Wednesday, May 25


Callan May
Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

One of New Zealand’s most popular off-road motorcycle series warms up to full excitement mode this weekend.

The second round of three in the Dirt Guide Cross-country and Trail Ride series is set for both days this weekend, with the cross-country race on Saturday and a more social trail ride to follow at the same venue the next day.

The venue for this weekend’s round is at The Pylons, just off State Highway 1, about 30 kilometres south of Tokoroa. The venue will be well signposted.

With racing on Saturday marking the halfway stage of the competition, there is plenty at stake and a good ride here should set up the series for a thrilling conclusion in June.

Sponsored by Kiwi Rider magazine, the series kicked off last month with Auckland riders Karl Power and Callan May emerging as the most likely title contenders.

Napier’s John O'Dea and the overall winner of the series in 2009, Tauranga’s Reece Burgess, are also expected to be to the fore this weekend.

Hokianga’s Mitchell Nield should also be a contender. He was leading the race at round one until a crash saw him drop back to finish sixth.

Putaruru’s Phil Skinner won the Intermediate grade overall at round one, with Tokoroa’s Mark Newton not far behind in second and 17-year-old Brendon Imlig, of Reporoa, rounding out the top three. These riders are favoured to again lead this class.

The top rider in the junior ranks, Huntly’s Ryan Hoskins, is expected to return this weekend with Taupo’s Greg De Lautour and Tokoroa’s O’Neill Sinclair expected to give him a run for his Money.
The 90-minute junior race kicks off at 9.30am and the senior race begins at 12.30pm. Sunday’s trail ride starts at 9.30am.

CALENDAR (trail ride on day two in each case):

  Round one, Tar Hill, Tokoroa, April 30, May 1.
  Round two, The Pylons, Atiamuri, May 28-29.
  Round three, Whakamaru, June 25-26.
For any other information, call Sean Clarke on 0275 996 045