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Race for Second Place Hotting up

Race for Second Place Hotting up at 2005 Adventure Racing World Championship

November 17 2005: The Kiwi adventure machine Balance Vector is well ahead in the 2005 Adventure Racing World Championship on the West Coast of the Southern Alps and have just started the 45km paddle on the Buller River.

Balance Vector has maintained its healthy lead over its closest challengers on the 430km course in the Buller Region, and is now about 11 hours ahead of second place Swedish team Cross Sportswear, who raced through checkpoint 18 on the mountain bike.

Balance Vector reached the transition point running from the mountain trek through the Kirwans and the Brunner Range.

Cross Sportswear and fellow Swedish team Halti were neck and neck through the mountain biking section but Halti had a puncture after leaving checkpoint 18 and Cross Sportswear left them behind.

The mountain bike section has created some reaction from teams.

Balance Vector left a note at the transition area saying they had been asked to bring their bikes on the 89km stage, but they only used them 20% of the time, and might as well have left them behind.

Likewise Halti team captain Mikael Nordstrom blamed ARWorld Series director and course designer Geoff Hunt for a tough section which he claimed Hunt had never completed himself.

"My answer to them is they need to learn how to ride a mountain bike," quipped Hunt.

The US/Kiwi/South African Merrell Wigwam team passed through checkpoint 18 in fourth position at 10.04am in front of a tight bunch -Lundhags of Sweden 5th at 10.40am and defending champions Nike Balance Bar of USA and Kiwis Port Nelson arrived in the checkpoint in 6th equal position at 10.44am.

Cross Sportswear maintained second place at checkpoint 20 arriving at 1.32pm. Lundhags made it to the checkpoint at 2.18pm and defending world champions US team Nike Balance Bar and Halti were not far behind arriving at 2.22pm and 2.34pm respectively.

Twenty one teams are still racing on the course. Wellington team Terralink Capriccio were forced to withdraw this afternoon when team member Dave Hicks strained his knee. His team members are continuing the course unranked.
The West Coast Development Trust is the principal sponsor for the Adventure Racing World Championship.

For up to date race coverage www.arworldchampionship.com or for alternative coverage www.sleepmonsters.com

Southern Traverse Ltd is a premier international sports event management company operating elite events around the world, including the Adventure Racing World Championship, the AR World Series and the Southern Traverse.

The Adventure Racing World Series is an international circuit of premiere adventure races representing 10 countries creating a 12-month calendar of professional events around the world. The series events are: Beast of the East-USA, Raid the North Extreme- Canada, Ecomotion/Pro - Brazil, Explore Sweden - Sweden, The Bull of Africa - S.Africa, Terra Incognita - Croatia, Bergson Winter Challenge - Poland, Wilderness ARC - Scotland and Southern Traverse -New Zealand. Adventure Racing World Series events are qualifiers for the Adventure Racing World Championship

ENDS

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