Blenkinsop and Atkin win Oceania downhill titles

Sam Blenkinsop and Sarah Atkin battled mud and rain to win the downhill elite titles at Mt Hutt on the final day of the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships.

Persistent rain fell from last night, which caused the track to become muddy and slippery, with officials running the elite downhill races first in case worsening weather forced a cancellation.


With current national champion George Brannigan out with injury, top seeds Cameron Cole, Brook MacDonald, Sam Blenkinsop and Edward Masters negotiated the slippery track, with times 30 seconds slower than qualifying in dry conditions.

World number five ranked Blenkinsop, who rides for Lapierre International, was well-pleased with his 3:21.23 win in the miserable conditions.

"It was pretty gnarly. Even after yesterday's practice I thought the last section was pretty sketchy, I didn't know how half the field was getting down it," said Blenkinsop.

"For all this rain the top was fine, it was pretty much the same as riding in the dry, but just this last bit on the hard clay was hard to judge where you could push it."

"I just kinda rode easy, tried not to make any mistakes at the bottom, I knew that was the place where I could either win or lose the race, so I just tried to ride smooth, and it worked out for me."

With both Cole and MacDonald achieving faster qualifying times, Blenkinsop knew he had to produce a top effort today.

"Cam rode really good yesterday, put two seconds into me and Brook, I knew he was feeling comfortable on his bike again."

Blenkinsop's next goal is to podium at the first round of the World Cup in South Africa before the World Cup moves to Cairns.

Masters was second with 3:23.78 ahead of Cole on 3:24.26. Strong contender MacDonald was just a fraction slower, earning fourth place with 3:24.66.


Having recently earned her first national title, Sarah Atkin was once again in a class of her own with a time of 4:25.43, 30 seconds ahead of her closest rival, New Zealand's Veronique Sandler.

"It was good fun as long as you weren't taking it too seriously, I was just pretty much trying to get down without crashing," said Atkin.

"Yesterday was awesome, today was just slippery. Above the bridge it was all good, but then down here was just mud, just trying to hold on pretty much."

Sandler was second with 4:55.27 ahead of New Zealand compatriot Sophie Tyas on 4:59.51.

New Zealand's Ben Watkins took the U19 title in 3:50.17, with New Zealand's Georgia Petrie taking the U19 women's title in 5:28.11.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samuel Blenkinsop (New Zealand)0:03:21.23
2Edward Masters (New Zealand)0:00:02.55
3Cameron Cole (New Zealand)0:00:03.03
4Brook MacDonald (New Zealand)0:00:03.43
5Rupert Chapman (New Zealand)0:00:06.52
6Wyn Masters (New Zealand)0:00:09.99
7Matthew Walker (New Zealand)0:00:15.09
8Reece Potter (New Zealand)0:00:15.19
9Nick McConachie (New Zealand)0:00:19.09
10Reon Boe (New Zealand)0:00:22.04
11Tom Matthews (New Zealand)0:00:22.23
12Tyler Brooker (New Zealand)0:00:26.58
12Maxime Chapuis (Switzerland)0:00:28.25
13Raphael Kammlein-Cutler (New Zealand)0:00:29.26
14Lawrence Cawte (New Zealand)0:00:29.79
15Berend Boer (Australia)0:00:30.12
16Stefan Gardner (New Zealand)0:00:30.43
17Jamie Lyall (New Zealand)0:00:31.75
18James Hampton (New Zealand)0:00:33.94
19Matt Hardwick (Australia)0:00:34.76
20Daniel Meilink (New Zealand)0:00:36.71
21Mat Prior (New Zealand)0:00:37.75
22Thomas Crimmins (Australia)0:00:39.14
23Louis Hamilton (New Zealand)0:00:39.83
24Jesse Beare Croydon, VIC, AUS0:00:40.95
25Daniel Hallam (Australia)0:00:41.02
26Kyle Lockwood (New Zealand)0:00:42.73
27Mitchell Bryant (Australia)0:00:44.22
28Sean McCarroll (New Zealand)0:00:45.21
29Rowan Saunders (New Zealand)0:01:02.68
30Ben Crundwell (New Zealand)0:01:02.79
31Hayden Poptie (Australia)0:01:58.68
DNFJack Moir (Australia)Row 32 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Scoles (New Zealand)Row 33 - Cell 2
DNFKieran Bennett (New Zealand)Row 34 - Cell 2
DNSRhys Atkinson (Australia)Row 35 - Cell 2
DNSCarl Edmondson (New Zealand)Row 36 - Cell 2
DNSKieran Thompson (New Zealand)Row 37 - Cell 2
DNSGuillaume Cauvin (France)Row 38 - Cell 2
DNSQuentin Chanudet (France)Row 39 - Cell 2
DNSFabien Cousinie (France)Row 40 - Cell 2
DNSBernard Kerr (Great Britain)Row 41 - Cell 2
DNSFelix Klee (Switzerland)Row 42 - Cell 2
DNSReuben Miller (New Zealand)Row 43 - Cell 2
DNSKepler Rek (New Zealand)Row 44 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sarah Atkin (New Zealand)0:04:25.43
2Veronique Sandler (New Zealand)0:00:29.84
3Sophie Tyas (New Zealand)0:00:34.08
4Alanna Columb (New Zealand)0:00:39.36
5Amanda Monk (New Zealand)0:03:55.15
DNFMorgane Charre (France)Row 5 - Cell 2
DNSHarriet Latchem (New Zealand)Row 6 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
U19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Watkins (New Zealand)0:03:50.17
2Connor Hamilton (New Zealand)0:00:02.73
3Keegan Wright (New Zealand)0:00:06.54
4Josh McCombie (New Zealand)0:00:10.32
5Connor Sandri (New Zealand)0:00:13.50
6Peter Bethell (New Zealand)0:00:14.41
7Gareth Burgess (New Zealand)0:00:16.26
8Kim Newton (New Zealand)0:00:16.58
9Jack Humphries (New Zealand)0:00:18.17
10Jack Fisher (New Zealand)0:00:25.89
11Matt Lawton (New Zealand)0:00:31.45
12Corey Milne (New Zealand)0:00:39.03
13Carl Goodwin (New Zealand)0:00:39.80
14Robert Todhunter (New Zealand)0:00:53.21
15Sam Todd (New Zealand)0:00:55.37
16Jake Shirley (New Zealand)0:00:56.55
17Antoine Gondouin (New Zealand)0:01:00.35
18DJ Holmes (New Zealand)0:01:01.97
19Zac Porter (New Zealand)0:01:59.49
DNFKale Edwards (New Zealand)Row 19 - Cell 2
DNSWilliam Todhunter (New Zealand)Row 20 - Cell 2
DNSErwan Dedieu (New Zealand)Row 21 - Cell 2
DNSCaleb Ellis (New Zealand)Row 22 - Cell 2
DNSRod Hall (New Zealand)Row 23 - Cell 2
DNSEnrick Parage (New Zealand)Row 24 - Cell 2
DNSJordan Shadbolt (New Zealand)Row 25 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
U19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Georgia Petrie (New Zealand)0:05:28.11

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews