Altogether 34 of the very best Enduro riders from New Zealand are now guaranteed a spot to represent the nation, thanks to an increase in the number of entries awarded by Enduro World Series (EWS).
“It’s important to have a strong New Zealand presence in this race as it’s a sport we want to grow. These wildcard entries will help to propel local riders onto the world circuit, which will be huge for New Zealand mountain biking,” says Neil Gellatly, race manager.
To be held on March 28, 2015, the Giant Toa Enduro Rotorua is round one of the EWS season as part of Crankworx Rotorua and will mark the start of the professional mountain bike racing calendar.
According to Gellatly, 15 Kiwi elite racer place holdings were announced in November, and five additional wildcards were expected, but the EWS increased it to 10 to accommodate intense interest.
A panel assisted in rider selection for the remaining spots, which were awarded based on overall event performance, with results at high-profile events among competitive fields receiving higher recognition.
Two of the initial 15 riders were unable to accept their invitation, leaving two extra spots up for grabs. The 12 final wildcards for the 2015 Crankworx Rotorua Enduro are: Sam Shaw (Rotorua), Sam Blenkinsop (Christchurch), Wyn Masters (New Plymouth), Cameron Cole (Christchurch), Reon Boe (Queenstown), Matt Scoles (Alexandra), Tom Skillicorn (Queenstown), Carl Jones (Rotorua), Lisa Horlor (Rotorua), Annika Smail (Rotorua), Leighton Kirk (Dunedin) and Ethan Glover (Nelson).
Wildcard entrant Lisa Horlor says it’s great that more top Kiwi riders get an opportunity to be involved and she is proud to be on the list.
“Getting a wildcard entry is also a fantastic training motivator. There are some really good girls out there and tough competition – it drives me to be the best I can be,” says Horlor.
Enduro is the fastest growing competitive mountain biking discipline in the world, so the limited 400 spots are expected to be in demand.
Between 200 and 250 spots will become available to the public at 9 a.m. New Zealand time on Thursday, January 22, with an entry fee of 85 Euro (approx. NZ$135).
The Enduro World Series uncovers the world’s best trails and unites the world’s best mountain biking communities. In 2015, it is increasing to eight rounds with five new venues and three new countries. The rounds of EWS will visit (in order): New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, France, America, Canada, Spain, and Italy.
Wildcards – Round Two announcement
1. Sam Shaw Rotorua 2. Sam Blenkinsop Christchurch 3. Wyn Masters New Plymouth 4. Cameron Cole Christchurch 5. Reon Boe Queenstown 6. Matt Scoles Alexandra 7. Tom Skillicorn Queenstown 8. Carl Jones Rotorua 9. Lisa Horlor Rotorua 10. Annika Smail Rotorua 11. Leighton Kirk Dunedin 12. Ethan Glover Nelson
NZ MTB Crown Wildcards
1. Matt Walker Kawerau 2. Byron Scott Auckland 3. Connor Macfarlane Queenstown 4. Hayden Lee Tauranga 5. Ed Kerly Nelson 6. Karl Paterson Palmerston North 7. Reuben Miller Nelson 8. Jimmy Pollard Queenstown 9. Ben Robson Rotorua 10. Tom Lamb Queenstown 11. Raewyn Morrison Nelson 12. Anja McDonald Dunedin 13. Sasha Smith Wellington
EWS ranked Kiwi riders
1. Justin Leov Blenheim 2. Jamie Nicoll Nelson 3. Joseph Nation Christchurch 4. James Hampton Christchurch 5. Kurt Lancaster Nelson 6. Rosara Joseph Wellington 7. Meg Bichard Nelson 8. Gabby Molloy Rotorua 9. Anka Martin Nelson