2014 Oceania DH Championships Action - Sam Blenkinsop Reigns in the Rain

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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.

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  • Rockstar Racing established 1996

    3/17/2014 3:20 PM

    Aussie pro's where the bloody hell were you? World cup mud on your back door. Can anybody imagine what a Nz/Aus Tasman series would be like? With Tv coverage and half the world cup field on an antipodean adventure. Wow!

  • sean08

    3/16/2014 7:36 PM

    With DH racing prevailing as one of the most inaccessible sports I can think of, it comes as no surprise some show up ill-equipped.

    That being said, I feel TWR has no excuses. Unless Bulldog prefers the reg tire in back. I dunno

    Riddle me this batman.

  • Acadian

    3/16/2014 3:57 PM

    Maybe Tim is good mates with the UR team members and it's all in good fun, but from reading the captions I'm sensing a bit of resentment about the UR guys not racing in the wet.

  • TBSphotography

    3/16/2014 5:12 PM

    All in good fun.. Just giving some stick. I don't know if i would have raced, it wasn't an important race for them. It was good to see them there, just would have been cool to see them race. :-) Cous Cous particularily was looking really fast in practice.

  • Rockstar Racing established 1996

    3/17/2014 3:15 PM

    Congratulations Tim you are the Oceania Dh photography champion. Absolutely nailed it. You are gifted my man.. Nz photographers need to aspire to your standards. In my 25 years of involvement in Dh out here that race was the pinnacle. To see Wyn humble that rock garden was incredible - so stoked to see him realising his potential skills wise. Oh and good on you for paying out the UR boys - they're just lucky I wasn't on the mike!

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