This year it was the Kiwi’s turn to hold the Oceania MTB Championships and a freshly-worked track at Mt. Hutt, just outside of Christchurch, was the venue. With locals like Sam Blenkinsop and a freshly-healed Cam Cole keen to show their wares for the upcoming World Cup season, it was set to be a rad race. Brook MacDonald had a new bike and made the trip, as had the Masters brothers, Wyn and Eddie.
Everyone knew the first two days of practice would have good weather, but Cyclone Luci had other plans for race day. It was supposed to be torrential rain and gale force winds. Seeding was moved forward and plans were in place just in case the cyclone forces showed. The rain came overnight and during the day, but the wind didn’t play its part, leaving the race to continue in true World Cup conditions. With a crazy-steep chute into the finish playing on the minds of the racers, it was a race set to test abilities to the limit.
When the clock stopped, Sam Blenkinsop had the composure and speed to keep it together to earn the Oceania Championship victory. Enjoy a wet, wild New Zealand-style slideshow from photographer Tim Bardsley-Smith.