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Gem of a ride
3 September 2015

All photos courtesy of SCOTTIE T PHOTOGRAPHY

Motu Trails recently played host to a superb mountain bike event comprising of 5 different races catering for all levels of riding.  The big race of the day was the hotly contested 50 km Weka Special with two top multisport athletes, Dan Jones and Corrinne Smit taking out first place (individual male and female).

 “I was taking it a bit easy on the descents. I was thinking, I’m not falling off before China,”

Corrinne Smit grinned after winning the women’s 50km Weka Special in the Motu Special mountain bike races on Sunday.

Smit heads off to China in just over a week’s time where she will contest several adventure races including the mighty Wulong Mountain Quest.  One of her teammates in China will be Daniel Jones, who won the men’s section of the Weka Special.

“The downhill was a lot of fun,” Jones said. “That was one of the funnest mountain bike races I’ve ever done!”

Jones also reckoned he wasn’t out to take risks so close to China.  But Blair, the quad bike rider who led out the riders, said he was hitting 40kph on the farmland and bush descent. “Then I’d have to speed up to about 60 to stay ahead of him.”

This was the first edition of the Motu Special and was organised by Gisborne based TMS Sport.     The event was held in the high rolling hills behind Motu, midway between Gisborne and Opotiki.  Five categories of race spanned distances from 5km to 50km, catering for all ages.

The two waves of children’s races — Tomtit and Kiwi — were held after the longer races had finished, allowing plenty of mum-and-dad support. The spot prizes from Sanitarium also proved popular.

“It’s an awesome event. I’ll definitely be back next year,” said Smit.

Event director Terry Sheldrake of TMS Sport was thrilled with the entry response,

“In particular the number of families who took up one of the five race options”.

“We already have ideas and plans in place as we look towards August 2016. This event certainly has the feeling and scope to be something very special!”

Gisborne rider Jason Lines echoed Sheldrake's sentiments, “It was a really good event.  I think as word gets out, it’ll be popular [next year].”

The final word is best left to winner Jones. “I think we can all agree on the course — you can definitely feel it afterwards!”  

Mind you, he did go for a run once the race was finished!

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