Palmerston North’s Adam Reeves is back in the driving seat after the second of four rounds in this season’s New Zealand Cross-Country Championships in Hawke’s Bay at the weekend.
The defending champion won the day at the Suzuki-sponsored event, on steep farmland about 20 kilometres east of Waipukurau, and is now on top of the championship standings, albeit just one point clear of Mokau’s Adrian Smith (Yamaha), who finished runner-up in Saturday’s three-hour race.
The round one winner in Blenheim the previous weekend, Taupo’s Rory Mead, dropped out of Saturday’s race and this gave Yamaha’s Reeves a clear run to the chequered flag, although Smith, eventual third-placed rider Mark Penny (Suzuki), of Te Awamutu, and Raglan’s Brandon Given (KTM) did keep him honest.
“I finished third at round one and now I have won round two, so that’s a very positive result,” said Reeves afterwards. “I’m in a good position for the championship and I now need to keep it clean and ride safe at the remaining two rounds to see if I can make it three national cross-country titles in a row.”
Penny is just nine points behind Smith in the series standings and, with riders able to discard their worst race of he series, the evergreen Suzuki star is also very much in the hunt to take the national crown.
In the earlier junior race, Raglan’s Jason Dickey (Kawasaki) was unstoppable.
He was in the lead by the end of lap one in the 90-minute race, and then pulled away to win by a minute from Maruia’s Ethan Bruce (Yamaha).
Round three of the series is set for farmland near Christchurch on April 30.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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