Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mammoth race in 'sunny' Nelson

Mammoth riders begin the first grueling climb
Photo Patrick Hamilton (Nelson Mail)

In what seems to be a consistent trend for Ventana factory rider Oliver Whalley, a road trip from his home base of Christchurch to the sunny haven of Nelson was greeted by murky rain. This starkly contrasts region's sunny virtues which are loudly and regularly espoused by patriarchal pundits.

Fortunately, the muddy conditions played to Ollie's passion for technical trails, and his efforts were rewarded with a great course including some sweet slippery singletrack in the Richmond foothills.

From the gun, it was a tempo climb, with local pinner George Bennett riding away in a strong show of the form that took him to amazing results in the recent Tour of Southland.

With George off the front, the duel was on for second, with Ollie shredding the first descent to put time into promising young local rider Ethan Glover.

Plagued by chainsuck on his Grinch Green El Padrino, Ollie lost time to Ethan on the final extended climb up German Bush, and a furious sprint to be first into the final descent ensued. The Ventana rider prevailed and extended his lead down the final descent which now resembled a luge track. Ollie's solid second place was a great start to the competitive season.

1600m of vertical and some awesome trails made this a classic Nelson event, with plenty of BBQ sausage on hand at the finish.

Ventana veteran Sue powered her way to a win in the veteran woman's category. Special mention must go to her efforts crossing the Roding River where it was reported she was up to her arms!

Ventana factory riders Ollie and Sue are all smiles; eagerly awaiting the slopfest!
Photo Robin Whalley

The Nelson Mail put together a great race report which conveys the rugged conditions well.

Full credit to Rob and the Nelson MTB club for a fantastic event full of varied and interesting terrain. Mammoth's are usually renowned for 'creative' course marking but his teams efforts were top notch.

Truly an honest mountainbike race and despite trying conditions not a single finisher crossed the line without a grin.

Mountain Pedaler out...