While the world's MTB media and global community were focused on the Mediterranean and the Italian slopes of Punta Ala yesterday, a crowd of charging Enduro racers were replicating the inaugural Enduro World Series energy at a place called Nelson at the top of the South Island, Aotearoa, kiwi style.
Weather watch provided a one day window of sunny weather for the second running of the Codgers Enduro and racing was greasy and hot. Four stages, 1500m of climbing and four of Nelson's best riding trails provided a thoroughly testing range of terrain, from the old Forest Service bush singletrack style of Supplejack to the newly refurbished, bermed and supercharged Firball. The field was strong, with times tight at the top and the 30-39 class showing just how tough they are claiming the first five spots on overall.
When Murray Drake comes out to play you know that things are getting serious - Muz isn't seen out and about that often at events unless they are worthy!!
But when the moist dust had settled, it was Jamie Nicoll who banked the money, maintaining an edge over Kurt Lancaster right through the day to show he is well on song to join the EWS party in the middle of next month and take on the stars of Punta Ala. Meg Bichard won the women's class and continues to show a real liking for this style of racing (EWS calling Meggie?).
A good day for sure. The curry and rice at the end of stage four was wolfed down by some pretty tired competitors, after a hard day chasing the clock around the hills of this beautiful little outpost of all that is good about riding a mountain bike!