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Rotorua brothers take Enduro stage
Posted at 5:00pm Monday 27 Mar, 2017
Rotorua brothers Louis and Connor Hamilton took the top two places in the opening event at Crankworx Rotorua over the weekend.
Louis Hamilton 22, took first place in the GIANT Enduro Challenge with a time of 21:44.72, while his 20-year-old brother Connor came second with a time of 22:07.46.
The newly launched event for 2017 features a fun and relaxed format with a selection of the stages being used in the main Enduro World Series race on Sunday.
Louis says he is surprised to have beaten his brother.
“I thought he would have me - he’s been riding really well for the last three or four weeks,” says Louis. “We’ve definitely kept the brotherly rivalry thing going – I did give him a chance today, but it didn’t happen for him.”
Connor says he rode with Louis and then had his head down the whole day trying to beat him for once.
“It was awesome – I had a few little mistakes here and there with a crash on Kung Fu Walrus - it’s as close as I’ve been to him a race.”
Louis said people might think he should have entered the EWS GIANT Toa Enduro, but after riding a similar six stage Enduro recently, he knew it would have been a massive day. So rather than not competing at all, he decided to get amongst it with the four stage Challenger.
“It was still a big and physical day on the bike - the toughest stage for me was probably the first one. The weather was perfect, the tracks were awesome and the rain held off for us.”
Winner of the open women category, Canadian Micayla Gatto had a time of 27:18.30 and says it was an amazing experience.
“It was hard work - there was a lot of climbing,” says Micayla. “It’s my first real Enduro and I only decided last minute to test it out because the Enduro World Series is something I’ve been thinking about, but have been too scared to try, so this was a good intro.
“The tracks were running amazing and the conditions were perfect and I can’t wait to come back next year and maybe try the full EWS race."
Over the four stages the trails covered a great mix of New Zealand native forest with plenty of roots and some steep sections through the plantation pine forest and some fast flowy man made sections to finish off and keep the spectators happy providing a touch of airtime.
Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, says this is the first Challenger event and the local mountain bike community have really embraced it.
“We’re blown away by the enthusiasm shown for the EWS Enduro Challenger here in Rotorua and we really appreciate the support,” says Chris.
“The trails here are world class and the local organising committee have done an exceptional job in selecting such an amazing course for our debut Challenger race."
Tomorrow the big event of the week the Enduro World Series GIANT Toa Enduro kicks off at 7am.
The first Crankworx events over the weekend were the Enduro challenges.