Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ventana rocks it out at the 2010 NZ Singlespeed champs

Spider-Becs hooks one of the monster berms 7-mile is renowned for.
Exercising her cornering powers with responsibility!
Photos Queenstown MTB Club

While ANZAC weekend honours the unfathomable sacrifice of our nations soldiers at conflicts around the world, Ventana NZ's fearsome singlespeeding force were engaged in a guns blazing assault of a different type; the NZ Singlespeed Championships.
The team were well equipped with the finest of singlespeeding munitions; from Ollie's belt driven El Commandate to Jo's double squishy barrelled El Saltamontes.

Hula girl Jo on her way to a storming ride for 3rd aboard her singlespeeded El Saltamontes.

Hosted by the trail crafting masters at the Queenstown Mountainbike club at their amazing 7-Mile course, the battle took place over 5 laps of a hilly course. 100% singletrack and littered with jumps, monster berms and the obligatory beer stop, the race was a feast of moutainbiking mayhem, only heightened by sheer quantity of crazies dressing up (or in some cases disrobing) to fit the mood.

Fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a Mexican pro-wrestler, Michi adopts the El Commandante moniker and proceeds to crush skulls around the grueling course.

From the gun it was madness, with organisers decreeing that riders run 800m with their front wheels, only to have to mount them and hit the course proper. Despite her running prowess, disaster struck for Becs, who lost her QR nut on the run, leaving her using her spider mind powers to locate a spare. At the front of the field, a siren malfunction kept Ollie on edge, forcing him to dig deep to escape the aural assault.

Staff sargent Mops dispensed some indiscriminate justice on the womens field.
She reported Migel her El Toro  was loving the tight and technical trails!

On only the second lap Andy Reid fell victim to the gnarl with an impromptu face grind to collarbone break. Ouch. Andy and Ollie had become good mates over the course of the Kiwi Brevet, so he stopped to check he was okay (he wasn't) before alerting the next marshall of his plight. A sobering reminder of how the good times can turn to crap in the blink of an eye.

Decked out in a skinsuit and a pink Davies Craig Hardtop helmet, Ollie displays a concerned expression on one if the downhill sections of the course. Strange given that his helmet is so safe, it would require a mistimed jump over a shark-filled lava pit to break the impenetrable bubble of safeness.

Lap after lap and the fatigue grew. Without gears to adapt to the slowing pace riders had to dig deep. At the end of it all the Ventana riders performed commendably, highlighted by Jo's storming ride to third in the girls, and Ollie fourth in the boys. All agreed it was the best race of the year, with the electric atmosphere and bermy technical course making the race one to remember. Expect to see a similar all out assault from team Ventana at Rotorua's world SS champs in October!

Realising his head is in the safe hands of a Davies Craig Hardtop,
Ollie adopts his usual smile.

Mountain Pedaler out...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ventana Gringos and Gringas kick ass at Hanmer 8

The gringos and gringas show some post-race stoke

In hitherto unforseen levels of race particiation, a team of 6 Ventana Gringos rolled out the Hanmer 8 hour last weekend, and after a hard day in respective saddles they come away with some spectacular results. The reduction from 12 to 8 hours encouraged big fields in the solo divisions, with Craig, Michi and Ollie all throwing their chains in the ring. A largely flat but still flowy and fun course kept them entertained, with a great low key atmosphere and plenty of rowdy support feel at the Forest Camp village. Jo and Mops tackled the 4 hr while Sue bizarely strapped an ET replica to her bars and proceeded to fly (not literally) around the course as part of a womens team.
All photos are from ultimate race supporter extroidinaire, Rebekah Tregurtha.

Jo and Mops pre-race showing smiles far to big to be serious. Jo went on to reel in first place on the last lap of the 4 hour and took out the win in open Womens. Nice. Mops kept it real for a solid 5th place.

Jo still showing smiles despite ripping the legs off the field aboard her El Saltamontes.
Can't be hurting enough!

Ollie busts out another hot lap. By the time 8 hours was up he'd taken his rigid/Rohloff equiped El Padrino to 1st in the 8 hour solo, only 2 minutes behind the leading teams.

Michi shreds through the forest, furiously chasing down a rider. Sporting the Brevet proven El Commandante and Rohloff combo, Michi pullled of a solid 8th place. He regretted not brining anti chaffe but was back in the saddle the next day for a downhill race. Crazy.

Finally Craig T, who called on supreme displays of riding smoothness to pull off an exceptional 2nd in the veteran mens solo 8. Sucker for punishment that he is, he went on to mop up the rest of the field at the following days sprint race. Solid.

All in all a resounding success for the Ventana Gringos! Expect a big (and mexican themed) appearance at next months Christchurch Singletrack Club Fiesta. Rumors are already abound as to what the costume du jour will be, with the Nacho Libre themed wrestling get-up a leading contender.

Mountain Pedaler out...