Around 700 people took part in the inaugural Winter Mountain Bike Classic in Rotorua on Sunday, despite the wet weather.
The Winter Mountain Bike Classic has taken over the Winter Mountain Bike Series and was the third and final event in the Winter Forest Festival for 2019.
We Run the Forest and Gravel Royale took place on Saturday.
The Winter Mountain Bike Classic offered a 15km, 30km plus E Bikes and 45km course in the Whakarewarewa Forest.
Cosmo Bloor won the 45km course with a time of 02:26:47.
He said the course was muddy but enjoyable.
“It was really muddy but that’s just how we like it. I’m really happy, I wasn’t expecting the win so it’s a real confidence booster.”
“I was struggling a bit at the start but I climbed really nicely and got into my own rhythm and I think that was my highlight today, I just raced my own race.”
He said when it comes to training, there are hard days, but he focuses on keeping it fun.
Glenn Haden came in second place with a time of 02:29:05, while Connor Johnston came third with a time of 02:29:11.
Josie Wilcox was the first female in the 42km with a time of 02:52:24.
“I think it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done here, it was awesome fun but the conditions were tough.”
Wilcox said she trains throughout winter but works full time, so finding the balance can be difficult.
“I work full time so it can be hard riding at night, I haven’t been on the mountain bike a lot, I’ve mostly been on the roads but it is nice to be back in the mud.”
Janine Kavanagh came in second place with a time of 03:10:39, while Amy Elworthy came third place with a time of 03:30:04.
The 15km course winner, Stuart Robinson said the mud on the course was a highlight.
“It was pretty muddy, but it was good fun.”
Event Director Tim Farmer said it was the worst weather conditions he had seen, but it didn't deter the near 700 participants from getting out there.
“It was great to see people challenging themselves on their bike and enjoying the social experience throughout the weekend.”
The Winter Mountain Bike Classic concluded the Winter Forest Festival for 2019.