Video & Race Report: 2021 New Zealand National DH Champs

Mar 6, 2021
by The Perfect Line  


After 6 months of preparation, Christchurch Adventure Park was ready to play host for the 2021 New Zealand Downhill National Championship.

We are in a relatively fortunate position here in New Zealand, for the most part, we are COIVD free - so we have been able to run public events, almost like normal.

All the NZ World Cup big hitters Sam Blenkinsop, Brook MacDonald, Ed Masters, George Branigan, Bryn Dickerson and up-comers of the New Zealand Downhill scene were in for a treat with a brand new trail, "Community Transmission".

After a successful day of practice on Saturday, the tables turned on New Zealand at 9 pm. That night an emergency announcement was made over COVID community transmission being detected in our largest city, Auckland. This resulted in our four-tier alert system being elevated from level 1 to 3 for Auckland and level 2 for regions outside that area. This meant an effective lockdown for Auckland and elsewhere that gatherings over 100 people were no longer allowed, among other restrictions, this presented a set of issues for the race with 150 riders entered, but Cycling New Zealand quickly put into action a preplanned script of dropping seeding runs, shorting practice and splitting the event into two parts - Junior categories in the morning and Elite in the afternoon.

"This was not ideal but it was workable and enabled us to at least run the event which was way better than canceling it! Thanks to CAP and CNZ for making it happen and thanks to the riders for being so understanding." - Jeremy Christmas, UCI Commissaire



"What a great weekend to see CAP come alive with the best riders in the country " - Anne Newman, General Manager - Christchurch Adventure Park

 Community Transmission - An aptly named trail for the days racing
"Community Transmission" - An aptly named trail for the days racing

"It means a lot to be able to showcase what Christchurch has to offer and it’s pretty rewarding for everyone who helped out to see pro riders coming to Christchurch and enjoying the track and the event!" - Will Keay, race director

Luke Hancock dirt surfing his way to 1st U17
Luke Hancock dirt surfing his way to 1st U17

Octavio backing it in for 2nd in Masters
Octavio, sliding it back into 2nd - Masters

Thomas Clark in two wheel drive
Dust dust and more dust
Thomas Clark in two-wheel drive

Sam Weir - 5th U19

Rory Meek coming in sideways for 2nd U15
Rory Meek & Alexander Gilchrist coming in hot!

Seth bar deep in the dust
Seth bar deep on his way to 4th U17!

Volunteers make the world go round
Will Keay Ronan M - instrumental to the setup and success of the event countless volunteer hours by them and the whole of the Gravity Canterbury crew.
Local Mountain Bike club Gravity Canterbury was tasked by Cycling New Zealand to organise and run the DH event. Volunteers from the club built the new track especially for the race with assistance from the team at CAP. Volunteers make the world go round!

Superwoman Agata your Gravity Canterbury Club president and fastest female sweeper
Superwoman Agata, your Gravity Canterbury Club president, and fastest female sweeper!

Alex Wayman - by far the smoothest and fastest rider in this second rock garden - 3rd U19 - 10th overall.
Alex Wayman - easily the smoothest and fastest rider in this rock garden - 3rd U19 - 10th overall.

Jonty Vink full attack
Jonty Vink full attack

Eddie was well in contention for the top step but a small slip-up in racing lead to a big slam.
Eddie was well in contention for the top step, but a small slip-up in racing led to a big slam on his hip and a few nights in hospital.

Scrubbing in 4th U19 - Cam Beck
Scrubbing in 4th U19 - Cam Beck

The locals champion Max Hides with the Sport Male Victory
The locals champion Max Hides coming in hot for the Sport Male Victory!

Jack Collins your fastest U13 and 11th place overall in a stacked field. Elite riders the next generation is coming for you
Jack Collins on the hunt to the top step of U13
Jack Collins 13 years old, your fastest U15 and 11th place overall in a stacked field. Elite riders, watch out the next generation is coming for you!

Jack keeping it low and fast for the U15 win.
Jack keeping it low and fast for the U15 win.

Another hot prospect for the next generation. Oli Clark kids an absolute weapon on two wheels and he s only 13.
Oli Clark showing his mates how it all went wrong
Oli Clark, another young gun - 13 years old and an absolute weapon on two wheels. Unfortunately, a high-speed OTB put him out of contention with a broken wrist.

Rae Morrison on the charge in the early morning fog
Rae Morrison on the charge in the early morning fog - 1st Masters Women

Sacha Earnest showing there is no shortage of upcoming female talent in NZ - 1st U17.
Sacha Earnest showing there is no shortage of upcoming female talent in NZ - 1st U17

Caitlin Titheridge 4th - Elite Women

Robin Goomes on her way to 2nd place Elite Women
Robin Goomes on her way to 2nd place Elite Women

Jess with her eyes on the prize
Jess with her eyes on the prize!

Jess on the charge
Jess on the charge, 1st Elite Women - 7 seconds clear of 2nd!

A lay down for George Brannigan pushed him back to 15th.
A lay down for George Brannigan pushed him back to 15th.

Kieran Bennett not the run he hoped for but full points for style.
Kieran Bennett, not the run he hoped for, but full points for style. 13th Elite

Bryn Dickerson full moto
Bryn Dickerson full moto - 12th Elite

Cole Lucas flying into 5th place Elite on his EWS rig!

Enduro specialist Charlie Murray laying down a heater of a run and using every millimetre of that Boxxer for 4th place.
Enduro specialist Charlie Murray laying down a heater of a run and using every millimetre of that Boxxer for 4th place.

If I was a betting man I d be betting on Charlie Murray for the 2021 EWS title.
If I was a betting man, I'd be betting on Charlie Murray for the 2021 EWS title.

Lachlan laid down a scorcher for the U19 win and 6th overall
Lachlan laid down a scorcher for the U19 win and 4th overall

Boaz on the charge after claiming a 1000 and the NZOpen the week before.
Boaz on the charge after claiming a $1000 and the NZOpen the week before. He cemented his place in the hot seat for 18 runs.

Blenkinsop holding it wide open

Sam with his signature ET across the final jump.
Wouldn't be a race without Blenki's signature ET

Sam didn t want to let that plate go
Sam holds on to the #1 plate with over 4 seconds to spare!

Back to back champion - Sam Blenkinsop
Back to back champion - Sam Blenkinsop

The fastest dad in Downhill
The family man Blenki
The fastest dad in Downhill

Brady Stone all smiles after putting down a respectable 7th place in Elite on the Enduro bike.
Brady Stone all smiles after putting down a respectable 7th place in Elite on the Enduro bike.

Jess Blewit cleans up with a 7 second lead
Jess Blewitt, Robin Goomes, Louise Kelly, Caitlin Titheridge, Kelsey Timpany

Sam takes the win with over 4 seconds to spare
Sam Blenkinsop, Boaz Hebblethwaite, Sam Gale, Charlie Murray, Cole Lucas

Your 2021 New Zealand National Champions
Your 2021 New Zealand National Champions!

"It felt like I was overseas racing again, the track was great, it just feels good to be back on a bike, racing!" - Sam Blenkinsop

Full event results here

Words, Photos, and Video: The Perfect Line


28 Comments

  • 15 0
 I find the lack of comments on this great content here disturbing....? I’m probably “wrong” but my favorite day of riding on a whole NZ trip back some years was in CC. Adventure park, Victoria, Flying Nun, Lava Flow.
  • 2 1
 I rode there and the trails were blown out and slippery with that crazy dust. Braking craters galore. I much prefer Rotorua area.
  • 10 0
 Great shots and thanks for the raw video!
  • 9 0
 Other raw video makers take notes
  • 9 1
 Community Transmission Big Grin
Love the kiwi's sense of humour!
  • 7 0
 Video and commentary was on point. :-D
  • 3 0
 8 minutes of awesome content! Including Jess’s savage save in the rock garden, and Boaz splitting rocks with his wheels.
Thanks! What a great track and filming.
  • 2 0
 Great to see some NZ content on PB, in particular my home Christchurch trails.
Hoping EWS & world cups happen this year, NZ Has some talent in the clip ready to be let loose.
  • 3 0
 Bloody good show awld chap! Great story telling!
  • 1 0
 Great pics, great coverage, all smiles, and no masks nor the sense of the 'rona affecting this racetown. Love it. Keep this going.
  • 2 0
 Damn, So many people without gloves.
  • 2 8
flag mfoga (Mar 7, 2021 at 13:09) (Below Threshold)
 And masks which is even more surprising today
  • 2 1
 @mfoga: You're pathetic.
  • 2 0
 two protype bikes on that race alone. NO CLUES lol
  • 2 0
 epic bro! loved the vid, bloody well done
  • 2 0
 Spectacular coverage. The video was absolutely mint. Cheers Everyone!
  • 2 0
 good to see all the younger riders with neck braces on
  • 2 0
 Damn, epic RAW-vid Todd. Great work & running commentary.
  • 2 0
 so great to watch some racing!
  • 1 0
 Brilliant coverage, especially the video. Slow mo of a bike wheel smashing a rock in half is a first!
  • 2 0
 Awesome work! We need more race recaps like this.
  • 1 0
 Awesome footages and photos. Also Boaz splitting this rock in 7:09 min was rad!
  • 2 0
 blenki so smooth
  • 2 0
 Top work Todd. So good.
  • 1 0
 Great coverage Todd, tough track much !
  • 1 0
 Great vid. Track looked sick
  • 1 0
 i see alot of commencal supremes...
  • 1 0
 That raw video was all time! so good!

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