It’s the wacky races

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John McCartney will represent New Zealand at the wacky Single Speed World Mountain Bike Championships in California on September 19-20.

There are no cups or medals to be had but the winner gets a compulsory tattoo – or branding, as it’s known – to commemorate the feat.

Thirsty entrants are also allowed to scull a few beers during the cross-country competition.

McCartney came 40th in a 220-strong field at the NZ Singlespeed Championship in Rotorua in April.

But Queenstown Mountain Bike Club’s Carey Vivian says he’ll be up against some of the world’s best in the United States – so “John doesn’t have to worry about getting the tattoo”.

“Honestly, his chances [of winning] are probably zero or less,” Vivian insists. “There are 400 starters.”

Queenstown will host about 100 out-of-town riders at the national Single Speed Championships next April. “The tattoo is compulsory [here], too,” Vivian adds.