The huge increase in the numbers of women entering mtb & multi-sport events was also reflected at our inaugural event on Saturday, the Tineli Kaiteriteri Beach MTB Park Challenge, where the femmes took out 1st, 3rd & 5th slots in the premier 3-lap race section.
Eloise Fry led from start to finish, holding off a strong challenge from Andrew Scott in 2nd place. Tiffany Farnsworth somehow managed to smile her way around the course and still finish 3rd, while Pete Anglesey showed his racing days are far from over with a good 4th. Kirsty Moran deserves a mention for both her very respectable 5th place as well as being our first Park 'trail pixie' home.
But the day wasn't just about those that manage to look good in lycra. We billed it as a fun-filled family event and it was fantastic to see so many children lined up at the start, most accompanied by parents who 'mentored' them through the winding track circuit. Some of these dads, having successfully got their children around one lap, then sprinted off to do another lap or two at race-pace.
Conditions were perfect, with hard & fast tracks and lightly overcast skies. The mixture of digger-benched trail, fire-breaks and narrow single-track provided a good cross-country challenge that tested the fitness of all.
Competitor comment of the day came from ex-Vegas resident & race winner, Eloise, in describing our tracks "as good as Rotorua!"
More FM kept the music pumping and the bbq smoking throughout the day while Tineli Performance Bikewear, Stoke Cycle Centre & Woollaston Estates Winery made sure lots of punters went home with some prize booty.
This first Konica Minolta-sponsored Nelson CycleFest has been a huge success over the 10 days it has been running in the region (big kudos to organiser Mike Watson) and is sure to grow.
We on the Park committee learnt alot about running an event and hope to ensure a much bigger local input next time. Plus, we'll have a whole bunch of new track to include!
All photos courtesy of Oliver Weber of oliverweberphotography.com