All roads lead to Taupo this long Labour Weekend.
The 25th Huka Honda Labour Weekend Motocross Extravaganza has attracted more than 400 of New Zealand’s elite motocross riders, all hoping to claim their share of the $20,000 prize money.
Riders will leave nothing on the table as they compete in the prestigious feature race which has been won by top riders in the past, including Cody Cooper (in 2007 and 2010), Brad Groombridge (in 2009), Josh Coppins (in 2006 and 2008) and Damien King (in 2005) and Daryl Hurley (in 2004).
Local riders expected to be up front this weekend include Groombridge, Cam Dillon (pictured above), Nick Saunders, Mitchell Hilhorst, Ricoh Flavell and Kayne Lamont in the MX1 and MX2 classes, as well as Taupo’s Katrina Lee, newly-crowned national senior women’s champion Alex Dillon and Kiwi international Emma Davis.
In their way will be a host of other former national title holders including last year’s Feature Race winner Cooper, who had a epic battle with Townley before taking the crown.
Cooper has just come back from the last two rounds of the World MX1 championship where he rode as part of the Suzuki factory team in Europe and will be one to look out for this weekend.
Saturday will see the minis, women and juniors compete at the world class Digger McEwen track. The track which hosted the World Junior champs in August 2009 will be prepped to its highest quality and should prove a great challenge for New Zealand’s elite.
Sunday sees the senior riders hit the circuit competing in the same classes as the senior nationals with the top 12 from each of the three classes being invited to the prestigious feature race.
This race carries the overall title for the weekend and, with names on it such as Darryll King, Ben Harding, Coppins and Cooper, it’s the one that all the riders want to win.
The Digger McEwen track is the home of the Taupo Motorcycle club and is situated right in the heart of Taupo just off Miro Street. The circuit is easily found just off the new State highway at the Broadlands road flyover.
The circuit features many obstacles which will see the riders flying high in the air, jumping through the legendary sawdust pit as they battle for their respective titles.
Racing starts Saturday and Sunday from 10am both days with the Feature Race on Sunday set to start at about 4pm. Spectators can buy tickets at the gate over the weekend. Under five years are free, 5-15yrs $5, adults $10 per person.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com