Queenstown Bike Festival Day One
The 3rd Outside Sports Juice Lubes Super D was once again a great success this year, with almost 200 entrants doing as many laps as possible on the fantastic and challenging course in the Queenstown Bike Park set by local course designer Jarna McKenzie.
The course was successfully kept secret until race day and the amazing trail design was well very received. It included uphills on trails that usually requires to go downhill on, and a good tour of the Bike Park starting on the “Original:” trail and winding its way over to the native beech forest tracks of the Fernhill loop.
A few new lines were cut in, which meant that even the local riders would have not ridden all parts of the course before. The first lap took a few by surprise with a downhill on “Original” abruptly taking competitors to a sharp uphill climb on the “Vertigo trail”.
” The “Thingymajig” trail was part of the course and the infamous “Turd Sandwich” track again turned up like a bad dream,” says race director Geoff Hunt.
“It took a couple of laps for competitors to smoothly plan their gear change and seat height on the tight corner turning into the uphill, but such is the nature of Enduro. One enthusiastic rider overshot the corner and smashed through the course tape causing a few dramas in the early stages, however our team of marshals were on to it and the tape was promptly replaced”.
The diverse field today presented a great mix of pros and social riders from all over New Zealand and the world, with France particularly well represented.
As well as top NZ riders Sam Blenkinsop (Wanganui), Cameron Cole (Christchurch), Matt Scoles (Alexandra), and Rosara Joseph (Wellington) to name a few, we had the Commencal Super Team as well as the Hutchinson UR / Polygon team, both from France.
The female contingent was supported by the fantastic all women’s biking organisation Revolve who sent quite a few crews from Wellington.
Ethan Glover (Nelson), nailed the Open Male Category with the fastest time, closely followed by Jamie Nicol (Neslon), and Rupert Chapman (Christchurch), they all beat out an impressive 14 laps on the course today and were ranked on the time taken overall.
The Vet Males showed that age is not of consequence with Jonny Waghorn (Wellington), managing 13 laps and locals Tim O’Leary (Queenstown), and Neil Proctor (Queenstown) coming 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The local bike store teams battled it out fiercely in the Mixed team of threes, with headline sponsor Outside Sports winning, Vertigo Bikes a close second, both from Queenstown and The Babolink Trio, from Wanaka and Wellington, placing third.
The mixed teams of two were led by the Santa Cruz Mixups from Nelson, followed by team 77 Coupe, also from Nelson, and in third position team “What goes up must come down” from Christchurch.
The all male team of three was won with 14 laps by the Hutchinson UR team from France, but that was to be expected with a team containing World Cup Downhiller Fabien Cousinie.
2nd place went to team Production Privee, from Queenstown and 3rd to Team Alta, also from Queenstown. The all male team of two had the highest number of laps with team Majordebt from Rotorua sitting on 15, team B Town from Christchurch ironically finishing 2nd and Team Byron Scott from Auckland and Rotorua coming 3rd place, both sitting on 14 laps each.
The female team of two was won by NZ Trail Friend from Wellington and Nelson at 13 laps, with the 2nd spot on the podium being taken by Team 1.5 from Queenstown and then Team Gap from Christchurch in 3rd place.
The local Queenstown lasses Dirt Town Queens wore their flannel shirts with pride, nailing it in first place with Far from Faavae from Nelson, Darfield and Christchurch coming second.
Last but not least, the individuals that braved the solo event in the women category and won were Veteran Female Ilse Vermeulen and Jess Fenwick in the open Female.
The Outside Sports Juice Lubes Super D certainly made its stamp on the Queenstown campground – rocking it out with some great tunes, the sofas and tents were out in force, the beer coolers were cold and it was a day of fun for all with a great vibe.
But on the race course Bobby McMullen, form the US, aka Blind Bobby, impressed the most.
In the midst of the whooping, the sound of tires shredding on the loam and the clash of chains against a frame, you could hear ‘left left left, pull up, pull up, roll over, right, right, right’ from the trails around.
Bobby’s guide, alternatively Marc Dixon from KRD Import, Christchurch, and Yuri Hauswald from the US, were calling instructions for Bobby to choose the right line. It was really awe inspiring to watch these men in action and their achievements are simply astounding.
From Enduro to Polo, the first day of the Queenstown Bike Festival also saw a half day bike polo tournament take place at the Remarkables Park in Frankton.
Teams were giving a demonstration on a Queenstown visit following the Australasian Champs that has just been held in Timaru, where 42 teams competed in the champs with riders from the UK and the US competing for the prize.
The game consists of 3 riders in each team, and goes on until either 5 goals have been scored by one team or an allotted time has passed.
As well as being a game of skill and dexterity that involves trying to hit the plastic ball in between the goal posts, with a polo stick that usually consists of a ski pole with PVC pipe attached , there is much focus on heavy bike customisation and good old fashion fun.
The Queenstown Bike Festival, “It’s all about the bikes and more”, is a ten day festival combining more than 25 events featuring all type of bikes, be it mountain bikes, downhill, cross-country, or road bikes through a diversity of events that you can participate in, support, or just watch.
Find out more about the Queenstown Bike FestivalÂ here.