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Leading the way ... Waitaki Girls' High School cyclists (from left) Breanna Kingan, Hayley Sim and Ella Hamilton all placed in their grades at the Aoraki secondary schools mountain bike championships. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

North Otago riders carved up at the Aoraki secondary schools mountain bike championships on Saturday.

The championships at Herbert Forest featured enduro downhill and a cross-country events.

In the enduro downhill events, Waitaki Boys’ High School’s Harrison Weir won the under-17 boys grade, and Waitaki Girls’ High School cyclists Ella Hamilton and Hayley Sim won the under-17 and under-15 girls categories respectively.

The enduro tracks were challenging for the young riders, and athletes were judged on times in three different downhill sections – the last aptly named “Dear Oh Dear”.

North Otago riders were also strong in the afternoon’s cross-country events.

Hayley backed up her performance in the enduro event with another win, claiming the under-19 girls title while Ella won the under-17 girls. Waitaki Girls’ rider Breanna Kingan was second in the under-15 girls grade.

Waitaki Boys’ Jakob Cunningham won the under-17 boys cross country event, followed by school-mates Harrison in third and Jamie Sim in fourth.

Mountain Biking North Otago president Marcus Brown was “thrilled” the event was able to go ahead, and with the standard of competition.

He thanked Blakely Pacific Ltd for allowing Herbert Forest to be used for mountain bike trails, and the track builders.

“[It’s] just an awesome network of trails which just gets better,” Brown said.