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Birch Wins Te Puke Endurocross

Birch Wins Te Puke Endurocross

by Andy McGechan | www.BikesportNZ.com
February 10, 2014

National enduro champion Chris Birch had more than just the cream of New Zealand’s off-road to contest with but he also had to deal with terrible weather and a brutal course in Te Puke on Saturday.

And it was perhaps a case of Mokau’s Adrian Smith winning the battles, but KTM ace Birch winning the war at the fourth round of five in the KTM Extreme Enduro Series, which also hosted the stand-alone Te Puke Endurocross event.

Smith edged out Birch by 23 seconds, with Wellington’s Jake Whitaker (Husaberg FE250) finishing third in the three extreme enduro race heats, the combined tally of times added together to give a final time score, but then Birch stepped it up later in the day to win the separate endurocross, this time winning from Taupo’s Greg De Lautour, with Smith forced to settle for third position.

The newly-designed track was turned into a mud-fest, with a huge amount of rain drenching the course overnight and continuing to fall throughout the day, with Birch best at coping with the slippery and treacherous features of the course.

Reporoa’s Brendon Imlig showed how good he is in wet conditions as he won the Expert class ahead of Pukekawa’s Anthony Parker with young Josh Hunger, of Stratford, finishing third.

The course was a tough one but there was still some good racing in the clubmans’ class with Auckland’s Daniel Price taking the win from Thames rider Jason Donaldson, while Cambridge’s Ashton Grey settled for third.

Once the KTM Extreme Enduro points races were completed, the top 36 riders went to the shootout for the Te Puke Endurocross final.

Birch made a clean start and won the final comfortably.

The KTM Extreme series now moves on to the fifth and final round, the No Way In Hell extreme enduro at Oparau over the Easter weekend.

ENDS

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