Over 80 MTBO riders competed in the 3 events of the annual Vegas Vindaloo MTBO challenge in Rotorua on the 5-6 Sept. There were contrasting challenges, starting with a sprint event in the Government Gardens area of down town Rotorua early Saturday which saw a dead flat course that offered speed, but complex route choices with much off track as well as on track travel options. Established mountain bikers took the first two places in the mens, with Liam Drew (Wellington) winning, 22 secs ahead of Brent Simpson (New Plymouth).
The afternoon classic race provided a contrast to the morning, offering steep and physically demanding terrain, in amongst the complex trail network of the Whakarewarewa Forest. Bikers were challenged with a navigationally demanding start in amongst the Whakarewarewa School and Scion buildings, before being confronted by the route choice challenges and hills in the forest proper. Mountain biker Brent Simpson dominated the mens event, almost 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack.
Day two saw riders at the Green Lake area of the Forest for a 2hr rogaine. This provided a contrast to the busy trails of the main MTB area and explored the less used trails and forest roads. At the end of their ride competitors were offered an additional 40 points if they consumed a cup of super hot vindaloo curry. Brent Simpson concluded a successful weekend with 2nd in the mens.
A points system used across the three events had Marquita Gelderman taking the Vindaloo Queen crown, however consistent riding and a dominant performance in the classic gave Brent Simpson the Vindaloo King title for 2015.
A fantastic weekend, with these results for other Taranaki riders:
Nick - good long race and rogaine, 6th male (7th overall)
Rainbow - a good sprint race, 14th male (21st overall)
Jacqui - good long race, 8th female (23rd overall)
Neil - new hips working well (32nd overall)