Whaka100 weekend kicked off with the Rotorua Isuzu Shoot Out
Day one of Whaka100 weekend was a success with the Rotorua Isuzu Shoot Out Time Trial taking place at the Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua today.
Australia’s Jon Odams won with a time of 00:05:43.
“It was awesome. I did the race (Whaka100) 9 years ago when I was new to marathon riding and racing and today I really wanted to get a good time and maybe come in the first three or five, so to win, it’s not expected but it’s really awesome.”
Odams said winning the Shoot Out plays a big part mentally in knowing you’re riding well and holding speed on the single track.
“For me the race is about being as efficient and fast as you can across the whole thing.”
Odams won Cape to Cape, a 4 day MTB stage race in Western Australia last weekend with his team mate Brendan Johnston so said he was feeling in good form.
“I have done normal training for marathons and stage races but going into this one is like Christmas because I love the single track here so much.”
Queenstown’s Kate Fluker was the first female with a time of 00:06:40.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, I haven’t done much shorter stuff lately but I’m starting to feel my groove back on the bike so it’s really good.”
“I’ve been out on a lot of big rides. We live in Queenstown so it’s a perfect opportunity to get out in the hills and ride around for three or four hours.”
Fluker said she would be stoked to get the overall win at Emerson’s Whaka100 tomorrow.
“I would be stoked but anything can happen on the day and Karen [Hill] is obviously riding well too. It’s going to be a good challenge out there tomorrow.”
Karen Hill finished in second place and was 5 seconds behind Kate Fluker while Glenn Haden was 2 seconds behind Jon Odams.
Defending champion Tim Rush came in fifth place with a time of 00:05:51.
Defending champion Josie Wilcox withdrew from the event due to an injury.
Event Director Tim Farmer said the event went very well with riders battling it out and an increase in women racing this year.
“The Shoot Out set a really exciting tone for going into Emerson’s Whaka100 tomorrow. It was great to see riders out there battling it out. Defending champion Tim Rush is in fifth place and there are some very good Australian riders too.”
The Shoot Out course is 2.3km and flat. It takes about 5-8 minutes to complete at an average pace.
The fastest rider sits on the hot seat until a faster rider knocks them off. The rider left sitting on the hot seat at the end wins $250, while the overall top riders in each of the 100, 50km and 25km distances gain seeding priority for the Whaka100 on Sunday.
There was a live webcast which proved to be a success, with supporters tuning in from home to watch, as well as a big screen set up at the venue for spectators to watch from.
Emerson’s Whaka100 takes place tomorrow, with the seeding order being announced on the Whaka100 website at 9pm tonight.