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Games medals boost for Rotorua Bike Fest

Games medals boost for Rotorua Bike Fest

(Originally published at: http://www.themud.co.nz/#!medals-boost-bike-fest/c11ug)

30 July 2014

The win by two New Zealanders in the mountain biking at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be a huge boost for the sport, says Rotorua Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson.

Anton Cooper (19) and Sam Gaze (18) won gold and silver in the finish of the nearly hour forty- long race, leaving veteran Australian Daniel McConnell in their wake.

Dave Donaldson followed the race avidly and described their win as a great result for mountain biking, and for Rotorua.

“Those two young fellas fought out the Mountain Bike New Zealand National Championship here on February the sixteenth on the opening week of the Rotorua Bike Festival.”

In a sprint finish, Sam (from the Waikato) just edged out Anton (Canterbury) in that race, with the order being reversed in today’s result. Sam also won this year the World Cup eliminator race in Cairns, Australia.

“But this result in Glasgow is fabulous in terms of progressing the sport, which is an Olympic discipline and traditionally has attracted the same degree of funding for pathways for young riders as some of the other codes have, and it’s great for our bike festival as well.”

The next Rotorua Bike Festival in 2015 will once again host the mountain bike championships and it is almost certain the two Glasgow medal winners will compete. The winner of the national title is able to wear the national champ jersey in world cup events internationally.

Rotorua still has a bid in to host the World Cup event in 2016, even after Australia withdrew from involvement in the 2105 tour after deciding it wasn’t financially sustainable.

“Dave Donaldson noted also that two women mountain bikers came in the top eight in their event.
“It’s putting us on the map as contenders and it’s really exciting for those two young guys heading into Rio (Olympics) in 2016.”

For more on the Rotorua Bike Festival, go to: www.facebook.com/RotoruaBikeFestival

ENDS

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