Here’s a report from our roving reporter David Sibley.
The New Zealand National Champs 2009 were held in “sunny”? Nelson at the top of the Southern Island and it was far from sunny over the weekends events.
The racing kicked off with the dual on the Thursday on a short but fun little track. The event ended with the final between Ben Cathro and Sam Blenkinsop, with Sam on his 4x bike and Ben on his dh made for some interesting racing. Sam took the win.
For the 4x the weather was wet and mud’s were needed but some great racing in these conditions. I qualified 6th but slipped a pedal in the semi’s. The final was Wyn Masters, Eddy Masters, Ben Cathro and Nathan Sharratt. Out of the gate with their bars close, they go down and Cathro and breaks his forks, Sharratt misses the tangle and takes an easy win with the Master boys Wyn and Eddy settling for 2nd and 3rd.
The Downhill was probably on the Hardest and Best track all summer.
It was rocky and fast with many challenging sections especially in the conditions, but a great finishing jump, it was a proper “mans track”. The weather was the main topic of discussion with heavy rain fall on all of Saturdays practice, but drying up slightly on Sunday.
Unfortunately this was the only race without a Brit on the podium due to minor crashes.
Justin Leov rode deceptively quick to take out the national title, with Sam Blenkinsop in Second and Kieran Bennet in third.
In the women Emmeline Ragot beat Sabrina Jonnier for the win.
For the Overall New Zealand Downhill Cups the Brits clean up, Danny Hart takes the South Island cup and Ben Cathro takes the North Island Cup,and the overall New Zealand Cup too.
Cameron Cole giving it a bit of tweakage over the finish line double.
Words and Photos:David Sibley.
justin Leov wins the new zealand national downhill mountain bike Championships on his Trek with Yeti cycles Sam Blenkinsop in 2nd