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Stern test for Gannon

Masterton’s Allan Gannon [Honda], outright winner of the senior grade last season. PHOTO/ANDY McGECHAN, BIKESPORTNZ.COM

MOTOCROSS

Masterton rider Allan Gannon will have his hands full trying to defend his Bush Riders’ Motorcycle Club’s Central Cross-Country motocross series title this season.

He will face an assault from former New Zealand and United States cross-country champion Paul Whibley, from Himatangi, as well as fellow-Masterton rider Adam Easton, the reigning XC1 class champion.

Other leading Masterton-based contenders are expected to be Sam Callaghan and Jacob Hyslop.

The first of the five-round series will be at Waipukurau on Sunday.

Others likely to shine include Stratford’s Karl Roberts, Eketahuna’s Daniel Christie, Feilding’s Hugh Lintott, Marton’s Ethan Breuer, Whanganui’s Seth Reardon, Loveridge and Hunterville’s Hannah Rushworth.

As well as serious senior-grade riders, the series also caters for veterans, intermediates, “social” trail bike riders, women and juniors, with the 90-minute junior race set to go at 10am and the two-hour senior race set to blast off at midday.

Bush Riders’ Motorcycle Club is based in Pahiatua and its president, Grant Christie, was keen to emphasise the “famous hospitality” offered.

“It’s a real family atmosphere at these events. The social side of these races are as good as the racing, with our legendary free venison barbecue and free refreshments at the end of racing. This is not like a motocross, where everyone just packs up and leaves when the racing is done,” he said.

“We are again looking forward to providing a great series and a competition that offers both a challenge for serious racers and a great afternoon’s riding for the less serious riders too.

“I think we must be doing something right because the series has continued to grow over the years and attracts riders from near and far.”

The series can trace its beginnings to 1989, although there have been several name changes over the years and, in 2012, it became known as the Central Cross-Country Series.

The Rescue Helicopter Services will benefit from a $10 donation for each rider entered on Sunday.

At each round there will be trophies for first, second and third for the leading overall senior and junior riders and, at the final round, there will be a prize-giving with trophies for the series overall winners and the various class winners.

After Waipukurau, the series heads to Woodville, December 16, Hawke’s Bay, February 17, 2019 Marton, March 17, 2019, and Eketahuna, April 17, 2019.

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