Queenstowner wins Remarks thrash

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A Queenstown rider has won the annual hard-core thrash down the Remarkables – racing from summit to valley floor in just 15 minutes.

Downhiller Sean McCarroll took out Queenstown Bike Festival’s Mega Avalanche on Sunday.

Hotshot freeriders Kelly McGarry and Conor Macfarlane both also competed in the race – a 1400-metre descent from Alpine terrain at the top of the iconic Queenstown mountain range along tracks and through tussock land to the valley floor below.

“Three of us took off, Kelly was leading, Conor was second and I was third down the first straight,” McCarroll says.

“About a quarter of the way down I got Kelly and then Conor after that.

“I was half way down and thought I had it but one guy passed me again so I put the power down and did some crazy moves, hitting a bush and coming to a dead stop.

“One guy passed me through the last section so I was off the brakes and committed – first or nothing.”

Fifty thrill-seeking bikes raced down from the main ridge on the Remarkables.

McCarroll took the men’s title with Joe Nation from Christchurch, who won the Coronet Enduro on Good Friday, finishing second just five seconds later.

Tauranga’s Hayden Lee was third a further ten seconds behind.

First woman home was Meg Bichard from Nelson in 19.06, doubling up her win at Friday’s Enduro, followed by Anja McDonald just over a minute later and Leigh Halkett third in 24.40.

Bichard says: “I’m absolutely knackered.

“The first bit was a bit rough and scary over some nose-divey drops but I managed to hold on.

“Then through the tussock I was a bit lucky and fluked a line that worked then just seemed to hold it all the way down, just one little off but nothing major.”