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New Zealand National MTB series #3 - NE

New Zealand, January 22-23, 2006

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Race 1 - January 22: Downhill

Not for the faint hearted

By Karyn McQueen

Round Three of the 2006 National Mountain Bike Series in the Port Hills of Christchurch proved to be the toughest course so far in the National Series with the riders enjoying both the technical aspects and quickness of the course. Even the Pro Elite riders were challenged by the ever changing course with top riders Scott Sheldon and Justin Leov crashing out. Series leaders Nathan Rankin and Vanessa Quin both finished with comfortable wins.

Jennifer MacGill (Auckland) had the fastest seeding time but it was all Vanessa Quin (Tauranga) in the main Elite women's race with Quin posting a 27 second win over MacGill. Austria's Helene Fruhwirth finished in third with 4.13.68 minutes.

"It was great to make it down the course in one piece" Quin said in her victory speech.

With Junior World Champion Scarlett Hagen (Queenstown) out of Series points contention, Quin holds a commanding lead to take out the Elite Women's title.

In the Elite Men's race, 18 year old Keiran Bennett (Nelson) set an early pace with a ride of 3.11.2 minutes, and was looking to hold on to the win until a blistering performance by the last rider of the day, Levin's Nathan Rankin (3.06.75 minutes) saw Bennett reduced to second place in his first pro elite season. Rankin's Two Stage teammate Glen Haden came in third place with 3.11.55 minutes.

This was Rankin's second win for the season and cements him firmly in first place for series points and in a great position leading into the National Championships next weekend.

There has been a large influx of entries for the National Championships in Nelson next weekend and with Oceania and World selectors in attendance, it will be a big weekend for downhill.


Elite Men
1 Nathan Rankin (Levin)              3.06.75
2 Keiran Bennett (Nelson)            3.11.20
3 Glenn Haden (Wanganui)             3.11.55
Elite Women
1 Vanessa Quin (Taruanga)            3.42.51
2 Jennifer Makgill (Auckland)        4.10.28
3 Helene Fruhwirth (Austria)         4.13.68
Junior Men
1 Michael Davis (Auckland)               
2 Edward Masters (New Plymouth)          
3 Joel Daniels (Wanganui)                
Under 17 Men
1 David Scandrett (Christchurch)         
2 Nathan Vella (Auckland)                
3 Reuben Joel (Wellington)               
Senior Men
1 Joseph Allen (Christchurch)            
2 Jeffery Bryson (Canada)                
3 Craig Scott (Christchurch)             
Master 30+ Men
1 Tim Ceci (Queenstown)                  
2 Darius King (Wellington)               
3 Tony Reddish (Christchurch)            
Master 40+ Men
1 David Vieglais (Wellington)            
2 Peter Oskam (Wanganui)                 
Hardtail Men
1 Graeme Adriaens (Christchurch)         
2 James Malzard (Christchurch)           
3 David Wall (Christchurch)              
Senior Women
1 Olivia Johnston (Christchurch)         
2 Harriet Harper (Christchurch)          
3 Misty Lee (North Shore)                
Junior Women
1 Holly Kernohan-Smith (Christchurch)    
Novice Boys
1 Troy Murdoch (Oamaru)                  
2 Nathan Petrie (Christchurch)           
3 Chris Haig (Christchurch)              
Novice Hardtail Boys
1 Michael Vink (Christchurch)            
2 James Hoggan (Christchurch)            
3 Josh Miller (Nelson)