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British riders reign victorious in Bluff downhill

Bernard Kerr on his way to winning the New Zealand MTB Cup downhill opener

Bernard Kerr on his way to winning the New Zealand MTB Cup downhill opener (Image credit: BikeNZ)

Great Britain's Bernard Kerr edged out Christchurch downhill superstar Cam Cole by the narrowest of margins to win the first round of the BikeNZ Mountain Bike Cup Series in Bluff on Saturday.

Kerr claimed victory in the elite men's race with a time of 2:52.35, a mere 0.04 of a second ahead of Cole on the 1.37km track descending the iconic Bluff Hill.

Louis Hamilton from Rotorua took third place with 2:55.43.

Kerr won ahead a start-studded line up with riders from France, Japan, Brazil, Canada, and New Zealand.

"My race run wasn't perfect, it was really windy, which made it difficult to do all of the jumps, but overall I'm really happy," Kerr said. "It was really fun, and I'm looking forward to the next races in the series before I leave in February."

Another UK rider, Jess Stone, outrode her opponents to claim the elite women's victory.

Stone rode a time of 3:29.16, over 13 seconds faster than second place Alanna Columb, 3:42.75, and former Oceania Champion Amy Laird, in third place with 3:45.06.

Local knowledge proved valuable for Connor Harvey who won the under 19 men's category in 3:07.06, with Raphael Kammlein-Cutler and Lawrence Cawte in second and third respectively.

Conditions had improved drastically after unseasonably cold weather mid-week, with the track drying out after five days of rain.

Downhill riders have three more rounds; Mt Hutt next weekend, Levin on February 1-2, and Hunua in Auckland on February 8-9, before the National Championships in Rotorua on the February 15-17.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bernard Kerr (GBr)0:02:52.35
2Cam Cole (NZl)0:00:00.04
3Louis Hamilton (NZl)0:00:03.08
4Fabien Sellier (Fra)0:00:04.13
5Nathan Rankin Levin0:00:05.35
6Sam Perry (NZl)0:00:06.50
7Reuben Olorenshaw (NZl)0:00:06.81
8Desmond Curry (NZl)0:00:08.17
9Tom Matthews (NZl)0:00:08.73
10Yuki Kushima (Jpn)0:00:11.14
11Bryn Dickerson (NZl)0:00:11.27
12Ken Faubert (Can)0:00:15.65
13Gregory Brunache (Fra)0:00:16.56
14Octavio Teixeira (Bra)0:00:22.55
15James Rennie (NZl)0:00:25.26
16Rupert Chapman (NZl)0:00:25.54
17Kieran Bennett (NZl)0:00:29.66
18Matt Scoles (NZl)0:00:39.54
DNFNicholas McConachie (NZl)
DNSFrei Martin (Swi)
DNSReon Boe (NZl)

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jess Stone (GBr)0:03:29.16
2Alanna Columb (NZl)0:00:13.59
3Amy Laird (NZl)0:00:15.90
4Sophie Tyas (NZl)0:00:17.08
5Veronique Sandler (NZl)0:00:29.28
6Amanda Pearce (NZl)0:00:37.27
7Traharn Chidley (GBr)0:00:43.33
8Yvonne Birker (Swi)0:01:16.52
DNSSabrina Morell (Swi)

U19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Connor Harvey (NZl)0:03:07.06
2Raphael Kammlein-Cutler (NZl)0:00:00.21
3Lawrence Cawte (NZl)0:00:02.23
4Josh McCombie (NZl)0:00:02.49
5Michael Melles (NZl)0:00:02.89
6Leo Sandler (NZl)0:00:04.59
7Carl Goodwin (NZl)0:00:05.07
8Sheldon Kneale (NZl)0:00:05.60
9Keegan Wright (NZl)0:00:10.86
10Jack Arnopp (NZl)0:00:11.36
11Caelab Drummond (NZl)0:00:17.90
12Ethan Burgess (NZl)0:00:20.47
13Kurt Summerfield (NZl)0:00:21.30
14Rod Hall (NZl)0:00:26.19
15Josh Hicks (NZl)0:00:27.23
16Andy Wilson (NZl)0:00:28.18
17Tom Burns (NZl)0:00:29.98
18Andrew Pittams (NZl)0:00:59.36
19Dan Lawton (NZl)0:01:30.92
DNSJake Paddon (NZl)
DNSTane Wilson (NZl)

U17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Corey Milne (NZl)0:03:24.98
2Hayden Melles (NZl)0:00:02.98
3Oliver Jarman (NZl)0:00:03.00
4Carlos Boyes-Wilson (NZl)0:00:08.60
5Michael Breading (NZl)0:00:09.30
6Mathew Gillan (NZl)0:00:09.40
7Robert Todhunter (NZl)0:00:09.63
8Harlam Heydon (NZl)0:00:10.28
9Matt Lawton (NZl)0:00:11.43
10Gareth Burgess (NZl)0:00:11.61
11William Todhunter (NZl)0:00:14.21
12Daniel Horgan (NZl)0:00:16.30
13Nathan Saunders (NZl)0:00:28.48
14Tom Goodman (NZl)0:00:29.33
15Cam McDowell (NZl)0:00:30.92
16Rhys Pittams (NZl)0:00:31.36
17Caleb Burgess (NZl)0:00:41.45
18Shaun Barclay (NZl)0:00:46.56
19Jack Hale (NZl)0:00:49.84
DNSKale Edwards (NZl)
DNSBryn Clarke (NZl)
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