Enduro rider retains Queenstown title


Relentless Nelson rider Ethan Glover has retained his Queenstown enduro race title – and earned another year to find the trophy.

Glover won the open men’s category of the Queenstown Bike Festival Super D for a second year running yesterday (Saturday).

The mountain biker recorded the fastest time over 14 laps, closely followed by Jamie Nicol and Christchurch’s Rupert Chapman, who also finished third in 2012.

“Luckily he retained the trophy – because he’s the one who’s got it and can’t find it,” festival organiser Geoff Hunt says.

“I gave him a hard time but he’s got a year to find it now after another great performance.”

Almost 200 riders took on the arduous, challenging course at Queenstown Bike Park, designed by Queenstowner Jarna McKenzie.

The field included a diverse mix of pros and amateurs from New Zealand and around the world – with professional teams Hutchinson United Ride and Commencal Super Team both in the mix.

And while the tireless riders impressed spectators with their resilience, gutsy American Bobby McMullen was an inspiration to everyone on the hill.

The blind downhiller and former Paralympics skier took on the Super D course with the aid of a guide – whose shouts of ‘left, left, left, pull up, roll over’ rang out through the trees.

McMullen, subject of an international award-winning film, is totally blind in his left eye but can see the blurred shape of his guide from his right eye.

“Bobby found it tough with some of the very steep sections so did a variation but everyone who saw him was surprised at his ability,” Hunt says.

French World Cup downhiller Fabien Cousinie competed in the team event. His three-man Hutchinson United Ride team won the category with 14 laps. Production Privee finished second and Team Alta third. 

Majordebt won the two-men team event with 15 laps, followed by ‘B’ team in second and Team Byron Scott third. 

Jonny Waghorn managed a punishing 13 laps during the six-hour race to win the vet males, with Tim O’Leary and Neil Proctor behind. 

Event sponsors Outside Sports battled it out for local bragging rights with other Queenstown bike store teams in the mixed teams of three. 

Outside Sports won, with Vertigo Bikes second and The Babolink Trio third. Santa Cruz won the mixed team of two, followed by 77 Coupe. 

Hardcore Jess Fenwick won the open female individual event while Ilse Vermeulen won the vets. Team NZ Trail Friend won the female team of two category, with 13 laps, followed by Team 1.5 in second and Team Gap in third. 

Queenstown girls Dirt Town Queenstown took first place in the female teams of three with Far from Faavae in second. 

“It was fantastic and shows the local riders are on the case. The comments from everyone were great – the change from the dusty Skyline car park to the green Queenstown campground as the base camp made an incredible difference,” Hunt says.