This year the Nelson MTB XC Series consisted of four races spread across November and December. Earlier this year, a big storm wiped out most of the tracks in the popular Codgers MTB Park. This meant some exciting new venues were utilised for the series.
First up were the revamped trails in the Kingsland Forest in Richmond, a 30 minute bike ride from Nelson. The womens field attracted a good number of girls making for some fierce competition. Susie Wood kept me honest on the long singletrail climb to the top of the course. From there it was a great mix of flowy, bermed corners and steep, rooty sections back to the finish. I'm looking forward to more races on these trails.
Richmond trails during Round One
Round Two was held in the Kaiteriteri MTB Park. These trails are always super fun to ride and Wayne did not disappoint with a great course. It was fantastic to see a big field lining up with a good number of riders visiting from Christchurch. A good start was crucial in this crowd as the track went into narrow single trail very quickly. I dug deep at the start and got a good position to built on through the rest of the race.
A big field lining up in Kaiteriteri
For Round Three we moved back to Nelson. This time to the trails in the Sharlands Forest. Although this area has a number of super technical trails including national downhill tracks, the XC course was fairly tame. We climbed up a gravel road for app. 3 kms before decending back down on a smooth and fast singletrail. This was a good opportuniety to work on my start and long gravel road climbs.
Sprinting against the boys during Round Three
The final Round moved back to its homeground- the Codgers MTB Park. The club has done an amazing job on re-building some of the old trails and also adding new ones. This meant an exciting course for a XC race: steep single trail climbs, a bit of gravel road and downhills with lots of air time if you want it. I had a great race towing and throwing with a few guys showing me how its done on the jumps.
Enjoying the new Turners Downhill during Round Four
These local races are invaluable ealry season practice. I was happy to make it four out of four and winning the club XC series for the 4th year in a row. Wayne Pool and his team of helpers did a great job this year putting together a series that covered a hug variety of tracks. I'm already looking forward to next years events with hopefully six races on offer.