Gareth Cannon breaks in Arapuke trails with win at Kahuterawa Challenge
Gareth Cannon didn't have any problems adapting to the new trails at Arapuke Forest Park, as he won the Kahuterawa Challenge for the second year in a row.
The Manawatu Mountain Bike Club has had Southstar Trails helping build more trails during the summer and the event on Sunday was the first time all the trails have been fully used since the work has been done.
In good conditions, Woodville's Cannon charged around the two-lap, 34km course in 1 hour 50 minutes 52 seconds, beating under-17 Manawatu rider Caleb Bottcher, who rode 1hr 53min 21sec and Neil Martin, formerly of Manawatu but now of Taupo, in 1hr 55min 7sec.
Palmerston North's Sam Gardner was fourth in 1hr 57min 36sec and Ben Somerton was fifth in 2hr 9min 55sec.
Former Manawatu women Margaret Leyland won the women's competition in 2hr 23min 49sec.
There was also an Arapuke course, which was one lap and Manawatu's Mike Kelly was the winner in 1 hr 3min 34sec.
Youngster Charlie Yorke was second in 1hr 3min 57sec and Ashhurst's Ross Castle was third in 1hr 4min 11 sec.
There were 65 entries, which was surprisingly down from the 90 last year, when there was heavy rain, fog and wind.