Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Champion Gets Title Defence Back On Track

Champion Gets Title Defence Back On Track

by Andy McGechan | www.BikesportNZ.com
March 16, 2014

The Yamaha ace from Mokau battled to an unaccustomed fourth overall at the series opener in Taranaki last month, bravely fighting back through the pack after a shocking start, and knew he’d have to vastly improve if he was to have any hope of clinching his fourth New Zealand Cross-country Championships title this season.

Improvements don’t come much better than an outright win and that’s what the 28-year-old Smith (Yamaha YZ250) came up with at the second of four rounds in the series on steep hill country farmland at Waerenga, near Huntly, on Saturday, crossing the finish line one minute and 35 seconds ahead of Taupo’s Brad Groombridge.

It completely reshuffled the championship points with round one winner Ethan Bruce, the rider from Maruia also riding a Yamaha YZ250, forced to settle for fourth place overall on Saturday.

That means, with equal results, the two Yamaha men are locked together at the top of the standings, with Raglan’s Jason Dickey – who finished runner-up in Taranaki and third at Huntly – snapping at their heels with the series now at the halfway stage.

Groombridge finished only 30th at round one and must now rely on excellent results in the remaining two rounds if he is to threaten for the title.

“It was difficult for me because I had an injured thumb,” said Smith. “I lost feeling in it and couldn’t grip on the bike very well. But it seemed to come right in the second half of the race and I put on a bit of a charge.

“Brad was actually leading as we headed into the last lap but then he had a huge crash in front of me. He must have slid 30 or 40 metres down the track. I called out to him to ask if he was okay and he gave me a thumbs-up. It was certainly a bit of extra entertainment.”

The conditions were atrocious for the riders with Cyclone Lusi sweeping through the region and the race duration was shaved back from three hours to two because of safety fears in the worsening storm.

“It was very windy in place, especially along the ridge lines,” said Smith.

“Riding in cyclone conditions was not easy and I was leaning at 45 degrees in some places just to avoid getting blown off the bike.”

Meanwhile, 13-year-old Auckland KTM rider Jake Wightman won the earlier junior race – its 90-minute duration reduced by 15 minutes as the storm had started to brew – and he was followed closely by round one junior class winner Ben Fryer (Yamaha), of Waipukurau.

Rounds three and four of the national series will be held respectively in Westland (on Sunday, April 13) and Marlborough (Saturday, May 17).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: The Magic Flute - Magic Moments

Max Rashbrooke: Mozart’s The Magic Flute is an extraordinary tale, blending a story of great solemnity, of elegant music and Masonic virtue overcoming hatred and discord, with elements of extreme silliness and pure fantasy. .. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: ‘Lovely Swans Of Art’

On Cillia McQueen's 'In a Slant Light': Diary-keeping forms the basis of much of this memoir – as with earlier poems – and we are led gracefully through the waves of her life as she sails through both rough and smooth waters. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news