Mountain biking: Enduro organiser happy with result

Rosara Joseph, of Wellington, races down Mount Cargill on her way to winning the open women's section of the 3 Peaks Enduro held around Dunedin on Saturday.
Rosara Joseph, of Wellington, races down Mount Cargill on her way to winning the open women's section of the 3 Peaks Enduro held around Dunedin on Saturday.
Enduro racing made its Dunedin debut at the weekend with the 3 Peaks race, and former mountain biking professional Kashi Leuchs believes the sport will flourish in the South.

The event was organised by Leuchs and Mountain Bike Otago and attracted a field of 90 competitors.

Leuchs said some influential riders took up the offer to compete in the inaugural event and the feedback he had received had been overwhelmingly positive.

''It was a stunning day. Everybody was absolutely buzzing at the finish,'' Leuchs said.

''I think we really set a good high standard for what enduro racing should be in New Zealand. And based on what everyone has said, we'll definitely do it again and I'm sure it will grow massively. It is what people want now.''

Leuchs said there had been a shift internationally to enduro events and he predicted New Zealand would follow suit.

''Even though we only had 90 competitors, the people who came were the people who are very influential in the sport. If they have had a great time, then I'm very confident this race will go well.''

The race started at the Bull Pen end of the Pineapple Track. Riders later climbed Mt Cargill and rode down into Bethunes Gully, before grinding their way to the top of Signal Hill for one last downhill section.

The three downhill sections were all timed. Olympian Rosara Joseph won the women's open section from local rider Anja McDonald and Erin Greene. In the open men's category, Tom Lamb, of Dunedin, held off the challenge of Rotorua's Samuel Shaw, and Queenstown's Jarrah Healy was third.

''The thing is we have a unique location,'' Leuchs said.

''These three mountains around Dunedin all have great trails down them and they are so close. That is something you don't find very often anywhere else in the world, let alone New Zealand.''