Queenstown women rule in bike fest downhill


A pair of locals have taken first and second in the women’s downhill at Queenstown Bike Festival.

Queenstowner Harriet ‘Bob’ Latchem took the women’s DirtMasters Downhill title in three minutes 52 seconds, five seconds ahead of fellow Queenstowner Alanna Columb.

The rowdy and hard-fought race has been one of the festival highlights so far.

They were among more than 50 devil-may-care riders raced through the mist on Tuesday.

Wellingtonian Daniel Meilink took the men’s title with a super-quick time of  3.17.35 – as spectators ramped up the party atmosphere by clanging bike frames with spanners, shouting through loud halers and starting chainsaws.

Meilink – a Bergamont works team mechanic in town for the summer – beat Swiss pro and Dominik Gspan by just 2.63 seconds.

“I’m stoked – there’ll be a big party tonight,” Meilink says.

“My run was pretty tidy and there was plenty of loam off the main line to grip into. I couldn’t really concentrate through Rowdy Roots – there was a lot of heckling.”

“It’s a friendly town with some awesome locals.”

Saturday saw 150 hardy riders battle it out in the Super D Enduro, also at the Bob’s Peak bike park.

Ethan Glover from Nelson took the men’s – completing a leg-wrecking 16 laps in six hours, more than any whole team managed. Queenstown’s own Mary Jowett took the women’s with 13.

Lone Star Blokes – Fraser Gordon, Blair Christmas and Dave Fahey – won the team title, while Dirt Town Queens Indri Clendon, Latchem and Rosie Smith took the women’s.

Two Goons – Mikey Northcott and Lewis Hart – were the first two-man team home and Greene Eggs & Lamb – Thomas Lamb and Erin Greene – won the mixed.

The ever-popular 16-inch Pub World Championships saw scores of competitors race round a course at Shotover Street bar The Find on Sunday night – on a child’s bike while necking shots and being blasted with beer.

Hundreds watched as Argentina rider David Perez Nanni won the men’s bespoke trophy. Kiwi ‘fixed gear’ bike star Jennifer Makgill – two-time Cycle World Courier Champion and national Cyco Cross Champion – won the women’s trophy.

The festival continues until Sunday night.