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Big mountain bike challenge set to go

Wednesday 5 October 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Cycling, Sports


Big mountain bike challenge set to go
Kevin Henderson, second place for men's 31km, in the 2021 Round Rarotonga Race 21092606

Mountain bikers look set for some rough and tumble as a Rarotonga track, overgrown during the Covid-19 period, has been cleared and prepared for racing.

The Cook Islands Games mountain bike event will see dozens of riders converge on Papaaroa for a taste of the action.

Kevin Henderson, athlete and organiser, said the race is scheduled to kick off about 3.30pm on Wednesday next week.

Under the umbrella of the Cook Islands Cycling Federation, established in 2010, Henderson has helped build the mountain biking profile on Rarotonga.

Riders are asked to meet on the field behind Papaaroa School on October 12, registration starts at 2.45pm, racing at 3.30pm and the medal ceremony before 6.30pm.

Organiser promised a challenging course ride at Papaaroa next week. 22100401

Henderson said 29 starters have been confirmed.

“I designed it, and cut it (the course).

“Based on an athletics cross country course we have used it in the past.

“It was totally overgrown since Covid-19 so we had to do a lot of clearing to revitalise the course.”  

Henderson said most riders had already checked out the course.

“It's challenging.

“Probably not as daunting regarding hills like we had at the Sheraton course we used at the 2020 games.

“There’s something for everyone's different skills.

“You get the excitement of cheering on your island, watching how they negotiate parts of the course.

“If you really want to get into the action, we do want marshals on the course.”

Meanwhile, Cook Islands Cycling Federation is hosting a 20 kilometre time trial the following Saturday, October 15, starting from Ride Raro to the bus stop before Dearlove Bakery in Matavera and return.

There will also be a 7 km ride for the juniors to the Avarua roundabout and return.

It all starts around 1.15pm.

Motorists are asked to please be aware and considerate on the road and roundabouts.