September 2, 2021


Jess Blewitt Grabs 8th Place at World Champs

Teenage national champion Jessica Blewitt gave a glimpse of her undoubted talent to claim eighth in the elite women, the first top-10 elite women’s downhill finish since fellow Queenstown rider Scarlett Hagen at the same venue 13 years ago.

Queenstown’s Blewitt, a former competitive skier, only took up mountain biking three years ago when introduced to it through friends.

The 19-year-old won the New Zealand elite title in February and ventured to Europe to place top-10 in the recent World Cup in Maribor before heading to her first world championships.

Blewitt had an outstanding run to finish eighth overall, only two seconds from fourth place to signal how close she was to the seasoned professionals on the podium, where Frenchwoman Myriam Nicole claimed her second victory in impressive fashion.

“The key was to stick to my game plan, at 85 to 90 percent run rather than 100,” said Blewitt. “I want to make sure I finished the run rather than mucking up and not finishing. It was about getting a good clean run.

“This gives me more confidence going into the rest of the races this season. I’d like to stay in the top-10 and I think I’ve done pretty good in my first year.

“It would be nice for a podium but I need to stick to the same game plan and focus on next year with training, more training, more riding and see where that takes me.”

A number of elite men has to overcome crashes in either practice or qualifying, and look to their experience in the changing conditions on the Black Snake course.