McCarroll the most remarkable downhiller

17:00, Apr 21 2014
Kelly McGarry
ROUGH RIDERS: Kelly McGarry leads the field early in the R&R Sport Mega Avalanche, with eventual men’s winner, Sean McCarroll, behind.

Dedicated downhillers raced down a track starting on the main ridge of The Remarkables at the weekend.

The Queenstown Bike Festival's main event, the Mega Avalanche, attracted 50 mountainbikers keen to race 1400 metres to the valley floor on single track and tussock terrain.

Sean McCarroll, of Queenstown, was first in 15 minutes one second. Joe Nation was second and Hayden Lee third.

In the women's event, Meg Bichard, of Nelson, was first in 19:06, with Anja McDonald second and Leigh Halkett third.

Husband-and-wife team Jackson and Rose Green, who is four months' pregnant, rode a custom-built tandem.

McCarroll revealed he managed to win despite running wide on one corner and hitting a bush.

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"Three of us took off. Kelly [McGarry] was leading, Conor [Macfarlane] was second and I was third down the first straight. About a quarter of the way down I got Kelly and then Conor."

Bichard said she had to focus all the way to the finish.

"The first bit was rough and scary over some nose-divey drops but I managed to hold on.

"Then through the tussock I was a bit lucky and fluked a line that worked, then just seemed to hold it all the way down, just one little off but nothing major."

Queenstown Bike Festival director Geoff Hunt said the Mega was a suitably epic finale to this year's festival.

The 10-day spectacular has 25 events.

The Southland Times