Queenstown Bike Festival first weekend [Press Release]

One of the flagship events in the Queenstown Bike Festival, the Speight's Summit Super D Six Hour Enduro was held in the Queenstown Bike Park on Saturday (March 31), has been hailed again as one of the best races of its kind in the country. “We had a fantastic day on Saturday with the Super D Enduro and everyone was very upbeat about the course and the atmosphere in the base camp area,” says Hunt. “The numbers of competitors doubled from last year and the standard was extremely high." A Super D enduro is a race where there is about a equal amount of climbing and descending in each lap. This enables good cross-country riders and downhill riders to via for the fastest times. In fact this discipline is developing a devoted following in it's own right with riders travelled from all around the country to Queenstown for the event. Surprisingly perhaps the greatest number of riders came from Wellington as this is a hotbed for Super D style racing, with a almost equal number from Nelson and then Christchurch. In total more the 80% of the riders came from outside the great southern lakes area. The course for this event was designed by Jarna Mackenzie from Outside Sports and he linked trails in the bike park, and created some new tracks especially to give it a nice flowing feel to the course. As a result the competitors thoroughly enjoyed the track although a few complained, with a smile about the amount of uphill riding. Competitors rode the Skyline Gondola to the top of the course and the leaders clocked an average 23mins 30 secs minutes a lap with the leaders clocking over 8,000 metres of descending. “There was some spectacular action, great jumps and challenging uphill,” says Hunt. “Spectators on the course got to see some pretty skillful riding.” In the men’s open category three competitors completed 15 laps in the allocated six hours with a tight battle for the podium. Ethan Glover of Nelson pipped Oliver Whalley of Christchurch by 1.37 minutes with Rupert Chapmam of Christchurch taking out third place just under one minute behind Whalley Last years second place getter Jim Hawrkridge (Queenstown) was relegated to 6th this year, while Whalley jumped from fifth to second. “The numbers doubled with this second event in the Ben Lomond forest and there was still no issue with traffic and passing was okay on most parts of the course,” says Hawkridge. The open women’s section winner last year Hannah Thorne of Dunedin (12 laps) moved into the Vets section and down a spot with Naomi Wilson (Queenstown) winning the Vets Women's division and also overall with her 12 laps completed being the fastest. The two men team’s category went with Alexandra based World Cup rider Matt Scoles and his partner Jimmy Pollard , who held off a all day challenge from the Speights' Vertigo Friendship Team consisting of Blair Christmas and Paul Angus from Queenstown. In the finish it came down to just 1 min and 06 secs after 6 hrs of racing. Christmas considered “it was more about a gathering of likeminded people than a serious race. This is what people are looking for, they want to have fun. A lot of people have made an effort to get here because of the style of event it is.” The Hyperformance SantaCruz team from Nelson won the Mixed 2 person division with 14 laps held out over Shifty Seismic Shifters of Christchurch, also on 14 laps. The women’s team of two race was won Lifes a Blur LTc Brenda Clap (Nelson) and Trish Wigley (Wanaka) beating the Nomads with Mojo team of Harriet Harper and Olivia Johnston (Nelson) The men’s team of three was won by the The Giant Vertigo team (also winners last year) with 15 laps who easily beat the second placed the sponsors team Speight's Summit, and 3rd place by another sponsor team Outside Sports, who raced both raced 13 laps. Today (Sunday April 1) the festival hosted a social ride from Arrowtown to the Crown Range, followed by the Kids Mini X. The afternoon saw the League of Gentlemen Meagre Avalanche, a Le Mans style race with self timing on the Ben Lomond Forest tracks and the wacky event the '16inch World Championship inside the World Bar in downtown Queenstown. High Resolution photos are available on the Queenstown Bike Festival web site. Click on the gallery link, then Super D or Kids Mini X. Click on the photo to get the high resolution download. www.queenstownbikefestival.co.nz/gallery RESULTS - FULL SET @ http://www.queenstownbikefestival.co.nz/results-2/speight-s-summit-super-d/  

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