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Road talent Bennett finds his mountain bike form

Nelson threw all it could weather wise at the New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup competitors this weekend, but it wasn't enough to dampen some extremely close competition in the South Island Mountain Bike Cup Finals.

Lap numbers for the multi-lap races had to be adjusted due to the conditions to suit the multi-lap format. Some drying did take place in time for the 2:00 pm elite / under 23 / under 19 race start, but technical riding prowess was nonetheless rewarded. Attrition played its part, but it couldn't detract from the high level of competition on display.

Bennett got clear from the start of the five-lap race and had built up a lead of 40 seconds over current New Zealand National Champion Stu Houltham after the first lap. He kept the pressure on, and Houltham, Carl Jones and Brendon Sharratt all attempted to reel him in to no avail.

Bennett won by an impressive margin of two and a half minutes over the quality field. For Bennett, this victory represented validation of his potential to dominate in the Olympic format of cross country racing, something which has eluded him in New Zealand for several years.

Sheppard's first real smile of the day came as she crossed the finish line after a well deserved race win, with Laird racing herself to a standstill for a battling second.

In the South Island Cup series, which included three rounds, Sharratt took the win as did Laird.

The New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup takes a week's break and will return on February 6-7 for round four with the downhill in Rotorua and the cross country in Tokoroa.

Full Results

Elite and Under 23 men (* indicates U23)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1George Bennett*2:17:33
2Carl Jones0:02:31
3Brendon Sharratt0:02:45
4Stuart Houltham0:05:50
5Ash Hough0:09:24
6Gavin McCarthy0:12:09
7Dayle McLauchlan0:12:44
8Brent Miller0:13:45
9Alexander Revell0:13:56
10Jeremy Inglis0:27:53
11Michael Frei*0:34:49
DNFAdrian Retief*
DNFEthan Glover*

Elite and U23 women (* indicates U23)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samara Sheppard*2:14:55
2Amy Laird0:03:33
3Katherine O Neill0:08:42
4Raewyn Morrison0:10:17
5Cathy Hamer0:10:49
6Sara Taylor0:16:55
7Adrienne Hooper*0:18:54
8Hannah Thorne0:21:09

Under 19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richard Anderson1:48:18
2Bradley Hudson0:08:21
3Locky McArthur0:09:26
4Logan Horn0:11:15
5Jamie Hawke0:15:44
6Sam Shaw0:18:48
7George Murray0:28:46
8Reece O Connell0:36:03
DNFJoel MacMillan
DNFDominic Furkert
DNFHamish Ross

Junior Under 17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sean Hambrook1:27:52
2Craig Oliver0:01:03
3Layton Murdoch0:08:53
4Jonty Sanders0:12:34
5Andrew Jeffries0:30:04
6Edward Palmer0:31:07
7Jacob Stuthridge0:32:31
8Allister Meffen0:48:16
DNFJake Glover

Junior Under 17 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kayley Murdoch1:20:08
2Caitlin Holmes0:05:10

Senior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Sharland1:31:49
2Lance Griffin0:14:27

Senior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emma Prestidge1:39:04

Master 1 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Burr1:32:57
2Chris Taylor0:04:53
3Matt Amos0:12:15

Master 1 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brenda Clapp1:10:46
2Sarah Beadel0:05:47
3Melissa Newell0:08:58

Master 2 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Blair Stuthridge1:31:40
2Geoffrey Notman0:03:03
3Nick Spoencer0:03:59
4Paul McNabb0:04:48
5Derek Milne0:04:54
6Wade Jennings0:09:22
7Andy MacDonald0:14:03
8Tim Bygate0:15:35
9Ken Anderson0:22:13
10Craig Buist0:28:41
11Ross Castle0:36:27

Master 3 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neil Averis1:53:13
2Andrew Scott0:01:21

Junior under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Oliver1:37:49
2Mitchell Campbell0:14:41
3Ethan Jacobs0:19:55
4Jordan Castle0:41:23

Fastest average lap - all men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richard Anderson0:27:04
2George Bennett0:00:27
3Carl Jones0:00:57
4Brendon Sharratt0:01:00
5Stuart Houltham0:01:37
6Bradley Hudson0:02:06
7Sean Hambrook0:02:13
8Ash Hough0:02:19
9Locky McArthur0:02:22
10Craig Oliver0:02:34
11Logan Horn0:02:49
12Gavin McCarthy0:02:52
13Dayle McLauchlan0:02:59
14Brent Miller0:03:12
15Alexander Revell0:03:14

Fastest average lap - all women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samara Sheppard0:33:44
2Amy Laird0:00:53
3Brenda Clapp0:01:39
4Katherine O Neill0:02:10
5Raewyn Morrison0:02:34
6Cathy Hamer0:02:42
7Sara Taylor0:04:13
8Sarah Beadel0:04:33
9Adrienne Hooper0:04:43
10Hannah Thorne0:05:17
11Melissa Newell0:06:08
12Kayley Murdoch0:06:20
13Caitlin Holmes0:08:55
14Emma Prestidge0:15:48

