International Field Primed For Urge 3 Peaks Enduro

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Wed 3/Dec/14 10:35am

The Urge 3 Peaks Enduro endurance downhill mountain biking race has attracted an international field for this weekend's racing in Dunedin, New Zealand. (December 6 and 7, 2014).

Organisers expect about 200 riders to line up at the race start on the summit of Flagstaff on Saturday morning and among them are 10 Australians, two riders from Switzerland and one rider from France.

"We also have the top five female enduro athletes in New Zealand coming to the event with defending champ Rosara Joseph facing Meg Bichard, local favourite Anja McDonald, Raewyn Morrison and Kate Fluker this year," offers race director Tom Bradshaw (below right).

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Photo credit: Adventure Media Group/Derek Morrison

Among the men, Bradshaw said defending champion Jamie Nicoll would face his toughest challenge from 2014 Commonwealth Games Cross-Country gold medallist Anton Cooper along with downhill specialists Sam Shaw, Jimmy Pollard who would also pose a threat to the top step of the podium.

Organised by local bike shop Bike Otago in conjunction with Mountain Biking Otago, the 2014 Urge 3 Peaks Enduro features stages on each of the three tallest peaks surrounding Dunedin's CBD: Flagstaff (668m), Mt Cargill (676m) and Signal Hill (393m) over two days of racing.

Race founder Kashi Leuchs (above left) said feedback from the first two years of the event had led to a raft of improvements for the 2014 edition.

"We decided to make it a two-day event – people wanted to ride more," he offers. "It's a long way to travel to Dunedin so it makes sense to stage it across two full days."

Leuchs said that also meant they could have more riding on Signal Hill, which was a major drawcard for competitors.

"It's our favourite place to ride around here – amazing tracks and I think we've stepped it up in terms of the technical riding. There are some pretty full-on tracks down Signal Hill and a few surprises for riders this year."

The organisers have also added in a new trail at Nichols Creek – a descending line that Leuchs said would be challenging at speed.

Bradshaw said the new trail added a new aspect to the first day of the race.

"Each third of the trail is different. We have a slow, tight section up the top and then an open and fast section through farmland and then a completely new section of singletrack down the bottom."

The trail build was led by Dylan Sanchez-Pinsent who had a lot of experience building flowing trails with NZ Trail Solutions, explained Leuchs, who added that it was quite a different type of track for Dunedin.

"Anyone can have fun on this new trail," adds Bradshaw.

"The perfect enduro trail in my mind is one that a competent rider can ride comfortably, but a highly skilled rider will be able to make up a lot more time on," explains Leuchs. "I think we have achieved that with some of the trails this year and I can't wait to hear the riders comments on Sunday afternoon."

Leuchs added that the event was as much about providing a challenging race as it was about creating an event that all the riders enjoyed.
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