There we will see champions of the past, present and future go into battle at the annual New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships.
The challenging course at 182 Caird Road, Southburn, Timaru, will host the two-day event featuring an entry list that reads like a who’s who and who-used-to-be-who of the sport.
Sponsored by Timaru Yamaha, the popular annual event features many riders who, despite their veteran status, still rate among the sport’s elite, while the female side of the sport that shares the race programme is more still a hotbed for rising stars.
The event again presents real value for money for spectators with racing over two days for both the elite females, in both the junior and senior grade, and intense racing also for the country’s top male riders aged over 30 years.
Several of the riders who might be expected to shine among the women include Te Awamutu’s Rachael Archer, Motueka’s Roma Edwards, Tauranga’s Shelby Catley, Opunake’s Taylar Rampton, Greymouth pair Sharon and Alex McCann, Rotorua rider Letitia Alabaster Christchurch’s Shannon Meikle, Mapua’s Madi Berry and Greymouth’s Brooke Smith, to name just a few.
Catley won the junior women’s grade last year, adding that title to the mini motocross title she won in 2013. The year 11 pupil at Katikati College had finished runner-up to Archer in 2016 and the rivalry between these two may be set to continue at Timaru this weekend.
In the men’s competition, standout riders might include Christchurch’s former national MX1 champion and former Woodville GP winner Justin McDonald, fellow Christchurch men Andy Blanchard, Jason Feaver and Dean Baird, former Otago rugby captain David Latta, Tauranga’s Nick Enstrom, Nelson’s Bryan Heaphy, Timaru’s Andrew Richardt, Winton’s Brent Scammell, Blenheim’s Steve Lange, New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe, Balclutha’s Dean Bond, Te Awamutu’s Kevin Archer and Lincoln’s Kelly Garland, although any number of the equally talented riders entered could spring a surprise or two.
If, for example, Hawera pair Daryl Hurley and Steven Craig, Inglewood’s Larry Blair, Whakatane’s Darren Capill, Auckland’s Gaudenz Gisler or Pukekohe’s Tony Cooksley choose to put in last-minute entry, they could easily steal away with the glory in their respective classes.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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