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MTB students excel down south

The burgeoning reputation of Marlborough’s college mountain bikers moved to another level at the weekend.

The Cycling NZ Schools South Island Championships were staged at the Mount Hutt Mountain Bike Park, with riders from Marlborough Boys’ and Girls’ Colleges, Queen Charlotte College and

Bohally Intermediate achiev

ing top results and making regular appearances on the podium.

The championships featured cross country events on Friday, followed by the downhill on Saturday and

enduro on Sunday.

Neve McKenzie and Cam Anderson claimed South Island cross country titles in the U14 Girls and U16 Boys respectively.  Neve showed determination, reclaiming the lead in her race after slipping behind following a mechanical issue on the first lap.

Marlborough dominated the U16 podium, picking up four of the six available medals. MBC riders took all three podium positions with Cam joined on the podium by second-placed Finn McKenzie and Lachlan McNabb. Maddy Sinclair, representing MGC, finished second in the girls’ section.

Adam Bidwell picked up a bronze in the U20 boys’ race, while there were many other top 10 results achieved.

On Saturday, the d

ownhill race was staged on a technically demanding track that featured a steep slippery section, step downs and a number of steep

, rocky shocks.

Marlborough achieved two podiums with Ben Sziranyi missing the

gold medal by only 0.1 of a second, while Maddy claimed a bronze medal.

Tom Morrison, Lachlan McNabb, Jonty Burfoot, Nate Washer and Cam Clemett all racing well and achieving top 10 finish

es.

The Enduro was raced over a four-stage course featuring rocky sections, drops and steep clay shoots.

Podium results in the Enduro were highlighted by a gold medal for Ben who avenged his narrow downhill defeat. Neve and Finn completed a great day for the McKenzie household, both taking silver medals.

Top 10 results were again achieved by Alex Craig, Lachlan, Tom, Maddy, Nate, Jacob Herd and Cam Clemett.

On the back their consistent performances across all three categories, MBC claimed the bronze m

edal for overall schools performance.

Marlborough racers also featured in the coveted overall championship, which is awarded to riders contesting all three disciplines with points assigned for each race.

Ben won the U16 boys overall title, while Maddy won silver and Finn bronze. Consistent riding from Nate saw him bag bronze in the very- competitive U17 boys’ category.

There was an unfortunate ending to Cam’s participation. Following his outstanding win in the XC on Saturday, he had an accident in the downhill, breaking both wrists.

A feature of the weekend was the rowdy support from fellow competitors and supporters to all the Marlborough riders.

The Marlborough Mountain Bike Club will host the National Secondary Schools MTB Championships in October.