Brannigan blasts to win in New Zealand downhill opener

First-year elite Atkin clinches women's victory

The 2012 NZ MTB Cup presented by Nature Valley got off to a scorching start in the blistering heat of Queenstown. The new Remarkables downhill venue overlooking Queenstown airport, Frankton and Lake Wakatipu delivered dry, dusty, and hot racing conditions for the multi-national field of 151 starters.

Competiton was fierce across all categories, with the new downhill race course cutting up during the two days of practice and competition to become worthy of this level of contest - huge braking bumps and multiple choice lines, including long off-camber sections provided plenty of challenge.

In the elite races, the women's field was always playing catch-up to Wellington's Sarah Atkin, who had the measure of her competitors in both seeding and race. Atkin won by a massive 15-second margin over recent UK immigrant Harriet Latchem, with Nelson's Veronique Sandler in thrid. Both Atkin and Sandler have progressed through to the elite field this year after stellar 2011 seasons in the junior ranks, and having represented New Zealand last year at the world championships.

The men's elite race had a number of international racers taking on a very strong New Zealand field. George Brannigan was the last starter, having seeded fastest in the morning's shake down. The Devinci Global professional waited for his race start, in the knowledge that he would have to put down the same speed on the Remarks course to claim the win, having seen his competiton one by one post times that could easily take the podium top step - any mistake would be punished on the clock.

Christchurch's Joseph Nation had set the time to beat early in the race order, with a brace of solid competition only just behind him. Brannigan held his nerve however, and went slightly faster than his seeding run to take the win by a comfortable 2.5 seconds. Of note today in the elite men's results list was French visitor Jerome Clementz who is a downhill super enduro maestro, winning every major super D event around the world in recent years. Clementz switched to the downhill bike for this weekend and showed that he is also multi-talented, with a fourth place finish.

The junior races were also exciting to watch, with riders moving between categories with the new year. Second year U19 racer Reece Potter won the tough U19 class, but by the slimmest of margins over Leo Sandler who had his first start as an U19 rider. In the U17s, Josh McCombie cleaned the field out with a solid display of consistency.

The biggest fields racing were in the wenior men and masters 30-39 categories - both highly competitive at the top end and right on through the middle order. Fastest seeds in both cats followed through to take the win, with Nelson's Jake Boylett and Derek Winwood claiming top step of the podium. Fastest seed in the Masters 40+ Darryn Henderson also took the win.

The open women's category had good numbers racing, with a good contingent of local Queenstown riders taking to the Remarks hill. But none could match Auckland's Adrienne Hooper, who with the day's win completes a rapid transition from a national level cross country racing career to the vastly different downhill discipline.

Other category winners were Sopie Tyas in the junior women, and Oliver Jarman in the U15 men.

