Clean sweep of victories for Presbury, Jennings

Kristy Jennings.
Kristy Jennings.
Three from three.

Jeremy Presbury and Kristy Jennings completed a clean sweep of wins to be crowned Gravel In Paradise champions for 2024.

The series concluded last weekend with the Puketapu Gravel ‘N’ Tar in Palmerston.

It was the biggest race in the series history with 125 riders lining up at the start line.

Dominant displays in all three races saw the pair claim the overall men's and women's championship titles, winning all of the races.

Presbury’s time at the Gravel ‘N' Tar of 2hr 1min also broke the previous course record by 6min.

Samuel Shaw finished second overall while 2023 men’s champion, Toby Roberts, came in third.

In total, 350 riders took part in the series this year, 30% more than 2023, Gravel In Paradise series manager Grant Campbell said.

"With the cost-of-living crisis we thought it might put a few people off and the cost of travel and all that. But, no. To have that amount of growth was quite significant. That was fantastic.

"To have the returning riders from Christchurch, Ashburton, Invercargill, Wanaka ... You saw people making some super efforts to make it to the event."

To celebrate the conclusion of the series, Cycling Otago is hosting a thank you event at Scott’s Brewery this evening for the volunteers and sponsors.

It was "well overdue" Campbell said.

"Especially for the volunteers because they’ve been amazing."

He was massively grateful for all the support throughout the series and was optimistic Gravel In Paradise would return in 2025.