It could be time for a shake-up as the 2019 New Zealand Cross Country Championships race towards the halfway stage in the South Island this weekend.
Hosted by the Mosgiel District Motorcycle Club, the second round of four in this season’s New Zealand Cross Country Championships will see the nation’s dirt bike elite converge on Scorgie’s property, Lee Stream, on Sunday. The venue will be signposted from Outram.
After a close and exciting series opener near Norsewood in February, riders have had time to recoup and recover, prepare their bikes and plan their attack for Mosgiel and the championship is still wide open.
Outright senior grade winner at Norsewood was Raglan’s Jason Dickey, with Glen Murray rider Sam’ Charlie’ Brown finishing runner-up that day.
Taupo’s Defending national cross country champion Brad Groombridge made a thrilling charge through the field at Norsewood to claim third overall, but he has since been consigned to the sideline with injury and not expected to make the trip to Mosgiel on Sunday.
That leaves the way clear for riders such as Whanganui’s Seth Reardon, Raglan’s Brandon Given, Rotorua’s Ethan Harris, Cambridge’s Callum Paterson or Hamilton’s Caleb Richardson to take advantage, not to mention the many South Island stars of the sport who will no doubt plan to make the most of racing on home turf, riders such as Jesse Wight, James Dickson or Ryan Crawford, to name a few.
Taupo’s Nathan Tesselaar was in hot form at Norsewood and he too could be a feature in the main race this Sunday and so should Hamilton’s Phil Goodwright, third overall in the nationals last year and making his return from injury this weekend.
Perhaps local motocross hero Sam Cuthbertson will take the opportunity for snatch some national cross-country glory with an appearance on Sunday.
The three-hour senior race will be preceded by a 90-minute junior race on Sunday and riders to watch out for here include round one winner Coby Rooks, from Raglan, his nearest rival Bryn Codd, from Napier, and Eltham’s defending national junior champion Adam Loveridge, along with South Island hotshots Katie Henery, Alex Gilchrist and Leo Clarke.
Motorcycling New Zealand cross country commissioner Chris Smyth said the venue had been used before and should be “reasonably fast and open”.
“There may be some swampy patches to watch out for and plenty of
Only three of the four rounds are to be counted, with riders to discard their worst result of the four, making sure the championship will be tight until the finish.
The series is supported by The Dirt Guide, Oakley goggles, Bel Ray oils and Michelin tyres.
NZ Cross Country Championships calendar 2019:
Round One: Sunday, February 10 – Central Hawke’s Bay MCC
Round Two: Sunday, March 24 – Mosgiel District MCC
Round Three: Sunday, April 14 – Marlborough MCC
Words and Photo by Andy McGechan