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

 
Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Leonard Cohen

If Bob Dylan owned the 1960s, Leonard Cohen was an inescapable presence during the early 1970s period, pre-disco and pre-punk. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Pick And Camera

Through the eyes of a miner – the photography of Joseph Divis: The occupations of miner and photographer are seldom combined. The conjunction must have been very rare indeed in the era before hand-held cameras, high-speed film and flashlights More>>


Howard Davis: Review - The Cosmic Dance Of 'String Theory'

Fly My Pretties sixth album is quite possibly their best yet - a concept album in the best sense, with superb arrangements, funky grooves, and some great vocalizing, all organized around the lyrical leitmotif of string theory. More>>

Non-Natural History: Dinosaur Eggs 'Discovered' At Auckland Gardens

Auckland Botanic Gardens plant curators have unearthed what are thought to be prehistoric dinosaur eggs in the Gondwana Forest section of the expansive garden in Manurewa... In fact, the “dinosaur eggs” are part of an innovative, larger-than-life dinosaur performance and display featuring a raptor, a crested therapod and a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex. More>>

For The Birds: Kōkako Crowned Bird Of The Year

The Kōkako has been crowned New Zealand's Bird of the Year after two weeks of close competition and heated campaigning. More>>

ALSO:

  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news