Joseph returns to racing on home soil with victory

The return of Rosara Joseph to New Zealand mountain bike competiton after a four-year absence while studying in the United Kingdom was the highlight of the cross country race day on Saturday. Newly signed with RaboBank-Giant for the 2011 World Cup season, Joseph was keen to get her wheels back on the dirt in New Zealand and have a hit out against the storng elite women's field who have been competing during this national series.

Olympian Joseph showed her class with a comfortable five-minute win over New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup champion Karen Hanlen and wasn't seriously challenged once into the Living Springs singletrack. On her first lap of five, she rode to the front and clear of the others.

The elite men's race provided an intriguing strategic contest. A group of five riders was tightly bunched together for the first three laps, with all of them biding their time and calculating when to make a move. However, the short fuse variable in this pack was Under 19 junior Anton Cooper, on the same race start as the elites and circulating at the front of the field with the leaders.

Cooper decided to attack this group on the fourth lap, and split it apart dramatically while riding off the front himself. While Cooper went on to comfortably win his five-lap junior race, it left the elites scrambling to recover some composure for the rest of theirs.

National Champion Mike Northcott withdrew while circulating with the leaders, tired and saving his legs for next weekend's championship race. Whakatane's Carl Jones took the initiative and the lead, and played a cat and mouse game with a fast closing Kyle Wood, managing to barely hold him off for the win. Christchurch local rider Brad Hudson raced to his best series result, in third.

Spectators and supporters were teated to some fantastic Under 17 junior racing on the morning race start, with the Oliver brothers Craig and Ben dominating their competiton - younger brother Craig claimed the winner's honours on his home track.

New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup riders will switch modes to a National Championship focus. Dunedin is host to this important event in 2011, and a six-event schedule kicks off on Thursday February 24 with a dual slalom and hill climb, Four cross racing on Friday February 25, Cross country on Saturday, February 26, and short track cross country and downhill racing on Sunday, February 27.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carl Jones1:46:34
2Kyle Wood0:00:09
3Bradley Hudson0:02:06
4Patrick Avery0:05:36
5Gavin McCarthy0:06:55
6Logan Horn0:07:23
7Brent Miller0:07:29
8Locky McArthur0:08:40
9Nick Miller0:08:58
10Ash Hough0:09:18
11Jeremy Inglis0:10:47
12Nick Clark0:13:02
-1lapAdrian RetiefRow 12 - Cell 2
DNFMike NorthcottRow 13 - Cell 2
DNFDayle McLauchlanRow 14 - Cell 2
DNFOliver ShawRow 15 - Cell 2
DNSRichard AndersonRow 16 - Cell 2
DNSCalum ChamberlainRow 17 - Cell 2
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rosara Joseph1:39:48
2Karen Hanlen0:05:57
3Katherine O Neill0:09:52
4Eloise Fry0:11:21
5Adrienne Hooper0:21:45
6Melissa Newell0:25:45
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Under 19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anton Cooper1:26:42
2Nigel Mcdowell0:06:09
3Harley Going0:07:11
4Mathew Waghorn0:07:43
5Tom Bradshaw0:07:50
6Sean Hambrook0:07:55
7Ben Walker0:18:45
DNFLayton MurdochRow 7 - Cell 2
DNSIan BurgessRow 8 - Cell 2
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Under 19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mary Gray1:31:26
2Kayley Murdoch0:08:12
3Veronique Sandler0:11:45
4Natalie Retief0:32:38
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Under 17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Craig Oliver1:10:37
2Ben Oliver0:03:29
3Gareth Cannon0:06:05
4Charlie Murray0:06:10
5David Ashby-Coventry0:06:11
6Jacob Stuthridge0:09:12
7Mitchell Campbell0:09:59
8Jack Compton0:10:18
9Peter Bethell0:14:26
10Toby Walker0:17:56
DNSJordan CastleRow 10 - Cell 2
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Under 17 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caitlin Louise Holmes1:11:33
2Harriet Beaven0:05:12
3Olivia Wadman0:13:28
4Siobhan Macdonald0:18:47
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Senior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Osborne1:33:04
2Mark Dunlop0:03:45
3Jonathon Brown0:12:55
4Wilson Jones0:19:22
5Carl Schurgers0:19:36
6Brandon Sbordone0:41:40
DNFPetr FrankRow 6 - Cell 2
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Senior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Fluker1:32:03
2Emma Prestidge0:07:27
3Kristie Fogarty0:07:59
4Kathryn Campbell0:12:34
5Cyndi Hills0:13:15
DNFEmma JohnstonRow 5 - Cell 2
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Master 1 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonty Taylor1:40:29
2Chris Taylor0:02:40
3Darren Stafford0:02:59
4Paul Hurford0:04:07
5Jared Scollay0:06:49
6Scott Keir0:08:41
7Matt Amos0:11:05
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Master 2 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Blair Stuthridge1:16:53
2Al Killick0:00:39
3Jason Blair0:03:26
4Tim Hoban0:03:29
5Steven Sawyers0:05:26
6Andrew Macdonald0:09:32
7Scott Johnson0:13:54
8Scott Wright0:17:16
9John McRae0:17:20
DNSRoss CastleRow 9 - Cell 2
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Master 2 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lyndal Donnelly1:18:15
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Master 3 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Derek Milne1:26:31
2Bryan Prestidge0:16:52
DNSMarco RenallRow 2 - Cell 2
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Under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Craig Murray1:02:10
2Paul Wright0:03:50
3Ben Friel0:05:39
4Scott Barr0:05:43
5Connor McRae0:06:47
6Alex Beaven0:25:21
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Under 15 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brooke Hudson0:51:30

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