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New Zealand MTB Worlds team announced

The Mountain Bike New Zealand selectors have named a full strength team to represent New Zealand at the 2006 Mountain Bike and Trials world championships being held in Rotorua August 22-27.

24 downhillers, 40 cross-country racers, 6 Four Cross (4X) specialists and two trials competitors have been selected in the 72 person squad announced by BikeNZ. Of those named only New Zealand’s two former downhill world champions, Vanessa Quin and Scarlett Hagen, are under injury clouds, although both are confident of being fit by August.

Most members of the elite downhill and cross country teams have been training in either Europe or North America in preparation for the world championships, with a number of encouraging results being achieved. Dunedin’s Kashi Leuchs is New Zealand’s current highest world ranked mountain biker at 9th, with Commonwealth Games cross country silver medalist Rosara Joseph ranked 11th.

New Zealand’s down hill bikers are not ranked as high as their cross country team mates in current world standings, although that is a reflection of a lack of international competition in key ranking events rather than poor form. Justin Leov (Blenheim) is currently ranked 17th and Nathan Rankin (Levin) 27th.

One of New Zealand’s best chances of success is 18 year old junior downhill mountain biker Sam Blenkinsop from Wanganui. Blenkinsop is sitting in 29th in the men’s overall world rankings, but first in the junior men’s category which is what he will be competing in. Blenkinsop was 8th at the 2005 junior men’s downhill world championship race in Livigno, Italy.

Complete team roster:

CX Elite Men
Eric Drower, Rotorua
Wayne Hiscock, Wellington
Stuart Houltham, Taupo
Mark Leishman, Palmerston North
Kashi Leuchs, Dunedin
Mike Northcott, Taupo
Aaron Tuckerman, Blenheim
Tim Wilding, Taupo
Non-travelling reserves: Tim Madgwick (1st reserve), Matthew Treanor (2nd reserve)

CX Elite Women
Brenda Clapp, Nelson
Sonia Foote, Rotorua
Erin Greene, Dunedin
Jenny Smith,USA
Rosara Joseph, Christchurch
Annika Smail, Rotorua
Genevieve Whitson, Wellington
Robyn Wong, Wellington
Non-travelling reserves: Anja McDonald (1st reserve), Amanda Davies (2nd reserve)

CX U23 Men
Clinton Avery, Rotorua
Jacob Bauer, Nelson
Stephen Butler, Wellington
Matthew Dews, Taupo
John Gray, Rotorua
Luke Mills, Nelson
Marcus Roy, Te Anau
Non-travelling reserves: Ashley Whitehead (1st reserve), Leigh Reynolds (2nd reserve)

CX U23 Women
Michelle Bellamy, Nelson
Katherine Campbell, Upper Hutt
Michelle Hyland, Hamilton
Lauren Koedyk, Tauranga
Fiona Lindsay, Ranfurly
Carissa Wilkes, Rotorua
Chelsea Wills, Waitakere City

CX U19 Men
Jonathan Coates, Rotorua
Kelvin Drower, Cambridge
Nik Ferigo, Christchurch
Carl Jones, Whakatane
Duncan O’Regan, Christchurch
Thomas Reynolds, Auckland
James Williamson, Alexandra
Non-travelling reserves: Andrew Hughson (1st reserve), Henry Sommerville (2nd reserve)

CX U19 Women
Monique Avery, Rotorua
Katherine O’Neil, Auckland
Hayley Robertson, Upper Hutt

DH Elite Men
Kieran Bennett, Nelson
Des Curry, Rotorua
Glenn Haden, Wanganui
Tom Holland, Rotorua
John Kirkcaldie, Wellington
Justin Leov, Blenheim
Nathan Rankin, Levin
Non-travelling reserves: Tim Mackersy (1st reserve), Byron Scott (2nd reserve)

DH Elite Women
Lauren Campbell, Queenstown
Scarlett Hagen, Queenstown
Olivia Johnston, Christchurch
Amy Laird, Christchurch
Hannah Latta, Wellington
Sheryl McCloud, Dunedin
Jennifer Makgill, Auckland
Vanessa Quin, Tauranga
Non-travelling reserve: Misty Lee

DH U19 Men
Sam Blenkinsop, Wanganui
Cameron Cole, Hamilton
Joel Daniels, Wanganui
Michael Davis, Auckland
Michael Langford, Wellington
Edward Masters, Wanganui
Matthew Scoles, Alexandra
Zac Williams, Dunedin
Non-travelling reserves: Reuben Miller (1st reserve), Brad Ineson (2nd reserve)

DH U19 Women
Holly Kernohan-Smith, Christchurch

4X Elite Men
Reon Boe, Levin
Cameron Cole, Hamilton
Scott Geater, Auckland
Tom Holland, Rotorua
John Kirkcaldie, Wellington
Hayden Lee, Tauranga
Wyn Masters, New Plymouth
Craig Pattle, Rotorua
Non-travelling reserve: Richard McLachlan

4X Elite Women
Lauren Campbell
Scarlett Hagen
Olivia Johnston
Amy Laird
Sheryl McCloud
Jennifer Makgill
Vanessa Quin

Trials Elite Men
Mike Hickman

Trials U19 Men
Tim Jurgens

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