Spectators’ eyes move to junior competitors
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The 2019 New Zealand Cross-country Championships will wrap up near Taumarunui this coming weekend with a winner-takes-all final showdown.
The senior title has already been decided. Raglan dirt bike ace Jason Dickey wrapped up that crown at the third of the four-round series in Marlborough last month, but the junior title is far from certain — plus there’s still plenty to fight for in determining the remaining senior podium positions.
Only three of the rounds are counted, as riders discard their one worst result, so Dickey’s 1-1-1 score-card in the earlier three rounds guarantee him the senior title.
But fellow Raglan rider Brandon Given, Whanganui’s Seth Reardon, Glen Murray’s Sam Brown, Eketahuna’s Charlie Richardson and Pukekawa’s Jim Orton are all in the hunt to claim the runner-up spot Saturday afternoon.
Taupō’s Nathan Tesselaar and Rotorua’s Ethan Harris might also be podium contenders.
Meanwhile, in the junior ranks there’s everything still to fight for, with Raglan’s Coby Rooks and Eltham’s defending national junior champion Adam Loveridge close at the top and separated by just five points.
Taupō’s Wil Yeoman is just nine points behind Loveridge, while Morrinsville’s Liam Calley and Te Awamutu’s Ryan White should also fancy their chances of finishing on the junior podium.
These under-17 age riders will have their 90-minute race first on Saturday at Moerangi Station, with the three-hour senior race to follow immediately.
“The racing in the juniors has been particularly close, with the leading riders never far apart. The final round will be very exciting,” said Motorcycling New Zealand cross country commissioner Chris Smyth.