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Queenstown Bike Festival - Vertigo Bikes Dirtmasters Downhill

Queenstown Bike Festival - Vertigo Bikes Dirtmasters Downhill

Posted by Dave Fahey: 16th Apr 2014 @ 18:00:10

Unfortunate timing this year saw the Vertigo Bikes Dirtmasters sandwiched between the two opening legs of World Cup riding resulting in a slightly diminished field in 2014. The starting line-up may have been without some of the bigger names we’ve been used to seeing, though it certainly didn’t show on the track, the team at Rowdy Roots were treated to an epic riding showdown.

This year’s course set by event manager Paul Haysom, brought together some real bike park classics to produce what many described as the best track to date. A class 5 start straight down World Cup saw riders clambering over loose rocks before dropping into a slick rooty section on Grundy. Riders then got an opportunity to open the taps headed down Unleaded Link and Thunder Goat and Battle Stag before cashing in the glory with a run down the Lonestar stairs to the awaiting crowd.

Overnight rain saw a greasier track than experienced in practice the previous day as riders battled for control in seeding runs on a misty Queenstown morning. As the track began to dry the crowd down at Rowdy Roots began to grow and at 2pm seeding places were reversed as a field of 48 riders began dropping in.

As riders drew closer to Grundy the noise began to grow and as they dropped over a rooty brow they were greeted by a crowd that exceeded the number of riders at the much hyped Rowdy Roots. With a melody of chainsaws, loud hailers, sirens, clanging bike frames and at times the chorus of ‘happy birthday’ from vocal cords lubricated with Speights and Diesel, the dedicated, work dodging Rowdy Roots crew kept riders on their toes.

While the hot seat at Brecon Street saw some through traffic timing was finalised and the winners of an equal prize money split thanks to Vertigo Bikes and Jowett Architects were announced.

The Open Women’s comp was nabbed by local favourite Harriet ‘Bob’ Latchem taking the win in 3:52.76, beating out more than half of the blokes. The king of the hill title however has to go to Wellington born rider Daniel Meilink’s with a mind-blowing time of 3:17.35 was more than four seconds faster than his seeding run.

Altogether another epic Queenstown Bike Festival event made possible by the team at Vertigo Bikes, and the dedicated crew of volunteers.

Let’s hope 2015 sees a slightly bigger field of riders and just as important a massive, rowdy crew down at the roots.

Next stop, Through the Lens @ The Find and Slopestyle practice.

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