Te Awamutu’s Daniel White got the stern word from his father at the weekend and it seemed to do the trick.
The 14-year-old had won the junior grade race at the opening round of six in the NZXC cross-country series near Tokoroa in June, taking his Kawasaki KX250F to a commanding two-minute win over his chief rival that day, fellow Te Awamutu rider Rachael Archer (Husqvarna TE125).
And he had looked to be repeating the feat when he led early on at round two of the series in the Woodhill Forest, near Muriwai, on Sunday, this time with Archer and Waimauku’s Nick Wightman (Husqvarna TE125) in close pursuit.
However, after three of nine laps, White had been caught and passed, Wightman and Archer taking over the front two spots and relegating White back to third position.
That’s when White’s father, Sam, told him he’d “better get cracking” and pick up the pace and that’s exactly what White did.
“I knew Rachael had been on the starting grid behind me, so when she came up behind me on the course, I knew she was going quicker than me and she was actually ahead of me on adjusted time,” explained White.
“It gave me a bit of a scare and dad told me I needed to put the hammer down.”
White eventually won the two-hour race by nearly three minutes from Wightman, with Archer finishing third, another 24 seconds further back, and Huntly’s William Eyre (KTM EXC 125) and Taupiri’s Zak Fuller (Kawasaki KX85) rounding out the top five.
Fuller was best-performed of the 85cc class riders.
“I actually was lucky to finish I think,” said White. “I hit a tree stump with the back end of my bike and the chain guide was ripped off. But thankfully the bike was still going strong in the end.”
White, Archer, Wightman, Eyre and Fuller, among others, now prepare themselves to tackle round two of a similar, parallel competition, The Dirt Guide cross-country series, at Ohakuri, midway between Tokoroa and Taupo, this coming weekend.
White won the junior grade at the first of four rounds of The Dirt Guide series and will be aiming to continue his junior grade dominance at Ohakuri on Sunday.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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