Holiday-makers boost race numbers

The start of the race. Photo by Joe Allison.
The start of the race. Photo by Joe Allison.
Despite a quick shower of rain, thunder and lightning, 627 bikers turned out for the 17th annual Bannockburn Mountain Bike Classic yesterday, leaving organisers well pleased.

The event, organised by the Cromwell and Districts Promotions Group, attracted 475 entrants last year so ''we weren't expecting that many [627] this year'', group member Barbara Emmitt said.

She put the large number down to holiday-makers.

''They came from all over.''

The event, part of the Cromwell Summer Series, was composed of three simultaneous races, all beginning and ending at the Bannockburn Hotel.

The first to start was the Classic Ride, which saw 360 people bike over 35km of mountain terrain and 4WD tracks.

The second was the Sport Ride, in which 149 people biked about 22km, and the Family Ride saw 118 people bike about 10km of gravel road and farm tracks.

James Williamson, of Alexandra, won the open men's classic in a time of 1hr 16min 41sec.

Mary Gray won the open women's classic in 1hr 31min 34sec.