There will be no holding back at the fourth and final round of the 2017 New Zealand Cross-country Championships near Cambridge this weekend.
Taupo’s Brad Groombridge has already made a success of his senior title defence, the 26-year-old wrapping it up at the penultimate round in Marlborough two weeks ago, but there is still plenty to fight for with individual class titles and the overall junior crown yet to be decided.
With three wins from three starts and only three of the four rounds to be counted, as riders discard their one worst result, it means Groombridge cannot be beaten for the 2017 crown, adding that to his first cross-country title he won last season, but there’s still the opportunity for others to claim a few bragging rights at round four near Cambridge this Saturday.
Riders such as Coatesville’s Sam Greenslade, Taupo’s Nathan Tesselaar, Raglan’s Jason Dickey and Te Kauwahata’s Jacob Brown, to name a few, will all fancy their chances of snapping Groombridge’s win streak on Saturday.
Brown currently leads the race for over-200cc two-stroke class honours; Nelson’s Jackson Walker leads the under-200cc two-stroke class; Groombridge has already won the over-300cc four-stroke class; Kotemaori’s Reece Lister leads the under-300cc four-stroke class; Stratford’s Karl Roberts has already won the veterans’ 35-44 years’ class; New Plymouth’s Dougy Herbert leads the veterans’ over-45 years’ class and Otorohanga’s Jan-Maree Pool has already wrapped up the women’s class title.
Saturday’s senior three-hour race is due to start at midday.
Meanwhile, there will also be plenty of interest in watching the 90-minute junior cross-country race, due to start at 10am on Saturday, with several riders in a strong position to claim the title outright.
Waikato’s Seton Head leads the points standings, but, with only three of the four rounds to be counted, it means Te Awamutu’s Daniel White, Raglan pair Logan Shaw and Coby Rooks, Eltham’s Adam Loveridge and Hamilton’s Caleb Richardson all stand a good chance of winning the crown for 2017.
Cambridge rider Head currently leads the junior four-stroke class; Loveridge leads the junior 125cc class and Stratford’s Conor Attrill-Mundt leads the junior 85cc class.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com