News Vertigo Bikes Dirtmasters Downhill results
Results for today's closely fought title can be found here
The Vertigo Bikes Downhill Dirtmasters race was nail bitingly close after the seeding runs, with the top 5 open male riders all completing the course within 1.5 seconds of each other. The top 5 in the open male category have all placed in a Downhill World Cup, which demonstrates the high quality riders the high adrenaline event is attracting.
The fastest rider got to keep the hot seat warm and drink beer at the finish line until someone else ran a faster time. Kurt Lancaster from Nelson (entered into the Master's 30+ category) impressively held the hot seat (and drank a fair amount of compulsory beer) for a while with his time of 3:15:20 only being smashed when the top 10 open male riders came through.
Cameron Cole from Christchurch took the podium with 3:02:72, closely followed by Wyn Masters from Nelson at 03:02:93, last year's winner Sam Blenkinsop was third with 3:02:97 and Fabien Cousinie (3:04:03) and Guillaume Cauvin (3:04:20) from France coming 4th and 5th.
The course was another success for course designer Blair Christmas, who unfortunately broke his arm competing on the day. Winner of the Master 40+ category, Tony Moore from Queenstown told us the course was 'O for awesome and an excellent balance between gnar and single track'. Tim Ceci of Vertigo Bikes commented that the course became harder as more riders went down it as the ground was very soft, with the last rider having it the toughest!
The Vertigo Bikes Dirtmistress title was closely fought between world cup quality riders Casey Brown and Harriet Latcham, both from Queenstown. Casey slammed out a time of 3:35:82 with Harriet close on her tail and came through 8 seconds later. Rosie Smith also from Queenstown came third with 3:55:20. As for one to watch for the future, Connor Havey raced in the under 19 category and nailed 14th overall!
A new addition to the race this year was the Rowdy Roots crowd hanging out at the technical root section of Grundy. A craze that started overseas, the idea is for spectators to be rowdy, noisy and crazy with the help of air horns, vuvuzelas and chainsaws and to heckle the riders as they shred through. Competitors loved the rowdy roots and could hear them from the start line. Winner Cameron Cole commented that he does enjoy riding down in Queenstown and he was used to the hecklers on rowdy roots from his racing overseas. Cam added that Queenstown has become a great training destination for him to prepare for his racing overseas. It is apparent tha
t with riders such as the Hutchinson UR French team Fabien Cousinie and Guillaume Cauvin visiting Queenstown, that instead of NZ riders going overseas to step it up a level, the international arena is coming here, as Queenstown and other bike friendly towns mark their place on the map as perfect destinations for Northern hemisphere riders to hang out in anticipation of the build up to the World Cup Downhill season.