Cyclists' skills put to test

Finn Thomson (11), of Mount Aspiring College in Wanaka, steadies himself over obstacles at the...
Finn Thomson (11), of Mount Aspiring College in Wanaka, steadies himself over obstacles at the Top Bike competition in Alexandra yesterday. Photos by Jono Edwards.
Hamish Payne (11), of Alexandra Primary School.
Hamish Payne (11), of Alexandra Primary School.
Oscar Reihana (11), of Goldfields Primary School in Cromwell.
Oscar Reihana (11), of Goldfields Primary School in Cromwell.
Billie Willson (10), of Tarras School.
Billie Willson (10), of Tarras School.

Central Otago children rode across ramps, through forests and on roads to test their bike safety savvy yesterday.

In the frosty Alexandra morning, hundreds of bikers from schools across Central Otago and Queenstown rode near Molyneux Park as part of the 12th annual Central Otago Top Bike competition.

For the event, children split into mixed teams of six and competed on a skills course, in mountain bike and on-road time trials and raced on a grass track.

About 240 children were scheduled to attend, but most Wanaka-based children were not able to get to the event, due to icy roads.

Sport Central regional co-ordinator Bill Godsall said the aim of the competition was to teach the children about teamwork.

"In a team of six there is quite a variety of skills, but the better ones were very supportive of the others.''

It gave the children some competition and taught them about road safety, he said.

"It's about saying it's not really that dangerous if you're sensible and you're taught properly.''

The childrens' skills were "stunning'', he said.

"It's also a life skill. Some of the kids who did quite well might not necessarily do other sports.''

Winners of the years 5 and 6 categories were the Queenstown Primary School's Rabbitohs and the Goldfields Primary Green team, from Cromwell, was the runner-up.

The years 7 and 8 section was won by the Real Madrid Racers from Alexandra's The Terrace School and its Wheely Fast Wacers were second.

These teams will compete in a Southland competition later in the year.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz

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