Downhillers Byron Scott and Gabby Molloy were crowned king and queen of the prestigious Rotorua Mountain Bike Club’s Triple Crown after a tight race on some of Rotorua’s most loved trails and a truckload of home baking. Race one featured Rotorua’s newest track Te-Tihi-o-Tawa which weaves through native bush from the high point of the forest and was the day’s longest run. Byron Scott took out this leg, a clear 20 seconds in front of Rotorua cross-country superstars Sam Shaw and Dirk Peters with the Grizzly Bear Craig Pattle and Swiss maestro Patrick Luthi making up the top five. Next up was a thrash down the jump tracks Huckleberry Hound and Little Red Riding Huck, which had the downhillers licking their lips, but was eventually dominated by Lycra-clad Sam Shaw leaving former elite-DH racers Pattle, Scott and the legendary John Kirkcaldie licking their wounds with Hayden Lee taking an impressive second place on the wild and loose track. The final leg took in the delights of Hot X Bun and Dragon’s Tail, the perfect combination of rough, steep, technical terrain and pinch climbs that makes Super-D races so popular. Local boy Paddy Avery contradicted his lowly seeding to take out this stage by an impressive margin from Shaw, Scott, and Pattle but Byron Scott’s epic performance in the first leg gave him the gap he needed to claim the crown and the bragging rights for downhillers and baggy pants everywhere.
True to form the ladies field was dominated by local DH legend Gabby Molloy from the outset with imposing wins in all three stages including 13th place overall in an impressive run on the jumps track that left many male egos bruised. Gabby was chased hard the whole time by cross-country speedster Raewyn Morrison, who followed up her Oceania champs Super D victory with a second place here once again proving she has the skills to pay the bills. The flying doctor Alice Kevern rounded out the top three throwing up a huge air on the Te-Ara-Puna gap jump leaving onlookers open mouthed in admiration. Josh Lee took home the junior title following a close contest with Nathan Saunders who was praying for rain so he could unleash his inner Danny Hart.
With the racing done the hungry racers feasted on chip butties and caramel slice and event organiser, Kim, dished out a swag of spot prizes including a white water rafting trip with Rotorua Rafting, a luxury cruise with Pure Cruise on Lake Rotoiti, box of German beer from the Okere Falls store, Off Road NZ Vouchers and many more. Big thanks to all the helpers, the event sponsors, and all the racers for making the Triple Crown such a fun and chilled out event.
Results Open Men 1. Byron Scott 2. Sam Shaw 3. Craig Pattle
Open Women 1. Gabby Molloy 2. Raewyn Morrison 3. Alice Kevern
Juniors 1. Josh Lee 2. Nathan Saunders 3. Daniel Parr