TWO WINS FROM TWO STARTS

With two wins from two starts, it now looks highly likely that Bay of Plenty’s Wil Yeoman will be collecting the junior trophy for this season’s Dirt Guide Cross-country Series.

The 13-year-old Yeoman took his Yamaha YZ125 to win the series opener on a forestry course at Ohakuri, about halfway between Tokoroa and Taupo, last month and it seemed to be business as usual for the Taupo rider at round two on Sunday.

Sunday’s second of three rounds for the popular series was again held at Ohakuri and Yeoman was immediately in front after the shotgun blast had signalled the mass start shortly after 9am.

Yeoman eventually crossed the finish line two minutes ahead of Oparau’s Hunter Scott (KTM 85SX), with Cambridge’s Bailey Morgan (KTM 150XC) arriving at the finish line nearly five minutes later to claim the third podium spot on Sunday.

“I got off to a good start and then just settled into a rhythm,” said Yeoman afterwards.

“I knew I just had to keep up the pace and stay consistent.

“I knew that once I had a good buffer I could relax a bit. I could look across at one of the forest cut-overs and see how far behind me the other riders were.

The top two riders in the junior race on Sunday, winner Wil Yeoman (right) and runner-up Hunter Scott. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

“I only needed one fuel stop but I did come in (to the pits) again for fresh goggles,” said Yeoman, a year nine pupil at Tauhara College.

Another Yamaha YZ125 rider, Whangaparoa’s Daniel Refoy, had finished runner-up to Yeoman at round one, but he managed only sixth on Sunday.

However, Refoy is still a contender, ranked third in the overall series standings after two rounds, behind Yeoman and Scott.

Morgan is fourth overall in the standings after two rounds and Refoy’s brother, Jacob Refoy, is fifth overall.

Yeoman’s win at the first round of the series was his first ever victory, but he proved by winning on Sunday that this was no fluke.

Meanwhile, another Yamaha man, Titirangi’s Callan May, won the two-hour senior race later that afternoon.

The 26-year-old May won the race by 45 seconds, with Drury’s Richard Sutton (Yamaha YZ125) settling for the runner-up position, while Cambridge’s Beau Taylor (KTM 250XC) finished three minutes further back to claim the third podium spot.

Cambridge rider Beau Taylor (KTM), who finished third overall in the senior race on Sunday. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

Now into its 10th year and continuing to grow, the secret for the Dirt Guide Series’ success is that it caters for young and old alike and, while it does offer something to tempt the less-experienced novice and junior riders, it is also a challenge for the more serious and highly-competitive senior racers.

The third and final round of the Dirt Guide series is set for July 22, also at Ohakuri.

This final round doubles up as the opening round of the parallel-but-separate Yamaha-backed NZXC cross-country series, that competition piggy-backing onto select major cross-country events throughout the North Island.

The Dirt Guide Series is sponsored by Michelin, Bel Ray, Renthal, O’Neal, DRC, Zeta, Kiwi Rider magazine, Oakley, TCX boots, Yoshimura and Forest Trail Events and SatCo Logging Equipment.

© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

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