Red Bull Defiance - Day 1 VNR
Competitors battled changing conditions from the outset as Red Bull Defiance got underway in it’s fifth year. Riders battled windy conditions and 68km of technical terrain across three stages, including 1570m of vertical climbing on day one. Teammates McCaw and McLachlan racing in the new X4 category suffered an early setback as McLachlan crashed on a technical descent. “I knew I was going over the handle bars, it was a bit epic and a bit sore. But When you’re teaming up with Richie you know he can play a game of rugby with a broken foot, so you really can’t complain” said McLachlan. Vowing to continue, he went on to say “I did say pre-race even if we crawled across the finish line we’d get there, so now I have to live up to it.”
At the front end of the field, two teams battled it out
all day as the morning sun made way for a wet and windy
afternoon. Leading off the bike after stage one, Jones and
Busch battled back and forth with Canterbury young guns
Hamish Elliot and Sam Bell. Paddling hard to reclaim the
lead in the final kilometres of the kayak, Jones and Busch
took the win on day one in a total time of 04 hours, 51
Both accomplished athletes; Jones a former New Zealand juniorcross country mountain bike champion, and Busch a former New Zealand national multisport champion. “A couple minutes lead now doesn’t mean much…it’s all going to come down to the run, still a big day tomorrow so anything can happen” said Busch.
In the women’s race Kim Skerman and Nic Leary took line honours in a time of 06 hours, 3 minutes, with Austin Garden and Kath Kelly winning day one of the mixed team category.
Heading into day two tomorrow, athletes stand to battle
worsening conditions as more rain and wind is predicted for
Founder and creator of the two-day Red Bull Defiance event and three time champion Braden Currie gives his insight into what lies ahead for the athletes on day two.“Tomorrow could be a bit more of a challenge, Buschy (Daniel Busch) is a big man and I know that run’s probably going to hurt him. It’s going to be some pretty interesting racing to see how it all unfolds tomorrow” Currie says.