The NZ MTB Cup will continue this coming weekend in Dunedin, with the second round of the downhill series on Friday/Saturday the 13th and 14th, and the first round of the cross country series on Sunday the 15th. Both races are taking place at Logan High School at the base of Signal Hill.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1George Brannigan0:02:26.25 
2Joseph Nation0:00:02.57 
3Matthew Scoles0:00:02.68 
4Jerome Clementz0:00:03.55 
5Wyn Masters0:00:04.13 
6Richard Leacock0:00:04.44 
7Kieran Bennett0:00:05.22 
8Sam Perry0:00:06.92 
9Bryn Dickerson0:00:07.19 
10Dan Sims0:00:07.25 
11Emyr Davies0:00:07.49 
12Jed Rooney0:00:08.08 
13Rupert Chapman0:00:09.03 
14Thomas Jeandin0:00:09.97 
15Troy Murdoch0:00:11.36 
16Reuben Olorenshaw0:00:11.50 
17Nicolas Walser0:00:11.59 
18Thomas Mathews0:00:12.28 
19Jarrah Davies0:00:13.32 
20Reon Boe0:00:16.20 
21Octavio Teixeira0:00:20.09 
22Chris Patton0:00:23.62 
23Dario Takada0:00:25.56 
24Matthew Walker0:00:29.38 
25Brook MacDonald0:02:31.28 
DNFTom Winwood  
DNSSam Stevens  
DNSSam Baker  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sarah Atkin0:02:51.08 
2Harriet Latchem0:00:13.53 
3Vironique Sandler0:00:22.55 
Under 19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Reece Potter0:02:32.29 
2Leo Sandler0:00:00.70 
3Lewis Hamilton0:00:01.92 
4Dan McCombie0:00:06.58 
5Connor Harvey0:00:06.72 
6Tom Burns0:00:06.87 
7Kurt Summerfield0:00:07.19 
8Sheldon Kneale0:00:08.12 
9Hunter Jenkenson0:00:09.16 
10Jamahl Stringer0:00:09.86 
11Lukas Chalmers0:00:18.17 
12Lloyd Jenks0:00:19.25 
13Caelab Drummond0:00:19.40 
14Lawrence Cawte0:00:21.10 
15Donovan Isted0:00:21.16 
16Andy Wilson0:00:22.03 
17Callum Sprosen0:00:22.43 
18Zach Baker0:00:22.98 
19Campbell Liddell0:00:23.53 
20JD Devlin0:00:26.56 
21Cameron Kerr0:00:28.02 
22Jake Paddon0:00:29.04 
23Alex Kennett0:00:34.14 
24Bradley Dent0:00:34.34 
25Robert Havill0:04:21.28 
DNFRaphael Kammlein-Cutler  
DNFHarry Chapman  
DNSJono Ross  
Under 17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Josh McCombie0:02:38.54 
2Carl Goodwin0:00:13.53 
3James Minty0:00:14.13 
4Jordan Shadbolt0:00:18.60 
5Gareth Burgess0:00:19.23 
6Jonathon Kennett0:00:22.84 
7Connor Sandri0:00:24.82 
8Harlam Heydon0:00:30.89 
9Dan Prior0:01:19.96 
DNFMichael Lea  
Senior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jake Boylett0:02:32.89 
2Scott McGregor0:00:00.17 
3Carl Edmondson0:00:03.12 
4Conor MacFarlane0:00:03.36 
5Nick McConachie0:00:04.16 
6Zac Williams0:00:04.67 
7Thomas Lamb0:00:05.24 
8James Hampton0:00:06.04 
9Jimmy Pollard0:00:06.26 
10Russell Paver0:00:09.64 
11Tyler Brooker0:00:10.20 
12Adrian Loo0:00:10.25 
13Cameron Kay0:00:10.48 
14Daryl Webb0:00:10.91 
15Tyler Perrin0:00:11.05 
16Ant Jackson0:00:11.43 
17James Mulcahy0:00:11.46 
18Ben Tyas0:00:11.59 
19Karl Shaw0:00:12.73 
20Mat Prior0:00:14.42 
21Andrew Bias0:00:14.94 
22Jonas Meier0:00:15.07 
23William Guthrie0:00:16.08 
24Matthew Wood0:00:16.20 
25Russell Archer0:00:16.88 
26Devlin Montana0:00:18.59 
27Jarrah Healy0:00:18.61 
28Kurt McDonald0:00:19.84 
29Matthew Plowman0:00:20.30 
30Thilo Rucknagel0:00:21.77 
31Andrew Paisley0:00:22.76 
32Liam Jack0:00:25.68 
33Sam Proctor0:00:26.14 
34Dan Whearty0:00:26.51 
35Ryan Lewis0:00:29.16 
36Colin Tocher0:00:30.34 
37Vinny Devereax0:00:30.63 
38Phillip Walsh0:00:31.44 
39Leighton Kirk0:00:47.55 
40Dylan Sanchez-Pinsent0:00:51.19 
41Thomas Cohen0:01:06.56 
42Jon Stout0:02:06.03 
DNFBen Eggleston  
DNSCam Johnson  
DNSLuis Affonso  
Master 1 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Derek Winwood0:02:34.32 
2Kelly McGarry0:00:04.80 
3Jamie Nicoll0:00:05.72 
4Boyd Grinstead0:00:08.13 
5Mat Weir0:00:08.38 
6Andrew Martin0:00:09.25 
7Tristan Muirhead0:00:11.56 
8Ricky Pincott0:00:12.26 
9Chris Mancey0:00:14.47 
10Teruaki Takahashi0:00:16.75 
11Mike Pretty0:00:18.98 
12Cameron Bisset0:00:21.79 
13Jeremy Jones0:00:22.27 
14Blair Christmas0:00:22.97 
15Tom Francis0:00:25.36 
16Shaun Hodges0:00:26.05 
17Tony Boroviec0:00:27.31 
18Kevin English0:00:27.32 
19Craig Cox0:00:28.28 
20Justin Worth0:00:28.37 
21Wade Kenchington0:00:28.65 
22Marcos Barbosa0:00:36.78 
23Simon Ward0:00:37.71 
24Wolfram Schwertner0:00:41.88 
25Adrian Main0:00:43.73 
26James Horan0:00:58.61 
Master 2 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Darryn Henderson0:02:46.26 
2Michael Williamson0:00:10.12 
3Vaughan Love0:00:15.61 
4Ashley Ruth0:00:27.18 
5Chris Sinclair0:00:36.28 
6Nick Dalton0:00:39.38 
Open women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Adrienne Hooper0:03:07.94 
2Naomi Wilson0:00:00.86 
3Alanna Columb0:00:02.84 
4Julie Berry0:00:06.35 
5Teresa Blanpain0:00:10.75 
6Amy Freedman0:00:25.12 
7Indri Clendon0:00:28.20 
8Kaytee Campbell0:04:51.77 
Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sophie Tyas0:03:00.12 
2Phoebe Coers0:00:34.91 
Under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Oliver Jarman0:03:00.28 
2Carlos Wilson0:00:03.92 
3Mathew Gillan0:00:13.18 
4Nils Heiniger0:00:21.63 
Sweeper
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dan Heads0:02:52.27 
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