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New Zealand National Championships - NE

Nelson, New Zealand, January 27-28, 2007

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Race 2 - January 28: Cross country, 36 km

Avery, MacDonald claim titles in defending champions' absence

Clinton Avery's resume continues to grow at a rapid rate with the Rotorua youngster now able to add 2007 New Zealand Cross Country Champion to his list of achievements. Avery was seeded first, based on UCI results at the end of 2006, and led from start to finish in an impressive run at Nelson. His main competition Marcus Roy finished fourth after a mechanical failure on the second of four laps.

Avery was delighted with his win, with the wet conditions in Australia's Tour Down Under a good lead up to the wet and hilly conditions of the 36km course in the Matai Valley in Nelson. Steady rain made the course difficult and caused several riders to withdraw, but Avery was totally unfazed by the conditions and the effort now means he will be wearing the national champions jersey when riding in the Elite Men's category for the remainder of the year.

The Elite Women's race was won by Anja MacDonald, who beat a small but strong field of competitors. MacDonald has been racing well all season in a competitive field and was pleased to take the champion's jersey. Smith, who is based in the United States of America and rides the strong US national circuit, came a close second while local favourite and legendary mountain biker Brenda Clapp took the bronze medal.

Defending elite champions Kashi Leuchs and Rosara Joseph did not start as both are currently overseas.


Elite Men
1 Clinton Avery (Rotorua)
2 Stuart Holtham (Taupo)
3 Eric Drower (Cambridge)
4 Marcus Roy (Te Anau)
5 Micheal Northcott (Taupo)
Elite Women
1 Anja MacDonald (Dunedin)
2 Jenny Smith (USA)
3 Brenda Clapp (Nelson)
4 Annika Smail (Rotorua)
Under 23 Men
1 Luke Mills (Nelson)
2 Carl Jones (Whakatane)
3 Kelvin Drower (Cambridge)
Under 23 Women
1 Carissa Wilkes (Rotorua)
2 Michelle Bellamy (Nelson)
3 Carrie McLachlan (Auckland)
Under 19 Men
1 James Williamson (Otago)
2 George Bennett (Nelson)
3 Thomas Reynolds (Waiwauku)
Under 19 Women
1 Samara Shepperd (Wellington)
2 Monique Avery (Rotorua)