Pahiatua’s Adam Reeves is pumped up and ready for the New Zealand cross-country bike racing season to begin.
Supported by Carterton’s Sargent Yamaha Motorcycle shop and Demon Energy Drinks, the 27-year-old Yamaha ace won his first national cross-country crown last season and he has every intention of keeping it in 2010.
With the 2009 New Zealand title in the bag, Reeves headed off-shore recently to contest selected rounds of the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC) in the United States, “just for the experience”.
“I’ve been home for a few weeks now and I’ve settled back into normal life again, back to work and back into riding here in New Zealand.
“I was over in the US for six weeks and, in that time, I competed in five races and travelled through 10 or more US states, met some really cool people and rode bikes practically every day that we weren’t travelling or racing.
“The tracks over there are hugely different to anything we have here and it took a little getting used to, but, by the time I had finished my first GNCC race in New York, I had really grown to appreciate the tracks and was having a lot of fun riding them.
“The races were huge and really professional and well run as you would expect,” Reeves said.
“All up, I enjoyed myself and I certainly learned and gained a lot from the experience.
“I also had my fair share of issues as well, some due to lack of knowledge, some to do with doing it all on a tight budget and some just plain old bad luck but, in the end, it was all worth it and has left me wanting to go back and do it again as some point.”
Reeves is now looking ahead to his national title defence, the New Zealand Cross-country Championship dues to kick off in the South Island in March.
“I’m in holiday mode at the moment but I’m just starting to build up again,” he said.
“I feel like I’m already on the pace to win but there are a lot of fast riders out there, so I’m taking nothing for granted. I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.”
To retain his title, Reeves will again have to battle, and beat, the cream of New Zealand dirt biking talent, including Napier’s John O’Dea (Suzuki), Te Kauwhata’s Jason Moorfield (Kawasaki), Auckland’s Luke Ramsey (Kawasaki), Norsewood’s Kevin Hermansen (Kawasaki), Te Awamutu’s Mark Penny (Suzuki), Marton’s Cam Smith (Suzuki), Mokau’s Adrian Smith (Yamaha), Hokianga brothers Mitchell and Damon Nield (Husqvarna) and Palmerston North’s Steven Bird (Honda), to name just a few.
Reeves is sponsored by Yamaha New Zealand, Darbi Accessories, wearing Acerbis gear, Sidi boots, HJC helmets, Progrip goggles and supported by BikesportNZ.com.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com