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Big turnout for opening event of summer series

GISBORNE Mountain Bike Club's first event of a three-race summer series was a hit.

Almost twice as many riders took to the Fox Street Trails for the Emerre & Hathaway Summer Series opener as competed in the same event two years ago.

Around 60 mountain bikers signed up for the event, racing on the club's new automatic timing systems, which allowed for multiple runs.

Two green-rated trails were used, with riders given four hours to complete up to three laps of each course with the best time from each counting towards their final tally.

Club president Brent Houthuijzen said they wanted to make the race accessible, and chose the easier trails so everyone could ride.

“The fast guys will still be able to go fast.”

The last time they hosted the event they had focused more on the racing, with harder trails, and a lot of people came off as they tried to push their times lower.

He said people who wanted to really test their ability could travel to Rotorua for world-class racing, but this event was aimed at everyone having a good time.

“This is about having fun and local competition,” Houthuijzen said.

“It's also really good to see parents come out and support their young ones.”

The event was the first chance for Gisborne Mountain Bike Club members to try out the first stage of their new shared trail.

Houthuijzen said it had been widened and gravelled to give better access to the network of walking and biking routes around the park.

The original trail had started to deteroriate, but the new pathway was safer and allowed for year-round access to the park, he said. It was able to open more quickly after rain events.

“It's a community park, not just a mountain bike park.”

Houthuijzen wanted to thank all the sponsors who came together to help make the first downhill event possible, with multiple local businesses stepping in to support the cause.

Results —

Open female: Krystal Smith 1, Sheryl Dickinson 2, Nicki Davies 3.

Open male: Jimmy Taylor 1, Jake Leroy 2, Dean Wallace 3.

Under-19 male: Sam Cooper 1, Jack Willock 2, Kyle Seabrook 3.

U14 male: Lani Vera-Steffen 1, Cooper Allen 2, Koby Thomas 3.

Sam Cooper
Hamish Swann
Kyle Seabrook
Krystal Smith
Jack Willock
Jake Leroy
Rees Morley
Sol Bevins
Mason Wallace
Sam Williams