Chris Birch has been to Hell and back and shown he’s one devil of a dirt-biker.
The Auckland KTM rider won the inaugural “No Way In Hell” extreme enduro near Kawhia on Sunday, one of only five riders to actually survive to see the finish.
Even as rain started to fall at the sign-on and pit area, 64 riders signed up for the event … and little did they know just how tough their day was going to be.
Birch blitzed the field with a winning time of three hours 12 minutes and 25 seconds, a staggering two 2 hours and 29 minutes ahead of runner-up rider, Hokianga’s Mitchell Neild.
Third place jointly went to three riders, Marton’s Cam Smith, Mokau’s Adrian Smith and Turangi’s Mark Delautour who helped each other through the last 20kms of the 50km event and they made a pact that they would cross the finish line together, which they did with a time of 8hrs 11mins and two seconds, very close to a full five hours behind Birch.
The course really pushed the riders to the limit with most riders finishing the first 30km section but were too late to start the second loop.
The course was put together by Mathew and Nigel Scott who are also land owners of some of the course.
The first part of the course really cut out, with big ruts and this made it difficult for the riders who started later.
Plans are in place for next year’s event to make it run on a harder base with all the tricky sections that most of the riders missed out on, and also to make it a more compact course for the benefit of the spectators.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com