WIDE OPEN IN TAURANGA

Two of Wide Open's rag tag downhillers made an impact at the first round of the North Island DH Cup on Saturday. Wyn Masters (current national champ) had a stonker of a qualifier and sat in 2nd (from memory, correct me if I'm wrong!) going into the final. Teammate Jay Barrett qualified 3rd in the U19 category, and come the final ended up a hair behind the eventual winner Reuben Olorenshaw to take 2nd.

Some of the 'Team behind the Team' from Wide Open were  on hand at the event and penned the following report.....

The New Zealand race series kicked off on a typical sunny day in the Bay Of Plenty, with Tauranga's Cycle Obsession MTB park hosting the country's top riders for an awesome weekend of racing.

Event organiser Tim Lawton went all out with impressive trade stands and a big screen TV to keep spectators entertained all day, while the relatively short track meant for some tight racing where the slightest mistake would make a big difference to placings.

This was the first race for the new Downhill Team of National Champ Wyn Masters and upcoming junior rider Jay Barrett on the new Turner DW DHR and both riders were looking for a top result. Wyn and Jay both had enough time on the bikes before the race to make a few tweaks and get the suspension dialled in so they were happy with how the new rigs were riding. Come time for seeding runs they were feeling good. Jay seeded 3rd on a 2:08, 2 seconds behind Louis Hamilton and Reuben Olorenshaw while Wyn seeded 2nd in Elite, 2 seconds behind world #4 Sam Blenkinsop so both riders were off to a promising start!

Race runs were delayed after a nasty crash to one of the racers but eventually Jay got to do his run and shaved 2 seconds off his seeding time to finish 2nd, just 0.01s behind Reuben! Wyn didn't fair as well unfortunately as an exploding derailleur within sight of the finish line put and end to any chance of a decent finish. Sam Blenkinsop went on to take the win with a 2:00 min run ahead of Nathan Rankin and Matt Walker.

Photos: Jono Church & Jennie Barrett