Riders rack up the laps

DUSTY TRAIL: Alex McGregor from Dunedin competes in the Tekapo 10 mountainbike rally.
DUSTY TRAIL: Alex McGregor from Dunedin competes in the Tekapo 10 mountainbike rally.

The first-ever Tekapo 10 mountainbike rally has given the Mackenzie College adventure race team a $5000 boost towards their endeavours.

Event co-organiser Nigel Wilson said 27 teams, each featuring up to five riders, rode at the Lake Tekapo Regional Park Forest last Saturday.

"The aim was to complete the highest number of laps in a 10-hour time period. I would say the riders collectively notched up 5800km in total," Mr Wilson said.

"It would have reached over 30 degrees, and the course was pretty dusty at the start of the day. But as the day carried on, the riding got easier and even slightly quicker."

Timaru teams were first in both the mens' and womens' category.

Hayden Vaughan, Jon Crossman, Carl Vaughan, Mark Johnston and 16-year- old David Ashby-Coventry completed 34 laps, while the women's team of Nicola Howes, Lucy Urbancova and Emma Prestidge completed 26 laps. Ashby- Coventry produced the quickest lap of the day, completing the 6.7km circuit in 15min 53sec.

"Considering he's still a very young rider, it was a superb performance. Many of the competitors would have had several years on him," Mr Wilson said.

Meanwhile, Mackenzie College were first in the male and female under-19 category. Jayson Binns, Joshua Sheehan, Fraser Dixon and Chris Rushton completed 31 laps, while Charlotte Willson, Lucy Gibson and Jessica Adams completed 23 laps.

South Canterbury rider Milan Brodina won the individual men's category after he rode non-stop for 9h 53min to complete 28 laps (190km), while Dunedin's Harriet Miller was the best of the individual women riders, completing 156km.

Mr Wilson said more than 50 volunteers helped out on the day, while more than $5000 was raised towards Mackenzie College's adventure race team, who will compete in the Sir Edmund Hillary challenge at Tongariro National Park in May.

"The majority of the adventure race team members also rode over the weekend, so it served a dual purpose. They could not have asked for better support," he said. "We hope the Tekapo 10 mountain bike rally could become a permanent annual fixture."

The Timaru Herald