Kayne Johnston has been in good form on the bike recently, including finishing third in the Under 15 men’s event at the Mountain Bike New Zealand National Championships on the weekend. Photo supplied.The stocks of mountain biking in the Ashburton District continue to rise with strong results coming out of the Mountain Bike New Zealand National Championships on the weekend.
The event, which was held in Christchurch, saw five local riders competing in the downhill race on Sunday, after a few nervous hours of wondering if racing would go ahead following the change of alert levels.
But with racing cleared to be held, albeit in two separate stages, locals got right down to business with three top-five finishes and two other solid performances in a star-studded field of competitors.
Mountain Bike Ashburton’s Jocelyn Johnston said they were over the moon with the performances.
“It was a bit of a nervous time waiting to see what would happen after Saturday night’s announcement,” she said.
“But once the all-clear came through and we knew what was happening it was down to business, and there were some great results out on the track.”
Caitlin Titheridge continued to impress with her effort to finish fourth in the elite women’s downhill race, while Kayne Johnston found his way on to the podium in the Under 15 men’s race to finish third with an excellent ride.
Josh Kingsbury was sharp in the Masters Men’s event finishing fifth while Oli Nicholls (12th) and Riley Blundell (15th) were both excellent in the competitive Under 17 men’s category.
The weekend’s event wrapped up a few busy weeks for riders who have been trekking all over the countryside competing as part of the National Downhill Series.
Attention locally now though will turn to the South Island Secondary Schools’ Championships, which will be held at Mt Hutt on March 12 and 14, with a good contingent of local riders gearing up to take part.
“We’ve been having training rides at recently with a big number of youngsters turning up which has been great and a lot of them are focusing on the South Island Secondary Schools’ event,” Johnston said.
By Matt Markham © The Ashburton Guardian - 3 March 2021