It’s finally happened for Queenstown mountain biker Conor Macfarlane.
Last year he was third. In 2012 he was runner-up. Last night he at last won his hometown stopestyle competition.
Macfarlane, described by event MC Tony ‘T-Man’ Moore as “the most underrated mountain biker in New Zealand”, took home the cheque for $1,300 for taking the Queenstown Bike Festival glamour event last night downtown.
Macfarlane won with a third run score of 88.
It edged out Wanaka’s Elmo Cotter by two points making it a successful evening for Mons Royale, the merino clothing company that sponsors both riders and the event itself.
Phil McLean of Christchurch took the remaining podium spot with a best run score of 85.
Macfarlane says his fluidity the whole way through the course was key to his win.
“I had a good feeling when I landed my third run because I was last down. This is actually the first big comp I’ve won bar Farm Jam. It’s been a while so I’m pretty happy! We’re always at the jumps just having fun and when you’re having fun that’s when the tricks happen. I reckon having fun’s the most important thing to progress you,” he said.
Top amateur was 16-year-old Hamish Burrows from Dunedin proving he has a very bright future with a best score of 79 putting him ahead of Invercargill’s Levi Goodall on 73 and local Queenstowner, Jeremy Cox on 69.
Best trick was judged off the final booter in a separate jam session after the main runs. Paul Langland caught the judges’ eye with an unbelievable front-flip tail whip, the first time he’d ever landed it in competition. German visitor, Jonas Berndt took second and the consistent Phil McLean finished on the podium again with third.
The downtown course was designed and built by head judge Tom Hey’s company Extra Mile Trail Building with local legend, Kelly McGarry who missed a podium spot this year.
Six monster hits began with a 6m-long lip drop into a 5.4m high quarter to wall hip before flowing into the main line of a trick in-and-out fruit bowl, a 7m ‘money trick’ jump and finally twin quarters with a wall option.
The festival continues today with the Coronet Enduro at Coronet Peak ski field. Shuttles will be provided to Cavells Café and Bar at Arthur’s Point for prize giving and results from around 3.15pm.
Saturday sees riders of all ages and abilities bike the annual Tour de Wakatipu along an exclusive course from Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown to Chard Farm along the Kawarau River.
The 2014 festival closes on Sunday with marquee event the Mega Avalanche that tracks the Remarkables ridgeline right down to the valley floor followed by a finale party at Winnies.