Santa Cruz Bicycles

NZ Enduro 2017 - Day 1

Gary Perkin
Jamie Nicoll's Hightower with the #1 board. "The day was good, I enjoyed the trails - they had dried up pretty good. But the times didn't really stack up. But I had fun out there, i rode pretty well, people said I looked fast - so I don't know where those seconds went!"

 

NZ Enduro Day 1 
After many hours of travel from all corners of the globe we arrived at a campsite on the edge of the Cook Strait to get signed in and number boarded up for Day 1 of the 3 day NZ Enduro. 
After numerous weather reports suggested we'd get soaked, it was welcome relief to spend the day in dry, if somewhat humid conditions in the natural forest above Whites Bay for the first two stages. The third edition of the race is now under the management of Sven and Anka Martin who hope to revitalize both the rider experience and local trails and businesses. 

Gary Perkin
Mongo trades 35lbs. of camera gear for a radio harness this weekend.

Leaving the campsite for a 40 minute climb from the campsite, Stage one - Double Eagle - was a fast flowy almost downhill-esque affair with a lot of turns that caught so many riders off guard - with many running off course. Santa Cruz is well-represented at the race, with the Santa Cruz-SRAM team, along with Jamie Nicoll, Josh Bryceland, and Cedric Gracia all vying for the win. Racing takes race fuel, though, and CG was caught out a bit nutrition-wise, "Attention! Oh man I bonked on the second climb and someone gave me a bar so stoked! And after I got a gel from Mark and half a banana from someone else and I could do the last stage but dude I was overheating but I managed to finish the stage. I had a rad time with the boys — I feel old but i really enjoyed how the group is working together, helping each other out all day."
 

Gary Perkin
Ratboy's EndurO face
The NZ Enduro happens to be Josh Bryceland's first entry into enduro racing, and he's gone all in, with big glasses to keep the dust out, and a 29er trail bike. It seemed to suit him, though—after the day was done he said, "Loved it mate, absolutely loved it big flow sesh stage one ... then just giggling, hanging off the back trying to get the big vessel through tight trees on the second stage! Loved it!"

Back up the same climb and then onto a 40 minute hike-a-bike, riders were in for a massive treat for Stage 2 - Whites Bay Loop. It was a fast fest of roots, drops, chutes, and off cambers all between tight beech trees, which tried to grab at bars all the way from top to bottom! A couple of long, punchy climbs near the end of the stage made it truly physical for racers. 

Gary Perkin
Mark Scott wiggles through the trees on his way to 4th place on the day, "Bit of slow start ... getting into the blind racing again ... but I finished on a good stage - a physical one and managed to get fourth on that one. So a good start to the race. "
After that it was back to the camp for beers, sausage rolls and a swim in the ocean. 

Gary Perkin

Iago Garay and Josh 'Loosedog' Lewis are both having a great time jibbing in the jungle. Josh has a bit of a lingering knee injury, but he said, "A good day for sure - its my first time racing against the clock so easing my way into it. Knee still a little bit swollen so got off and limped up a few climbs today, such good fun though man. Can't wait for tomorrow - it's going to be wild."

Tomorrow we had to Nydia Bay for four stages that will be a root fest from top to bottom on the edge of the Marlborough Sounds ... and given the predicted rain its going to be a wild day!

Gary Perkin

March 10 — 2017 | News

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