Sam Blenkinsop and Sian A’Hern win Downhill titles at 2020 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships
Sam Blenkinsop and Sian A’Hern claimed Downhill gold with Australia and New Zealand again evenly splitting the titles on the final day of the 2020 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Dunedin.
New Zealand’s Blenkinsop was on fine form in the elite men’s to claim his third Oceania crown and his second on the Signal Hill course in Dunedin, after winning two years ago. Stopping the clock in a time of 2mins 36.41secs Blenkinsop was over three seconds clear of his closest rival Sam Gale (New Zealand) and Dean Lucas (Australia) completing the podium a further second back.
“I love coming here. This track is awesome, you just never know here, like a World Cup. Sometimes, like two years ago, it was wet and slippery and obvious today was perfect conditions,” said a delighted Blenkinsop.
“We always like racing in New Zealand because it is our summer. It’s just my second week back on the bike so the start of the season. My main focus is the World Cups, so this is just fun racing back home and helps build-up.”
Not even a crash in the seeding run could stop Sian A’Hern (Australia) from going back to back as she mastered the course in 3mins 22.830secs, three seconds clear of silver medallist Shania Rawson (New Zealand) with Ashley Bond (New Zealand) completing the podium places.
“I means a lot because now I automatically qualify for the worlds which was my biggest aim here to take away the win and secure a spot in the Australian team,” said A’Hern.
It takes some pressure off the rest of the season so I can just enjoy the racing a bit more.
“It’s my first time competing in New Zealand and I loved it. The track had a mixture of everything and similar to home and I had a lot of fun here.”
Luke Meier-Smith (Australia) took out the under 19 men’s title with the sixth fastest run of the day across all categories with Blake Ross (New Zealand) and Oliver Elkington (New Zealand) also on the podium. The under 19 women’s gold medal went to Jessica Blewitt in an all New Zealand podium ahead of Caitlin Titheridge and Kalani Muirhead.
2020 Oceania Mountain Bike Championship Medallists – Full Results
Elite Men Downhill
Gold: Sam Blenkinsop (New Zealand)
Silver: Sam Gale (New Zealand)
Bronze: Dean Lucas (Australia)
Elite Women Downhill
Gold: Sian A’Hern (Australia)
Silver: Shania Rawson (New Zealand)
Bronze: Ashley Bond (New Zealand)
Under 19 Men Downhill
Gold: Luke Meier-Smith (Australia)
Silver: Blake Ross (New Zealand)
Bronze: Oliver Elkington (New Zealand)
Under 19 Women Downhill
Gold: Jessica Blewitt (New Zealand)
Silver: Caitlin Titheridge (New Zealand)
Bronze: Kalani Muirhead (New Zealand)