Ashby-Coventry third in cup
Timaru's David Ashby-Coventry impressed at the first round of the New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup with a third placing in the competitive under-19 section.
Raced at Mt Victoria in Wellington, Ashby-Coventry started slowly but came home strongly on the final two laps of five.
He took 14 and then 27 seconds out of second placed Jack Compton's lead over him, but could not quite catch him, finishing 5 seconds adrift.
Rangiora's Ben Oliver leapt out to a big lead on the first lap and was never challenged finishing 2 minutes 26 seconds ahead of Compton.
Samuel Gaze won the elite men's six lap race while Queenstown's Kate Fluker won the women's race.
Gaze's opening lap was only 2 seconds quicker than under 19 winner Oliver.
The New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup, a national series now in its 24th year, will be running a condensed format for 2014, with the cross country decided over two rounds, with the second in Nelson on February 2.
The New Zealand Mountain Bike championships will follow in Rotorua on Feb 14-16 with Oceania championships at Mt Hutt on March 14-16.
- © Fairfax NZ News