Contestants lap up course

Ideal conditions greeted cyclists in the Patagonia 8hrs@Jacks mountain bike event on Saturday, with the winner of the individual men's division completing 19 laps of the 6.5km track at Jacks Point.

Alexandra's Shaun Portegys finished his 19 laps after seven hours 56 minutes 36 seconds of non-stop riding, his fastest lap being his last at 23.52min.

''I have done a number of eight and 10-hour races and this course was by far the best, a great cross-country course with good variation of terrain,'' Portegys said.

The race path traversed a track parallel to Lake Wakatipu, rolling hills, rocky outcrops, a small gum forest and was developed specially for the race.

Race organiser Geoff Hunt said he was pleased with the turnout ''and the weather was ideal for the race''.

''There was some strong competition amongst both the individuals and teams, and overall the shorter course was slightly faster than last year."

Wanaka multisporter Floortje Draisma won the female division, finishing 17 laps in 7hr 46min and 58sec and Dunedin's Harriet Miller was in second place with 15 laps.

Wanaka team Unspoken 1 recorded the most laps at 20, which put it in position to win the junior male division and it also recorded the fastest lap at 20min and 43sec.

The open men's division was won by Patagonia 1 (Christchurch/Queenstown) which completed 17 laps.

The Rusty Demons, of Invercargill, took the veteran men's title with 18 laps and Pink Paws Anderson, of Queenstown, won the veteran women's with 14 laps.

Patagonia - sponsors of the event - company principals Hamish and Jenny Cochran competed in the veteran mixed division which their team won.


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