There were very few surprises at the weekend's annual New Zealand Veterans' and Women's Motocross Championships in the South Island, with a couple of international riders stealing the show.
The challenging farmland venue at Outram, not far from Mosgiel, was easily tamed by women's world championship contender Courtney Duncan, who was untouchable at the top of the senior women's grade.
The 20-year-old Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider from Otago won all five of her races over the two days, Duncan comfortably winning ahead of Opunake's Taylar Rampton (Husqvarna), who was runner-up each time.
The event was also being treated by Duncan as a training exercise before she heads overseas to begin her 2017 world championship campaign in Indonesia in March and her performances over the two days at Outram would indicate that she's already at world-class pace.
Sponsored by General Tyres Ltd, the popular annual event featured many riders who, despite their veteran status, still rate among the sport's elite, while the female side of the sport that shared the race programme was no less intense.
Duncan's Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss and mentor, Motueka's Josh Coppins, was also using the event as a training exercise, the former world No.2 heading to the United States this week to compete at the Veterans' Motocross World Championships at Glen Helen, in Southern California, on November 5-6.
Duncan and Coppins did not race the New Zealand New Zealand Veterans' and Women's Motocross Championships when they were held near Opunake last year, but there were several riders who did continue on their winning form from last season, adding more silverware to their bulging trophy cabinets.
Those riders to back-up and win again in 2016 were Te Awamutu's Rachael Archer (junior women's class); Nelson's Bryan Heaphy (veterans' 40-44 years under-200cc two-stroke and under-300cc four-stroke class as well as the veterans' 40-44 years over-200cc two-stroke and over-300cc four-stroke class); Blenheim's Steve Lange (veterans' 45-49 years under-200cc two-stroke and under-300cc four-stroke class) and Blenheim's Moston Wadsworth (veterans' 55-59 years all-in).
New title winners this year were Christchurch's Andy Blanchard (veterans' 30-34 years over-200cc two-stroke and over-300cc four-stroke class); Outram's Dave Hay (veterans' 30-34 years under-200cc two-stroke and under-300cc four-stroke class); Greymouth's Ben Ferguson (veterans' 35-39 years under-200cc two-stroke and under-300cc four-stroke); Winton's Brent Scammell (veterans' 45-49 years over-200cc two-stroke and over-300cc four-stroke); Stillwater's Ricky Trompetter (veterans' 50-54 years all-in) and Te Kuiti's Wayne Strachan (veterans' over-60 years all-in).
Main Photo: Courtney Duncan
Photo: Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com