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3 Peaks Enduro Dunedin

3 Peaks Enduro Dunedin- by Tom Lamb

I traveled to Dunedin to take part in the 3 Peaks enduro race last weekend. I was coming in to the weekend defending champion, however there was more than double the entries for this years race and a veritable who’s who of NZ enduro racing, I knew before it started that getting a top result here would be a far greater challenge than last year.

This year we started with an urban prologue on the Saturday which would not only act as the first stage of the race but also a seeding run for the rest of the weekend. A solid result here was important so as to avoid catching people and having to pass on the longer stages. The course was very fun with stairs, fast open sections and some grass banks to catch you out and seemed to be lined with people the whole way down making for a very cool environment to race in. Since I was riding with the #1 board I was last down the hill and had a tough act to follow with multiple world level enduro, downhill and cross country riders setting off before me, however I had a solid run and placed 8th overall (6th in the senior mens) only a few seconds down on some really good competition. My good friend Jimmy Pollard took the win, showing up some seriously fast riders which was very cool to see.

The next day saw us gathered for the start a short pedal from the top of race stage 1. This stage was very fast up top, with some tighter corners towards the bottom before seriously hurting with two climbs. This was followed by a ride up to the top of Mount Cargill, a climb with a nasty gravel road that seems to go straight up the hill in a relentless fashion. Upon reaching the top we were informed that due to a crash on stage one the medics were not in place yet which meant we were unable to start racing. It was a challenge to stay warm up there with the mist swirling around us so I was glad to get on with my run. Unfortunately it was not to be a good one. A long drawn out crash ended with a very slow over the bars crash and getting tangled up in my bike. Very disappointing as I had done well on this stage in last years race and would have liked to repeat that performance. From Bethunes Gully at the bottom of Mt Cargill we climbed over the back of Signal hill and dropped down to the start of the second stage. Having lived in Dunedin or 2 years I know most of the tracks up here so I was looking forward to this stage. It did not disappoint with what in my opinion was the best stage of the day. I also managed my best stage result with a 3rd in Category and 4th overall. All in all a fun day was had and thankfully I managed to get around before the heavens opened and the rain started pouring down. Some people were still to do their last run when it started raining which must have made the last steep rocky and rooty section interesting.

I was riding my Specialized Enduro 29er Expert Carbon and couldn’t have asked for a better bike. No mechanical issues all day and the big wheels made short work of the stairs on Cargill and the rocks on Signal and kept me stable and in control for the high speeds on the Pineapple track.

 

Tom Lamb photo Callum Wood

Photo taken by Callum Wood.

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