Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Auckland Championships

New look (Kit and Bike)
Last Saturday Ash and I drove up to Auckland for the final round of the Auckland Mountain Bike Champs held in Riverhead. I was leading woman in the series, with three wins at the previous rounds in Woodhill, Hunua and Slater Road. Kindly, the Retief family generously let us stay Saturday night so we would be prepared to race on Sunday.
Sunday morning arrived and we set out to the track, I was feeling a little nervous about the course. We were to do three 11km laps of a very challenging and technical course which included a 41% rutted and slippery climb, tight rooted single track, and a steep knarly downhill with jumps and drops. 

I started out conservatively as I knew it was going to be a tough day on the bike. The first lap I was riding like a muppet, not use to the vast number of exposed roots which made for a harsh bumpy ride. This initially lead to me to making poor line choices with a disorganized gear selection and a few crashes. As the race progressed, I began to recognize sections of the track and became more confident, faster, and started to really enjoy it. Riverhead is such an amazing place to ride, it really challenges the rider's skills to cope with ungroomed, 'true' mountain biking tracks, never short of ruts, roots and mud. 
I finished first women out of 3.  The small number of women is a shame, but luckily the race format allowed everybody to start together so I was able to be competitive against the age-group men and push myself. 
Thanks to Ash, the Retiefs, Nigel from Endura, Auckland MTB Club for the support at the race series.  With 4/4 wins in the series means I am now the 2011 Auckland MTB Champ. Congratulations to Tom Reynolds who took out the men's title, and Matt Andrew who won the Single Speed class.

Men and Woman's Auckland MTB Champs

1st Raewyn Morrison, 2nd Renee Wilson, 3rd Naomi Wright

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