Rotorua riders take top spots in 2W series

Rotorua riders Connor Hamilton and Jenna Hastings on the top step of the podium. Photo/Ezra Newick

Local mountain bikers Connor Hamilton and Jenna Hastings have finished on top of the podium in the latest Giant 2W Gravity Enduro Mountain Biking Series races.

Race two of the series took place in Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest on Saturday, with the event hub in a new and unique location at Te Puia.

Connor Hamilton took the top step and finished first with an overall time of 17m 22s and Jenna Hastings was the first female with a time of 19m 47s with Jenna backing up her win in race one in October.

Connor finished ahead of Daniel Self (17m 28s) and Louis Hamilton (17m 29s).

Jenna beat Robin Goomes (20m 29s) and Kate Weatherly (20m 36s) to the finish line.

Connor finished third in race one of the series in October saying he didn't expect to top the podium in race two.

'It was really good to take the win and I definitely didn't expect it so I'm happy, pretty stoked with that.

'I started off on all the short stages, felt a bit rough to begin with but ended feeling good, stoked I didn't crash.”

He says the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro is always a 'big hit”.

'It's a solid race for Rotorua. It's a good day out and tests the fitness.”

The event hub and prize giving were held at Te Puia. Photo/Ezra Newick


Jenna says she felt good taking her second win of the 2020/21 series.

'I do all these races thinking I won't win and that Robin or Kate will beat me.

"I'm always prepared for it but managed to hold it together and take the win.”

Jenna says everything went to plan.

'I had a good first run and then it kind of just snowballed from there.

'It's such a cool atmosphere, it's so social and everyone is so supportive. You meet up with a whole bunch of friends and just go around and have a fun time on the stages.”

Jenna was the overall female champion for the 2019/20 season and will be back for race three with the goal to back up her overall title.

Event Director Craig Murray says the weather leading up to the race was perfect with rain at the start of the week followed by warm and dry days leading into the event and perfect riding conditions on the day.

Craig says one of the main goals for event two was to put a spotlight on the volunteers.

'Volunteers are the beating heart of the Giant 2W, we are always humbled and really appreciate our awesome team of volunteers donating their time.

"Without our volunteers we wouldn't be able to deliver the event.

"The Giant 2W has close to 600 competitors with 500 participants who travel from outside of Rotorua, with many staying overnight. This event is a huge economic contributor to Rotorua.”

He says event preparation went well and it was great to be in a venue where there was infrastructure already there.

'Te Puia was a fantastic location for the event hub, it is one of the most picturesque venues on the globe.

'We are grateful we were able to collaborate with Te Puia and had a beautiful welcome from their team last week. We thank them and hopefully, more mountain bikers now know how epic Te Puia is.”

Revenue generated from the event helps pay for the seven-days-a-week first response unit in the forest.

The Rotorua Mountain Bike Club owns and operates the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro Series with its primary goal of facilitating the Mark Dunlop Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship is set up to foster and develop role models in the community by supporting the racing ambitions of the scholarship recipient and enabling international experience with a grant of up to $10,000.

The scholarship will be awarded at race three prizegiving.

The Giant 2W Gravity Enduro series comprises three races, with race three taking place on February 20. All three races sold out in four days with over 550 competitors in each race.


Long course men 6 stages overall:

  1. Connor Hamilton
  2. Daniel Self
  3. Louis Hamilton

Long course women 6 stages overall:

  1. Jenna Hastings
  2. Robin Goomes
  3. Kate Weatherly

Full results:

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