Mountain bikers brave muddy conditions

Cosmo Bloor, who took out the 45 kilometre race. Image: Supplied.

Around 700 brave bikers braved the wet, winter weather on Sunday to take part in the inaugural Winter Mountain Bike Classic in Rotorua.

The event was the third and final event in the Winter Forest Festival for 2019, offering a 15 kilometre race, a 30 kilometre race, as well an e-bike and 45 kilometre course in the Whakarewarewa Forest.

Cosmo Bloor took out the 45 kilometre course with a time of 2:26:47, and he says the course was muddy but enjoyable.

“It was really muddy but that’s just how we like it. I’m really happy, I wasn’t expecting the win so it’s a real confidence booster.”

“I was struggling a bit at the start but I climbed really nicely and got into my own rhythm and I think that was my highlight today, I just raced my own race.”

Cosmo says during training he definitely has hard days, however he focuses on keeping it fun.

Behind Cosmo was second place getter Glenn Haden, with a time of 2:29:05 and Connor Johnston in third, clocking 2:29:11.

In the female 42km race, Josie Wilcox placed first with a time of 2:52:24.

Josie says it was one of the hardest races she has ever done.

“It was awesome fun but the conditions were tough.”

Women’s 42 kilometre winner Josie Wilcox.

Finding the balance to train during winter can be tough for Josie, as she works full time.

“I work full time so it can be hard riding at night. I haven’t been on the mountain bike a lot, I’ve mostly been on the roads but it is nice to be back in the mud.”

Finishing behind Josie was Janine Kavanagh, who finished with a time of 3:10:39, and third went to Amy Elworthy who finished with 3:30:04.

Event director Tim Farmer says it was the worst weather conditions he had seen, but it didn’t deter the near 700 participants from getting out there.

“It was great to see people challenging themselves on their bike and enjoying the social experience throughout the weekend.”

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