SHARE
Top effort . . . Jonty Nelson (Team Waitaki Boys') heads off for another lap of the 11.6km circuit. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

Oamaru riders put on a mountain biking masterclass at this year’s Naseby 12 Hour Challenge.

The North Otago town was well-represented at the annual mountain biking event through the Naseby Forest on Saturday.

After 12 hours of racing, Waitaki Boys’ High School teams took first and third places in the junior teams category.

First-placed Team Waitaki Boys’ (Will Plunket, Jonty Nelson, Ben Strang, Jakob Cunningham and Vandy Selfe) completed 20 laps of the 11.6km circuit and finished a full lap clear of second-placed Verdon College, and ninth overall.

The Waitaki Boys’ 125ers (Cade Hamilton, Harrison Weir, Korban Selfe and Sam Edmondston) squeezed in 18 laps to finish third.

Overall, the top four teams all completed the 12-hour race with 23 laps.

Oamaru team EPO Express (Taz Selfe, Blain Hamilton and Kaleb Hayes) was second in┬áthe men’s open grade and third overall, and Slowly Fading (Brock Hamilton, Sullivan Martin, Aubury Martin and Rhys Hamilton) was third in the men’s category and fourth overall.

Oamaru brothers Tim and Kris Rush were first and second respectively overall in the six-hour solo race.

Tim also rode the fastest lap of the day, in 27min 10sec.

In the veteran teams category, Not so serious anymore (Harvey Weir, Kelvin Weir, Blair Selfe and Graham Macleod) placed third.

Mountain Biking North Otago president Marcus Brown said it was great to see so many local riders participating – competitively and socially – in the Naseby 12 Hour Challenge.

Mountain biking was growing in popularity in North Otago, and it was encouraging to see so many young people taking up the sport and doing well at events such as the 12-hour race, Brown said.

“We’ve just got a pool of raw talent here and they’re making the most of all of the opportunities,” he said.

The development of trails in North Otago had been key to the sport’s growth and athletes’ success, he said.

“The network of trails that have been established by Mountain Biking North Otago has made a real difference

“I think that gives everyone a focal point, the tracks are very accessible.”

There were also several teachers at North Otago schools who were helping to introduce pupils to the sport and encouraging their development, he said.