Over 400 riders from 125 schools will head to the deep south for the SKODA National School Track and Mountain Bike Championships this week.
The SKODA National School Track Championships will be staged at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome in Invercargill on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 October, before the SKODA National School Mountain Bike Championships event runs in Bluff from Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 October.
A number of riders who performed strongly in the recent SKODA National School Road Championships in the Manawatu will venture to Invercargill including under-16 winner Millie Donald (Kapiti College), boys under-13 champion Carter Paine (St Peters School) and exciting Canterbury prospect and under-15 road points race winner, Shaylah Sayers (Papanui High School) chasing track honours.
Watch too for former BMX national champion Lucas Bhimy (Auckland Grammar).
The competition incorporates team pursuit and team sprint on Tuesday from 1pm with scratch races, keirin and tempo racing on Wednesday. Additionally, the individual events earn omnium points for the overall event titles for grades from under-13 to under-20.
Attention then moves further south to Bluff, staging the SKODA national mountain bike event for the first time, based at the famed Bluff Hill.
There are four Torpedo7 national open champions competing led by James Officer (Taupo Nui-a-tia College), recently returned from competing in the world mountain bike championships; Wellington’s Lara Comeskey (St Mary's College); Finn McKenzie (Marlborough Boys) and Christchurch’s Sam Dunnett (Christchurch Boys).
Others to podium at the nationals who are competing in Bluff include Louie Cameron (Taupo Nui-a-tia College), James Climo (Hamilton Boys), Cam Anderson (Marlborough Boys), Mille Junge (Cashmere HS), Annabel Bligh (cashmere HS), Millie Donald (Kapiti College), Jack Collins (Cashmere HS) and Lucas Malham (Waimea College).
Racing begins on Thursday 13 October with the enduro race in waves from 10am; Friday and Saturday is the downhill competition with the cross-country on Sunday.