NZDH – Taupo Bike Festival: Round 4 Race Report.

NZDH Taupo BikeFest Round 4 – Jump Fest!!

Red Bull Rider: Brook MacDonald     Highest and the longest Jump: Hayden Lee.   Team Devinci:George Brannigan

Does it get any better??

Round 4 of the NZDH series was held in Taupo over the weekend as the opening event for Taupo’s Bike Festival.

140 competitors registered in for what turned out to be an action packed weekend of racing.

The Crank Taupo venue did not disappoint once again with the very popular forest – open farm land natural track layout.

Great spectator turnout once again at NZDH Round 4 – Taupo.

Saturday 19th November – Practice Day:

Once again, an NZDH race weekend was blessed with fine weather for practice day, mountain air chill factor not too bad for early morning set up.

The registration marquee had a contineous line of riders lining up to register for a solid 2 – 3 hours.

Quite a few of the series NZDH competitors had not ridden the new NZDH – Crank Taupo venue before, so there was a lot of anticipation amongst the riders at the first shuttle line.

The practice day went very smooth throughout, the riders were finding the open grass section of the track tricky of which resulted with a few shoulder injury crashes.

The hill jump approaching the finish arena caught a few senior riders out on hitting the approach a tad too fast, in turn, the spectators witnessing some very big air time and large crashes.

The end of the practice day came with our series sponsor “Wide Open Whip Comp” with riders being able to display their fun side of Downhill racing techniques to the crowd.

Monster Energy rider Bryn Dickinson taking out the overall spectator choice of style win with another Monster Energy team rider Louis Hamilton and Florian De Vries in 2nd and 3rd place.

Wide Open Distributors, Dean Cameron presenting product prizes

Bryn Dickinson, Louis Hamilton and Florin Devries.

Sunday 20th November – Race Day:

 Morning Race day weather conditions were fine, but the wind factor was present for the most of the day.

Only one Hardtail competitor for the weekend, young 13 year old Cameron Warren from Kapati who was riding in his first ever downhill competition, a great effort from Cameron.

The women’s class consisted of 5 riders, it was a pity to see newcomer Zia Pitkethley forced out of her 1st race competition because of a fall on practice day. Great to see Kaytee Campbell looking competitive and managed to take the top podium spot again with AKDH Adrienne Hooper not too far behind, great to also see two international riders, Rosella Pellegrino and Carolin Friese from Germany competing in the NZDH series.

The Masters men class was a close affair with Liam O’Ryan taking out the weekend again with Tim Warner and Clinton Williams close behind.

The U15 class once again was highly competitive with Jack Humphries returning to the top spot and Hayden Meles very close behind, Hayden Stead gave the top two men a bit of a fright by claiming fastest time on their 1st race run. Great to see 20 riders line up for the U15 class over the weekend.

U17’s was a little light in competitors this weekend with school exams being a factor, last round’s U17 winner Nick Roydhouse is out for the rest of the NZDH rounds due to a fall in early Saturday mornings practice which resulted in a broken wrist, fix fast Nick, because Lawrence Cawte absolutely dominated this class for the weekend by a massive 8 seconds!!

The under 19 was a similar story of complete domination as Louis Hamilton put in something special over the weekend and not only won the u19 class outright, but his time was good enough to take 3rd overall in the Pro Elite class – simply outstanding!! Great to see Jake Robinson take out 2nd spot after his nasty crash two weeks ago in Napier.

Senior Mens had a good level of competition once again being the largest field of the classes with 32 riders!, Jonathan Andrews, Carl Edmondson were fighting for the top spot honours with the getting faster round by round Phil Marfell in close pursuit.

Once again, the Pro Elite class was full of action with the presence of the two International hero’s Brook McDonald and George Brannigan competing with the current series leader Matt Walker…

Matt Walker being the ex Crank Taupo event champion for two years running, was looking great all weekend, but it was Brook MacDonald’s turn to stamp authority in the class over the weekend for top spot overall with George Brannigan taking out 2nd place with Matt Walker close behind, it was also good to see Cycle Obsession’s Hayden Lee put out some very clean runs along with some big air time to click in close pursuit with the top guns of the field.

Overall, another great weekend of racing from the NZDH series and with the NZDH Taupo round being involved with the opening event of Taupo’s Bike Fest week, it was great to have the local community making an effort to come out and witness some of the best racing this series has had so far.

A big thank you to Bike Festival Taupo Manager: Steve Giles and Events Taupo Manager Nick Reader for all the help to make this event possible and we are all looking forward to being involved for 2012!

On behalf of Dave Hamilton, Dave Rose , Greg Taylor and Jamie Roberts and Tim Lawton, we would like to thank our series sponsors:

Fenwick’s, Wide Open, Kenda Tires and Hirepool Nationwide for all their help and support to make this series possible.

Next up, Dome Valley, Warkworth, Auckland on the 3rd – 4th Dec in 10 days time, the Dome Valley track has been revamped even more!

See you all there.


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