Forget the rugby team, Canterbury has surely just discovered the real Canterbury Crusaders.
When the New Zealand Superbike Championships kicked of at Christchurch’s Ruapuna circuit in January, nobody would have figured that Canterbury riders would so totally dominate the racing.
But dominate is exactly what they did.
Canterbury riders featured at the top of all the championship categories – Motorcycling Canterbury riders Andrew Stroud, Robbie Bugden, brothers Alastair (pictured above) and James Hoogenboezem, John Ross, James Smith and sidecar pairings Steve Bron and Dennis Simonsen and Dave Annan and Warwicks Demmocks all featured at the front end of their respective classes at this year’s five-round national series.
They are not all Canterbury residents but they all belong to Motorcycling Canterbury,” said Motorcycling Canterbury president Mick Ruane.
“New national superbike champion Stroud (who is actually from Hamilton) became a member of our group when he raced the Britten,” Ruane explained. “But he has retained his membership of Motorcyling Canterbury.
“The same for Australian Robbie Bugden (the national superbike champion here in 2007, 2008 and last season), who joined us because of his strong association with the Canterbury region. He races here for the Christchurch-based Triple R team.
“I’m proud of the boys,’ said Ruane. “We have worked hard to make the club all-inclusive and the culture is there for older riders to help the younger riders.
“Some of these North Island riders (such as Stroud and sidecar champion Steve Bron) are thrilled to be associated with us and to wave the flag for Motorcycling Canterbury.”
Christchurch’s Alastair Hoogenbozem won the 125GP class this season, Christchurch’s Ross was third in the 600cc sports production class, Christchurch’s Smith was runner-up in the 600cc sports production class, Christchurch’s James Hoogenboezem was runner-up in the 650cc Pro Twins class and the Christchurch team of Annan and Demmocks were runners-up in the sidecars class.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com