Another great season of New Zealand mountain biking has come to an end and NZ MTB Crown has announced the overall champions, as well as the top club/team’s and bike brands.
This year NZ MTB Crown events saw over 5000 riders competing across 134 events within the four disciplines of Enduro, Downhill, Cross Country and Cyclo Cross.
Every rider that competed in a mountain bike event has earned a national ranking, and there are also results for each age group, from Under 17 to Master 50+. Achievement certificates with a list of the riders results are available for every participant! The site has developed into the most comprehensive and accurate measure of riders overall performance in New Zealand and helps encourage friendly competition around the country.
At the end of each season all events are ranked to earn their classification for the next year. Riders get the chance to vote (voting closes on the 14th May) and events are also ranked on the points of all riders that competed.
The original and still most popular discipline of mountain biking had another stellar season this year, made up of 43 events and 2214 riders.
With just 200 points separating the top four riders in the Female XC class, it was clear how tight the competition has been this year for the women. With a total of six victories, which included the gold level national championship win, it was Kate Fluker (Queenstown) who claimed the top spot of the NZ MTB Crown rankings for a second year running. In second place, just 46 points behind was first year senior, Amber Johnston (Rotorua). Third place saw a tie between the old guard, ex Olympian Karen Hanlen (Whakatane) and the young up and comer Jemma Manchester (Auckland). Jemma showed her huge potential by winning almost every junior XC event this year and will certainly be a name we hear more of in the future.
With NZ’s star riders Anton Cooper and Sam Gaze only competing in limited NZ events this summer, the door was left open for a new champion to emerge. And that it did, with young fifteen year old Eden Cruise (Whitby) stepping up and winning the overall NZ MTB Crown rankings ahead of last years winner Dirk Peters (Rotorua). Eden’s 1800 points were made up from regular victories in the Junior and Senior classes throughout the 16 races he competed in. Eden also won the senior class at the Gold level Karapoti Classic event, proving he was indeed the rider of the season. Third place went to Steve Bale (Wellington).
NZXC Racing took the win in the club/team competition for a second straight year thanks to Eden Cruise, Dirk Peters and Kate Fluker.
Giant Bicycles took the cross country bike brand rankings with Dirk Peters, Kate Fluker, Jemma Manchester, Harrison Mudgway, Sarah Beadel and Merrin Brewster all contributing to the points total.
The fast growing discipline of Enduro racing saw 29 events and 2043 riders taking part, which is a 27% increase in participation from last year. In the women’s ranks it was Raewyn Morrison (Nelson) who took a storming win with 2330 points, ahead of last years winner Meg Bichard. Third place went to Rosara Joseph (Wellington) despite only competing in five events and having ‘officially’ retired mid season
With only 500 points separating the top ten in the Enduro Mens field, this years racing was clearly very competitive. In the end it was Wyn Masters (New Plymouth), helped by his spectacular 3rd place finish at the Rotorua EWS round, who took the win with 1290 points. Second place went to our favourite Frenchy, who spends a significant amount of time in New Zealand each year, Jerome Clementz. Carl Jones (Rotorua) managed 3rd place, while also racing competitively in the XC field, finishing 6th place there as well.
The club/team rankings went to the Nelson MTB Club for a second straight year, thanks to the efforts of Raewyn Morrison, Kurt Lancaster, Mark Dunlop, Reuben Miller, Jake Todd and Cameron Jones.
Giant Bicycles took the enduro bike brand rankings with Raewyn Morrison, Carl Jones, Mark Dunlop, Lisa Horlor, Josh Reilly and Hamish Paice contributing to the points total.
With 28 events and 867 riders, it’s been another great year of racing on the Downhill scene!
George Brannigan (Havelock North) has marked himself as the kiwi to watch this year, with a stellar NZ season including victories in the national championships and the second round of the NZ national series. George took out the overall win with 1510 points, ahead of last years winners, Sam Blenkinsop (Whanganui). Matt Walker had an incredible season in both Enduro and Downhill, competing in 15 different events, finishing third in the Downhill and 4th in the Enduro rankings.
The women’s downhill field saw Sarah Atkin (Lower Hutt) score enough consistent finishes to end the season on top with 2110 points. Our new national champion, Alanna Columb (Queenstown) came in second, with Amanda Monk (Kawerau) taking out third.
Stepping up from second last year to take the win in the club/team competition was the Wellington MTB Club with the points coming from Sarah Atkin, Nathan Timoko, Ali Quinn, Finlay MacDonald, LLoyd Jenks and Hamish Mackie
Giant Bicycles took the downhill bike brand rankings with Keegan Wright, Cameron Kay, Cameron McLeod, Raewyn Morrison, Sam Robbie and Michael Wilson contributing to the points total.
Almost out of nowhere, 2015-16 saw the rise of 34 cyclocross events all over New Zealand, with 610 riders taking part.
With 5 straight wins, including the national championships, it was safe to say Brendon Sharratt (Wellington) dominated the men’s racing this year, with Gary Hall and Dan Warren (Hastings) 2nd and 3rd respectively.
In the women’s cyclocross field it was Dunedin’s Paula Hesler taking the win from Liv Bishop and Anja McDonald (Dunedin).
Cycle World Dunedin won the best club/team with the points coming from Paula Hasler, Josh Fitzgerald, Paul Gough, Matt Dunston and Shannon Hope.
Specialized took the cyclocross bike brand rankings with Paula Hasler, Dan Warren, Josh Fitzgerald, Simon Lawson, Ben Luke and Shannon Hope contributing to the points total.
More about NZ MTB Crown
The NZ MTB Crown aims to promote mountain bike racing in New Zealand by encouraging riders to participate in more events and earn national ranking points. We are free and inclusive of all events and participants, no matter what level. Please visit www.nzcrown.co.nz to see a comprehensive calender of events, race results, rider rankings and profiles.
Providing this service takes time and costs money. To help keep this project sustainable the NZ MTB Crown depends on sponsors and advertisers such as Camelbak, Topedo 7, Fattyre.co.nz, Yeti Cycles, 2W Gravity Enduro, Floyds Cafe, Urge Bike Products, Bike Otago, G Form and Brake Authority.
NZ MTB Crown would like to hear from any company/person that would be interested in supporting the project with sponsorship, donations or advertising. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org