South Island Cup - final standings & New Zealand MTB Cup standings after 3 rounds

Elite and U23 men (* indicates U23)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brendon Sharratt169pts
2Brent Miller125
3Ethan Glover*92
4Dayle McLauchlan78
5Alexander Revell77
6George Bennett*60
7Carl Jones54
8Marc Metzler*49
9Stuart Houltham45
10Oliver Whalley42
10Ash Hough42
12Gavin McCarthy40
13Michael Crawford38
14Jeremy Inglis36
15Michael Frei*35

Elite and U23 women (* indicates U23)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amy Laird174pts
2Samara Sheppard*149
3Cathy Hamer135
4Sara Taylor127
5Hannah Thorne114
6Adrienne Hooper*113
7Sara MacDonald99
8Harriet Harper49
8Katherine O Neill49
10Raewyn Morrison45
11Bridget Keegan42
12Erin Greene40
13Anja McDonald38

Junior Under 19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bradley Hudson168pts
2Logan Horn139
3Locky McArthur103
4Samuel Shaw85
5Thomas Prestidge82
6Anton Cooper60
6Richard Anderson60
8Tom Bradshaw49
9Joel Macmillan42
9Jamie Hawke42
11Jordan Pearson40
12Oli Austin39
12George Murray39
14Reece O Connell38

Junior Under 19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Charlotte CloustonWaimautu60pts

Junior Under 15 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben OliverRangiora54pts
2Mitchell CampbellChristchurch45
3Charlie MurrayChristchurch60
4Craig MurrayChristchurch49
5Ethan JacobsChristchurch49
6Jordan CastleChristchurch49
7Fletcher SlierendrechtNelson42
7Lachie McGregorDunedin42
9Daniel O BrienChristchurch40
10Ben FrielChristchurch39

Junior Under 15 women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Samantha Hope Dunedin
2Laura BridgerDunedin

Junior Under 17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Craig OliverRangiora60pts
2Sean HambrookNelson54
3Jonty SandersWellington42
4Jacob StuthridgeChristchurch45
5Jake GloverNelson49
6Layton MurdochHope49
7Andrew JeffriesNelson49
8Edward PalmerNelson49
8Hayden CleminsonDunedin49
10Tayia HarrisonChristchurch40
11Fraser BrownDunedin40
12Allister MeffenNelson40

Junior Under 17 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kayley MurdochNelson60pts
2Caitlin HolmesNelson54
3Mary GrayDunedin54

Senior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lance GriffinChristchurch49pts
2Chris SharlandNelson49
3Justin LeovDunedin60
3Matty GrahamDunedin60
5Nick KennedyChristchurch54
6Ben ShalerDunedin54
7Cameron ColeChristchurch45
7Stephen BlissettSouthland45
9Nick ClarkChristchurch42
10Paul HusfordChristchurch40
11Carl SchugersChristchurch39
12Ben ThomasChristchurch38
13Ashley StapletonChristchurch37
14Dayne McKnightRangiora36

Senior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emma PrestidgeTimaru49pts
2Sabrina JonnierFrance60
2Sarah HughesDunedin60
4Celia LieDunedin60
5Kristie FogartyChristchurch54
6Madeline TaylorNapier45
6Pippa HoldomChristchurch45

Master 30+ men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris TaylorChristchurch60pts
2Matt AmosWellington45
3Chris BurrNelson45
4Richard HaymanChristchurch54
5Michael MartinChristchurch49
5Ross McCullochChristchurch49
7James MarshallChristchurch42
8Darron CharityChristchurch40
9Brent FogartyChristchurch39

Master 30+ women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Melissa NewellChristchurch60pts
2Andrea MurrayChristchurch54
3Sarah BeadelRotorua49
4Brenda ClappNelson49
5Pam ThompsonInvercargill49
6Jenny LairdNew Plymouth45

Master 40+ men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Blair StuthridgeChristchurch60pts
2Nick SpencerChristchurch40
3Craig BuistChristchurch39
4Paul McNabbChristchurch45
5Andy MacDonaldNelson45
6Geoffrey Notman45
6Al KillickChristchurch54
8Ray HopeDunedin54
8Tim HobanChristchurch49
10Derek MilneNelson49
10Rob SoothillChristchurch42
12Wade JenningsNelson42
13Tim BygateNelson42
13Stephen GuntherChristchurch38
15Ken AndersonBlenheim38
15Carlton PezaroChristchurch37
17Harry BrouwerChristchurch36
18Ross CastleAshurst36

Master 50+ men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neil AverisChristchurch60pts
2Hamish GrantChristchurch54
3Andrew ScottNelson54
4Jeff LongChristchurch49


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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.

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