Auckland’s Callan May was the runaway winner at round two of the Dirt Guide Cross-country Series near Tokoroa last month and he’ll be hoping he can maintain that momentum right through to the end of racing at the third and final round this Sunday afternoon.
However, May’s performance that cool afternoon in June, impressive though it was, is unlikely to be enough for him win the competition outright.
His win at round two was his only appearance in the series thus far and so the Yamaha rider from Titirangi is actually down in sixth position overall after two of three rounds.
It is instead Ararimu rider Richard Sutton, Cambridge’s Ashton Grey and Whitianga’s Blake Wilkins who are perhaps among the riders most likely to claim the senior trophy on Sunday afternoon.
Sutton is two points ahead of Grey, thanks to his 4-2 score-card thus far.
Grey finished runner-up at round one and placed fifth at round two, while Wilkins, with a 3-8 score-card, occupies third overall in the series standings.
Others expected to feature near the front on Sunday include Te Awamutu’s Rachel Archer and her father, veterans’ class rider Kevin Archer, while round one winner Ethan Harris – the Rotorua rider unfortunately a no-show at round two – could also spring a surprise this weekend.
Venue for Sunday’s two races – a 90-minute junior race, set to start at about 9.30am, and a two-hour senior race that should start at about midday – is on the same forestry land that hosted both rounds one and two, off Ohakuri Road, signposted from State Highway 1, about halfway between Tokoroa and Taupo.
In the junior grade, it could be a great battle on Sunday between Taupo’s Wil Yeoman, Whangaparoa’s Daniel Refoy, Oparau’s Hunter Scott and Cambridge’s Bailey Morgan, to name a few.
Yeoman won round one by less than two minutes from Refoy and he followed that up by also winning round two, again crossing the finish line two minutes ahead of the second-placed rider, and on that occasion it was Scott.
Now into its 10th year and continuing to grow, the secret for the Dirt Guide Series’ success is that it caters for young and old alike and, while it does offer something to tempt the less-experienced intermediate, novice, junior and mini bike riders, it is also a challenge for the more serious and highly-competitive senior racers.
This final round of the Dirt Guide Series doubles up also as the opening round of the parallel-but-separate NZXC cross-country series, that competition piggy-backing onto select major events throughout the North Island.
The Dirt Guide Series is sponsored by Michelin, Bel Ray, Renthal, O’Neal, DRC, Zeta, Kiwi Rider magazine, Oakley, TCX boots, Yoshimura and Forest Trail Events and SatCo Logging Equipment.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan