Today was a big day for the new buzzword, with the Trans Provence finishing at about 3am this morning and now today, the second Rotorua Gravity Enduro is in the books. Brett and Ryan will be bringing you their words and images a little later but for now we can tell you that Matt Walker took the men’s win and Raewyn Morrison the women’s…
*Words and Photos by Mead Norton (www.meadnorton.com) Rotorua
The 2nd Giant 2W Gravity Enduro race was held in Rotorua over the weekend and was by all accounts a really successful event. There were over 300 entrants to the event, making 2W the biggest Enduro event in New Zealand. For this event, the courses were changed from the previous event and an additional stage was added bringing a total of stages raced to five with a combined total distance of 15.8 km and over 1150 m of descent.
Matt Walker used his success from his European race season to help him take out the overall Men’s category in an impressive 31:56, even on a borrowed Giant demo bike. Raewyn Morrison came back from a serious injury earlier in the year to win the overall Woman’s title in 37:19, just ahead of Jenna Makgill who clocked in at 37:28 and moved up a place from the last event.
Enduro Racing is the latest format of mountain bike racing which is really targeted at 80% of all mountain bikers. It’s not really about who can ride really gnarly technical downhill tracks fast and it’s not about who has the most endurance and can climb up the steep hills like a roadie. It’s about going out and having fun on the trails with your mates. Yes, there is racing involved and set trails you have to ride, but the trails are mostly downhill and there are options so that riders of all abilities can ride the whole course. In fact this year there was a couple out tackling the course on a tandem bike. As one of the riders said, “It is a five hour race where you are in the red mist for about 35-45 minutes.”
Overall there was a huge range of riders competing, ranging from 9 to over 60 and the event had over 50 more entries than the first 2W race. The event also attracted a sponsored team over from Australia, who were able to win the overall Men’s team category and Jon Odams got second overall just behind Matt Walker.
Event Organizer, Neil Gellatly, had this to say about the event: “I think this October event was the best event I’ve run yet. The venue, scene and atmosphere was perfect. Everything went really well, we had great numbers and most importantly the event sponsors and riders really enjoyed themselves. Roll on next February’s event”. The next 2W race will be part of the 2nd annual Rotorua Bike Festival and will take place during the last weekend of the festival. The February Giant 2W Gravity Enduro event has also been given a Gold classification in the NZ Enduro Crown. More images can be found at www.meadnorton.com/blog