New Zealand Beats Australia at Riverhead

Aust-NZ Challenge, 10 Jan 05

Story by Di Michels added 18 Jan.

In the second official challenge between the two countries, New Zealand beat Australia six classes to one in a muddy Riverhead Forest near Auckland today. Though the contest was not a good reflection of the strength of the visiting nation which didn't have full teams in several of the classes, kiwis put in fine rides spearheaded by Stu Lynch and Di Michels who won the open classes.

The class won by the visitors contained the oldest competitors in the contest: Mens 60+. In spite of Tom Clarkson (Hutt Valley) setting the fastest time, the sum of the best two Australians was lower than Clarkson and Aucklander Peter Godfrey.

Australia forfeited the open mens and womens 40 by not presenting a team. In the womens open class the visitors were unlucky that Anna Sheldon, part of the world champs bronze-medalling relay team, had to retire with mechanical problems. With the bare minimum of four riders, this meant they couldn't post a result in this class either. And New Zealand proved too strong in mens 40, mens 50 and womens 50.

The event generated an item on the TV One News featuring the father-and-son involvement of Michael Wood (who made the map) and Phil Wood (NZ team member). Full results from the electronic timing system including times for every leg are on the Oceania Carnival website.

Written by installed on 10 Jan 05 and updated 14 Jan.