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Blenkinsop wins first race since broken leg

Cycling News

Stone makes it two wins in a row

Christchurch mountain biker Sam Blenkinsop secured his first big win since breaking his leg 12 months ago, in round two of the New Zealand Downhill Mountain Bike Cup series on Mt Hutt, Canterbury.

Blenkinsop, 24, beat a strong international field, including riders from United States, Britain, Japan, Canada, France and New Zealand to win in a time of 2:28.21.

"It's good to be riding again in New Zealand. I always seem to be injured and miss out on races here so it's good to be back, and it's always fun," he said.

"I try to race [in New Zealand] at least once each year, but the last three years I've always been injured or waiting for a bike or something that's made me miss out, so this is my first year here in a while so it's good.

"I didn't really have many expectations for this race because I had planned for it to be more for good training, but then you always want to win so I'm happy."

Blenkinsop broke his leg in January 2012 and has struggled to find his best form since then, but took a great step in the right direction with the victory.

"It took a while to get my strength back in the leg. I had some good results in some smaller races overseas, but otherwise I struggled a bit last year having come into that season unfit from the injury and we had a few mechanical problems as well, but I feel good coming into this season," said the Wanganui-born rider.

Neko Mulally of the United States recorded the second fastest time on the Mt Hutt circuit, with pre-race favourite Cam Cole in third.

In the elite women's race, UK rider Jess Stone produced her second winning ride in as many weeks to take a solid grasp of the overall series lead.

Stone, 22, is enjoying her overseas adventure in New Zealand and won today in a time of 3:03.29, ahead of Alanna Columb and Sophie Tyas.

"I didn't really expect to get two wins first up, but it's been great fun and Im really pleased so far," she said.

"The trails here are awesome and every track is a bit different as well which is good. It's nice to be getting some riding experience in the harder dust, whereas back in the UK, it's just muddy all the time.

"The competition here is great as well. Everyone is so nice and they all encourage each other so it's a nice competition, and they're all really good riders as well so we push each other along.

"I wanted to get away from the UK weather, and I'd heard about the series over here so I thought I'd give it a go. I've got to see more of New Zealand which is great as well, so the series is a good excuse to have a look around and a holiday too."

The New Zealand Downhill MTB Cup series moves to the North Island for round three on February 2-3 in Levin, Manawatu.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sam Blenkinsop 0:02:28.21  
2 Neko Mulally 0:00:01.84  
3 Cam Cole 0:00:02.23  
4 Louis Hamilton 0:00:02.91  
5 Bernard Kerr 0:00:03.41  
6 Sam Perry 0:00:04.20  
7 Matt Scoles 0:00:04.29  
8 Joseph Nation 0:00:05.89  
9 Kieran Bennett 0:00:05.90  
10 Reuben Olorenshaw 0:00:06.41  
11 Rupert Chapman 0:00:07.51  
12 Yuki Kushima 0:00:08.87  
13 Bryn Dickerson 0:00:09.37  
14 Nick McConachie 0:00:10.13  
15 Tom Matthews    
16 James Rennie 0:00:10.35  
17 Ken Faubert 0:00:10.73  
18 Nathan Rankin 0:00:11.75  
19 Gregory Brunache 0:00:13.49  
20 Alex Holowko 0:00:15.64  
21 Octavio Teixeira 0:00:16.86  
DNS Deon Baker    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jess Stone 0:03:03.29  
2 Alanna Columb 0:00:01.87  
3 Sophie Tyas 0:00:08.95  
4 Amy Laird 0:00:09.33  
5 Traharn Chidley 0:00:16.60  
6 Veronique Sandler 0:00:25.72  
7 Amanda Pearce 0:00:33.34  
8 Yvonne Birker 0:00:38.48  
U19 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Lawrence Cawte 0:02:35.36  
2 Carl Goodwin 0:00:03.48  
3 Leo Sandler 0:00:04.59  
4 Connor Harvey 0:00:06.08  
5 Jamahl Stringer 0:00:07.26  
6 Michael Melles 0:00:07.68  
7 Tom Burns 0:00:08.58  
8 Raphael Kammlein-Cutler 0:00:11.73  
9 Kurt Summerfield 0:00:11.97  
10 Harry Chapman 0:00:12.36  
11 Josh McCombie 0:00:12.65  
12 Sheldon Kneale 0:00:13.89  
13 Jack Arnopp 0:00:14.65  
14 Andy Wilson 0:00:16.40  
15 Rod Hall 0:00:18.00  
16 Aaron Ewen 0:00:18.46  
17 Jake Paddon 0:00:19.09  
18 George Flannery 0:00:22.40  
19 Peter Bethell 0:00:24.97  
20 Tane Wilson 0:00:28.46  
21 JD Devlin 0:00:29.54  
22 James Minty 0:00:29.97  
23 Josh Hicks 0:00:30.20  
24 Richard Scandrett 0:00:30.34  
25 Dan Prior 0:00:32.38  
26 Dan Lawton 0:00:32.95  
27 Andrew Pittams 0:00:35.46  
28 Caelab Drummond 0:00:42.88  
29 Laban Sjoberg-Mollison 0:02:25.56  
30 Jack Dodd 0:02:48.44  
DNS Ethan Burgess    
DNS Keegan Wright    
U17 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jonathon Kennett 0:02:50.91  
2 Corey Milne 0:00:00.68  
3 Hayden Melles 0:00:02.75  
4 Jack Humphries 0:00:03.02  
5 D J Holmes 0:00:04.64  
6 Robert Todhunter 0:00:04.79  
7 Kim Newton 0:00:05.09  
8 Gareth Burgess 0:00:06.02  
9 Michael Breading 0:00:06.25  
10 Cole Lucas 0:00:06.76  
11 Ben Karalus 0:00:08.05  
12 William Todhunter 0:00:08.18  
13 Tom Goodman 0:00:09.56  
14 Caleb Ellis 0:00:13.68  
15 Matt Lawton 0:00:14.76  
16 Oliver Jarman 0:00:16.19  
17 Caleb Burgess 0:00:17.21  
18 Mathew Gillan 0:00:17.68  
19 Max Sexton 0:00:18.84  
20 Nathan Saunders 0:00:22.52  
21 Jake Shirley 0:00:23.70  
22 Reuben Connor 0:00:29.50  
23 Ronan Scott 0:00:29.69  
24 Kale Edwards 0:00:31.42  
25 Cam McDowell 0:00:34.14  
26 Shaun Barclay 0:00:35.58  
27 Rhys Pittams 0:00:41.95  
DNF Jack Hale    
U19 Women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Georgia Petrie 0:03:44.84  
2 Phoebe Coers 0:00:08.09