, Maddy also won the bronze medal for the overall series.

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