Bike rider pumped up


A downhill mountain biker shrugged off a flat tyre to pump up his chances of a junior national title.

Queenstowner Sam Robbie, 15, won round three of the 2016 Mountain Bike New Zealand Cup Series, in Nelson, last month.

That’s despite getting a puncture about halfway down the steep technical course.

It means Robbie, with two seconds in previous rounds, can win the cup if he wins the seeding run and race run in the final round at Cardrona on March 20.

“I got a wee bit off line in a rough section of rocks and punctured,” Robbie says. “It was a lot worse - no traction on the back pretty much and slower.

“The top half of the track had been good though so I kept trying to go fast instead of giving up.”

Robbie says there’ll be pressure in the final race but he’s keeping positive.

“I can’t do anything about the other boys, I just have to go as fast as I can.”

Robbie’s one of four Queenstown downhill youngsters in The Bike Fix GT Downhill Team - sponsored by Mark Angus’ company.

Matt Gillan, 17, won the under-19s in Nelson.

Angus says: “His time was so good he’d have finished sixth in the pro-elite men - he was five seconds off one of the top pro riders in the world.”

Simon Read finished third in the same age group.

And Matt Lawton finished 14th in the pro-elite, after moving up from the juniors where he was ranked 43rd in the world.

Robbie says Angus’ sponsorship has been “fantastic”.

Angus has been sponsoring Queenstown youngsters for more than a decade, including ex-MTB world champ Scarlett Hagen back in 2004.

After Cardrona, the Oceania Champs will be held in Queenstown from March 25-28.