Well… the 1st race of the 2017 NZDH Series promoted by Troy Lee Designs kicked off in scintillating fashion at Rotorua this weekend.
After a long wet winter and a fine weather forecast local club Descend Rotorua set the bar for the rest of the series.
150 + riders emerged on Vegas to throw down whatever they had on the famed Taniwha course. The taped course being one of the longest raced for several years due to flood damage on the main line – and – on the back of World Champs in Cairns, they also threw in a decent flat pedal to see who’s been doing some mahi over the winter.
It was fantastic to see 10 different categories racing – from an 11 year old right up 50+ Gordon Stilwell (& he still has the pace) take to the course. There was certainly no shortage of up-and-comers either with stacked junior fields in this ‘continuing to grow sport’.
The pro-elite field consisted of 12 riders, of which 8 have represented New Zealand – the top 5 all being UCI – World Cup regulars – and 2 of which had previously won the James Dodds Memorial Trophy.
With the day running to schedule each set of race runs took 90 mins to complete – smooth riding meant no track hold ups or course closed scenario’s. So… after 3 hours of racing – who came up with goods ?
1st Junior Women – Shania Rawson – fresh from a silver at World Champs, unstoppable.
1st U15 Men – Guy Johnston – new Revolution Products signing and on fire.
1st U17 Men – Finn Parsons – a dominating performance with 7th overall.
1st U19 Men – Josh Oxenham – 5th overall and 1st year junior international.
1st Open Men – Daniel Self – enduro specialist who pedalled his way into the top spot.
1st 30+ Male – Rhys Telford – 1st year masters and 1st ever victory !
1st 40+ Male – Brendon Dally – having come 1st in his last 11 races, target = back !
1st 50+ Male – Gordon Stilwell – the lone ranger – but still quick !
Pro Elite Women – Vinny Armstrong – a great win after a season of injuries.
Pro Elite Men –
1st – Matt Walker – Cube Global – 29″ dh rig – now 4 times winner of the Doddsy Trophy!
2nd – Brook MacDonald – GT International – pushing hard and came off in his 2nd run.
3rd – Keegan Wright – Specialized NZ – consistent times and the fastest legs on track.
4th – Louis Hamilton – Commencal/TLD – 200th’s/second behind 3rd.
5th – Peter Bethell – Scott/Hukkit/Mobil – start line into tree inst fast Peter !
Louis Hamilton – Brook MacDonald – Matt Walker – Keegan Wright – Peter Bethell
FULL RESULTS –
Robin Goomes listed as Junior female is open female – 4th open female.
Gordon Stilwell listed as 40+ male is actually 50+ – 1st 50+ male.