Kicking off on the 10th February was the first round of the 2019 New Zealand Cross Country Championships held in the Hawkes Bay, the series is set to conclude in Taupo on Saturday 25th May. Each event of the 4 round championship will be 3 hours of non-stop racing, consisting of 8 different classes, with the overall winner crowned the NZ Cross Country Champion after all 4 rounds, a title currently held by Brad Groombridge.
Class 1 201cc & Over 2T
Class 2 0-200cc 2T
Class 3 301cc & Over 4T
Class 4 0-300cc 4T
Class 5 Veterans (35-44yrs)
Class 6 Super Veterans (45+ yrs)
Class 7 Women’s
Class 8 Two Man (Non-Championship)
The 4 round national championship consists of two North Island and two South Island rounds, with each of the rounds also counting towards the North Island and South Island Championships. The worst of the riders four round results will be dropped in final point calculation. Following the season opener in the Hawkes Bay riders will journey to the south for round 2 on the 24th March at Lee Stream in Mosgiel. After Mosgiel riders will again venture down the island to Marlborough on the 14th April for the second and last South Island round. Concluding the series, riders will travel to Taupo on the 25th May for the final round followed by prize-giving.
Brad Groombridge after claiming his 2018 New Zealand Cross Country Title
It’s a strange feeling moments before the start of a cross-country race, as you sit there awaiting the shotgun blast you can hear the wind sweep through the neighbouring forest while the butterflies turn in your stomach. Then, you see the smoke fire out the end of the shotgun followed by its dominant bang and suddenly every bike on that line roars into life and rips off toward the first corner.
The opening round would see several riders in the top spot however you have to be there when it matters most. Following the shotgun blast signalling the start of the 2019 New Zealand Cross Country Championship Caleb Richardson, making his senior debut raced into the lead. But it wasn’t long before Reece Lister seized an opportunity and took over the top spot. Upon completion of the first lap, Sam Brown had taken over the lead and Lister had dropped to 2nd with Jason Dickey in hot pursuit holding 3rd. Meanwhile, Caleb Richardson had dropped back to 14th.
What had happened to defending champion Brad Groombridge? Unfortunately for the Taupo rider he crashed soon after the start and found himself dead last when remounting the bike, he battled hard throughout the first lap to get himself to 17th, passing 37 riders but unfortunately still a long way back from the race leaders.
Four laps in and the battle for the lead was still between Sam Brown, Reece Lister and Jason Dickey while Brad Groombridge had managed to fight his way back to 7th, after an hour and a half of racing fatigue would start becoming a factor in the coming laps, and what was a battle of speed would develop into a battle of fitness. Unfortunately for Reece Lister, the fatigue had set in and he was forced to retire after aggravating a previous ankle injury bringing a disappointing end to the Husqvarna riders day.
Providing Groombridge could keep his pace he may have a chance at fighting for the lead in the second part of the race. During his fight through the pack, Brad Groombridge set the 2 fastest laps of the race, in lap 4 and 5 setting a 23:17 and 23:05 respectively exactly what the defending champion needed to get near the race leaders. Nearing the races end Dickey had put himself in the lead by a comfortable margin and was on his way to the race win.
Brad Groombridge flew through the pack during the 3-hour battle after an early crash
Crossing the line after 3 hours, 11 minutes and 42 seconds completing 8 laps of the 23km course was Raglan’s Jason Dickey, aboard his KTM 350 XCF. Just shy of a minute behind Dickey was Sam Brown on his KTM 450 XCF and claiming the final podium spot 3 ½ minutes behind Dickey and only 2 seconds in front of 4th place Seth Reardon was the 338 RMZ450 of Brad Groombridge, a well-earnt podium spot after a race of battling through the pack. Completing the top 5 was Brandon Given bringing his CRF450 over the line at 3:22:40.
The New Zealand Cross Country Champion will reconvene in 6 weeks’ time at Mosgiel for round 2. All eyes will be on Dickey and Brown and whether they’ll be able to keep the defending champion at bay, and we can expect Reece Lister to return too and it’s safe to say his 52nd place finish will become his drop round. We could also see title contenders like Sam Greenslade, Callan May and more enter in the coming rounds, utilising the drop round ruling.
