Day three at the Nelson Mountain Bike Top Gun concluded in an all out battle to the line in what seemed to be the most exiting XC race the Nelson trails have seen for some time!
We left yesterday, after two events (DH and Enduro) with multiple contenders for the Top Gun Crown, these riders must ride all three events over the three days and then simply most amount of points accumulated from results wins. In the mens category, Kieran Bennett was looking strong with a third place in the downhill and a win in the enduro. Wyn Masters was also looking for a good result after coming second in the downhill and third in the enduro. Not to be discounted was the lyrca clad Phil Atwill and local pinner Loui Harvey.
Riders set off at 10:30am to make an attack on the 20km course which contained near on 1000m of climbing and a fair mix of single track and gravel road grinding. Riding head on into a brutal 200m climb in muggy conditions the lead rider, Henry Jaine, saw off the hill in less than 10 minutes setting a blistering pace.
Topping out on the initial climb and dropping into the first bit of singletrack both Wyn Masters and Kieran Bennett were on the pace, at the front of the pack and looking strong. Bennett even going ‘full lycra’ for the occasion! Masters and Bennett continued in good form into the second descent, keeping their respective places and the pressure on. For the women, Anja MacDonald, lead strongly from the off and giving a lot of the lads a run for their money.
Although Harvey, Atwill and Bennett kept up good speed they were unable to match Masters who came in in third place overall. Henry Jaine won in just 1 hour and 9 minutes with Cameron Ricahrds in second place, followed by Masters a second later.
The third place was good enough for Wyn to be crowned Top Gun and take home the $1,000 prize fund. In the Top Gun standings second place went to Kieran Bennett and third to Phil Atwill. In the ladies it was an all local crowd with Amanda Pearce taking first place and the cheque, Anja MacDonald in second and Amber Werenstyn in third.