Trials

Top trials talent on show

Author: Andy McGechan

Posted:

Some of the most finely balanced men in New Zealand sport will be on show in the Taranaki region this weekend. When it comes to riding a motorcycle over seemingly impossible terrain, there are perhaps none better than the competitors entered for the final two rounds of the North Island Motorcycle Trials Championships in Taranaki this weekend. The two-day event, comprising round nine of the series on Saturday and rounds 10 on Sunday, will see some of the cream of the country‰Ûªs trials talent try to match Kiwi internationals such as national champion Warren Laugesen (Levin), Hastings‰Ûª Luke March and top local riders Wayne Thompson and Matt Foster. Saturday‰Ûªs round nine venue is Millar‰Ûªs property, at the end of Alfred Rd, Egmont Village, while the riding on Sunday‰Ûªs round 10 is at Clements‰Ûª property, Wiremu Rd, Opunake. In the A grade, Nelson‰Ûªs Nick Oliver has so far been in a league of his own in the North Island competition, although Wellington‰Ûªs Rory Mead will pressure him on Saturday. Mead, currently leading the under-200cc class in the national enduro series, will excuse himself from trials duties on Sunday to race at round four of the New Zealand Enduro Championships in the Santoft Forest, near Palmerston North. New Plymouth Boys‰Ûª High School pupil Foster (15) is the youngest in the A-grade field and he hopes a little local knowledge may help his cause. He enjoys the big rocks and Saturday‰Ûªs course near Egmont Village certainly has plenty of those. Once again the intermediate grade has the most entries -- 18 in total -- with all the top contenders arriving for this final championship double-header. Auckland‰Ûªs Peter Boetcher remains the favourite but he can expect strong opposition from Tauranga men Warrick Merriman and Kevin Gundry. Taranaki riders Andrew Clements and Tim Clemance should also feature. Taranaki‰Ûªs Rob McEwen competes in the clubman grade and has been showing plenty of promise lately. Taranaki‰Ûªs Ivan Foster, who helped set out the sections for this weekend‰Ûªs competition, said Saturday‰Ûªs course would feature ‰ÛÏbig slippery rocks, with short run-ups‰Û

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