|1||1||58||Jason Dickey||KTM 350XCF||3. 4T Over||8||03:11:42|
|2||2||68||Sam Brown||KTM 450XCF||3. 4T Over||8||03:12:35|
|3||3||338||Brad Groombridge||Suzuki RMZ450||3. 4T Over||8||03:16:01|
|4||1||771||Seth Reardon||Yamaha YZ250FX||4. 4T Under||8||03:16:03|
|5||4||5||Brandon Given||Honda CRF450||3. 4T Over||8||03:22:40|
|6||1||388||Ethan Harris||Yamaha YZ250X||1. 2T Over||8||03:23:30|
|7||5||27||Daniel White||Kawasaki KXF450||3. 4T Over||8||03:29:08|
|8||2||99||Jim Orton||KTM 300XC||1. 2T Over||7||02:58:15|
|9||2||705||Charlie Richardson||Husqvarna FC250||4. 4T Under||7||03:00:32|
|10||6||731||Callum Dudson||Honda CRF450||3. 4T Over||7||03:00:39|
|11||3||92||Boyd Carlson||KTM 300XC||1. 2T Over||7||03:01:18|
|12||3||622||Caleb Richardson||KTM 250XCF||4. 4T Under||7||03:01:22|
|13||1||9||Karl Roberts||Yamaha YZ250F||6. Vets 45+||7||03:01:52|
|14||1||64||Richard Sutton||Yamaha YZ125||2. 2T Under||7||03:01:55|
|15||4||337||Anthony Parker||Suzuki RMZ250||4. 4T Under||7||03:04:17|
|16||2||98||Hugh Lintott||Yamaha YZ450FX||6. Vets 45+||7||03:04:27|
|17||3||650||Kevin Archer||KTM 450XCF||6. Vets 45+||7||03:04:41|
|18||5||65||Rachael Archer||Yamaha YZ250FX||4. 4T Under||7||03:04:51|
|19||7||97||Hayden Tesselaar||KTM 350XCF||3. 4T Over||7||03:05:21|
|20||6||66||Seton Head||Suzuki RMZ250||4. 4T Under||7||03:05:45|
|21||7||414||Ben Paterson||Yamaha WR250F||4. 4T Under||7||03:07:55|
|22||1||8||Tom Twist||Honda CRF250||5. Vet 35-44||7||03:07:59|
|23||2||73||Shane Frith||KTM 250XC||5. Vet 35-44||7||03:09:03|
|24||2||256||Richard Mason||KTM 150XC||2. 2T Under||7||03:11:27|
|25||3||105||Stephen Sergeant||Kawasaki KXF250||5. Vet 35-44||7||03:12:08|
|26||4||4||Josh Hunger||Husqvarna TE300||1. 2T Over||7||03:12:37|
|27||4||88||Adrian Loveridge||Honda CRF250||6. Vets 45+||7||03:14:53|
|28||5||33||Mark Galbraith||KTM 250EXC||1. 2T Over||7||03:15:25|
|29||8||2||Nathan Tesselaar||KTM 350XCF||3. 4T Over||7||03:16:58|
|30||5||62||Dougy Herbert||Husaberg TE300||1. 2T Over||7||03:17:15|
|31||8||375||Callum Paterson||Yamaha YZ250F||4. 4T Under||7||03:18:35|
|32||9||348||Sam Lee||Yamaha YZ250FX||4. 4T Under||7||03:20:13|
|33||4||52||Andrew Gaddes||KTM 350XCF||Vet 35-44||7||03:20:25|
|34||5||96||Sam Swanson||Husqvarna FX350||Vet 35-44||7||03:20:49|
|35||6||75||Callum Harvey||KTM 350XC||Vet 35-44||7||03:21:39|
|36||3||989||Dwain Shuttleworth||KTM 150SX||2. 2T Under||7||03:24:11|
|37||4||42||Mark Fuller||KTM 150XC||2. 2T Under||7||03:26:13|
|38||6||103||Glenn Woodmass||Honda CRF250||Vets 45+||7||03:26:20|
|39||6||72||Tom Hislop||KTM 250EXC||1. 2T Over||6||02:52:23|
|40||7||231||Andy Galpin||Yamaha WR250F||Vets 45+||6||02:56:16|
|41||10||80||Zak Fuller||Kawasaki KXF250||4. 4T Under||6||02:57:38|
|42||7||357||Trent Paterson||Yamaha YZ250F||Vet 35-44||6||02:58:02|
|43||9||163||Ryan Crawford||KTM 350XCF||3. 4T Over||6||03:00:57|
|44||1||238||Charlotte Russ||Husqvarna TE150||7. Womens||6||03:03:44|
|45||8||591||Jason Musgrove||KTM 350XCF||Vets 45+||6||03:05:27|
|46||8||116||Dale Saunders||Yamaha YZ250F||Vet 35-44||6||03:11:37|
|47||5||1||Chris Smyth||KTM 200XCW||2. 2T Under||6||03:27:36|
|48||11||108||Josh Loveridge||Honda XR250||4. 4T Under||5||02:53:37|
|49||12||720||Jabari Vink||KTM 250SXF||4. 4T Under||5||03:01:17|
|50||9||167||Brett Fullerton||Suzuki RMZ250||6. Vets 45+||5||03:11:03|
|51||2||115||Jane Whitaker||KTM 250XCF||7. Womens||5||03:37:17|
|52||10||223||Reece Lister||Husqvarna FC350||3. 4T Over||4||01:36:29|
|53||10||26||Glen Carlson||Honda CRF450||6. Vets 45+||4||01:57:54|
|54||1||V69||Jamie Welch||KTM 350XCF||Club||4||02:08:11|
|First In Class||Second In Class||Third In Class|