A podium finish is very much on the cards for Team New Zealand.
New Zealand rates itself a good chance of winning a medal at this year’s Motocross of Nations event, the three-man team racing this coming weekend (Sept 25-26) at Thunder Valley, on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado.
Fingers are firmly crossed that everything will fall into place for the Kiwi heroes so that yet another podium finish might be achieved at this big annual “Olympic Games of Motocross”.
Team New Zealand traditionally rates as an outside chance of a top-three spot, something they have achieved on three notable occasions previously, in 1998, 2001 and 2006.
The New Zealand team riders this year are MX1 world championship stalwart Josh Coppins, from Motueka, with American-based Taupo rider Ben Townley and Hawera’s Brad Groombridge completing the line-up for the race in the United States.
The host American trio are the favourites to win again this year, tipped to continue their five-year win streak, even more so because they are on home soil, but the Kiwis should not be underestimated.
“I have represented New Zealand many times at the Motocross of Nations and it is always a special feeling and an honour to get picked,” said Coppins.
“I am in good form at the moment and, having finished on the podium three times before with Team New Zealand, we have to go for a podium again.
“I am looking forward to going up against all the best riders in the world and, of course, I will again do my best.”
Townley was also talking positively.
“It is always an honour to represent New Zealand and fly the silver fern,” said Townley.
“Josh and I have a lot of experience at this race and I believe Brad was the best choice for the job this year, it is a very stacked field as always, but that’s why the line us up every year to see which nation is fastest.”
A total 32 countries have signed up to battle for the Chamberlain Trophy at Thunder Valley this Saturday and Sunday and the Kiwis have a good chance of featuring.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com