NZ Wins Veteran Womens at ANZ Challenge

Dianne Michels Win

NZ posted exciting results in the inaugural Australia-NZ MTB-Orienteering Challenge at Daylesford, Victoria today, claiming first place in the veteran womens class, 2nd in open men and 4th in open women. MTB-Orienteering is a new discipline of the navigation sport, with the first world championship held only last year in France.

Dianne Michels of Auckland won the Womens 40+ class by an astonishing 16 minutes from Kay Haarsma of South Australia, who coaches the Australian MTB-orienteering team.

Possibly more significant with the next World Championship to be held in a nearby area next October was the second placing in open men of Stuart Lynch from Te Kuiti. He was only bettered by world-class Alex Randall (Victoria) who placed second in last month's World Cup in Poland. NZ's other top hope Jason Blair (Chch) lost his chances when he punctured twice before the first control point.

Stuart Lynch Second

And the top kiwi woman Rachel Smith (Chch) was only 5 minutes behind winner Julie Quinn and 3 behind Emily Viner, silver medallist at the French World Championship. Christina Renhart (Auckland) was NZ's next best in 6th place. Rob Garden was the fastest veteran man 5 minutes behind the pace although Hutt
Valley's Dave King who decided to travel too late to be selected for NZ was just one and a half minutes behind the top Australian team member.

Predictably Australia won the challenge based on the top four open riders and the top two veterans, but valuable experience of World Championship conditions has been gained by the team, which was outfitted by Winstone Aggregates. A squad for the championship will be named by the end of the year.

Photos: Janice Meeres

Results (representative riders only; full results on the Australian MTBO website, and graphs and route choices on Ken Dowling's website.)

Open Men 27km
Alex Randall (Aust) 1:23:38, 1
Stuart Lynch (NZ) 1:30:47, 2
Alistair Cory-Wright (NZ) 1:47:41, 8
Jason Blair (NZ) 2:05:43, 9
Paul Dalton (NZ) 2:18:28, 10
Carsten Jorgenson (Denmark but living in NZ) 1:37:15

Open Women 21km
Julie Quinn (Aust) 1:17:17, 1
Rachel Smith (NZ) 1:22:00, 4
Christina Renhart (NZ) 1:33:33, 6
Jenni Adams (NZ) 1:38:38, 8
Meg Foulds (NZ) 1:42:14, 10
Claire Heppenstall (UK but living in NZ) 1:32:35

Veteran Men 21km
Mark Shingle (Aust) 1:22:04, 1
Rob Garden (NZ) 1:27:05, 3
Steve Meeres (NZ) 1:30:23, 5
Michael Wood (NZ) 1:39:33, 6
Dave King (Non-representative NZ) 1:23:46

Veteran Women 18km
Dianne Michels (NZ) 1:17:51, 1
Jill Dalton (NZ) 2:16:40, 5
Jo Wilson (NZ) e-punch failed to register

This page was written Robyn Davidson and installed 29 September 2003, and updated with the link to graphs and routes on 13 Oct 03.