Wednesday, March 24, 2010
DRD Tomac's Kieran Bennett Back on Track at Oceanias! Podiums twice – 3rd in 4X and 4th in Downhill!
(March 21, 2010) Dunedin, New Zealand – DRD Team rider Kieran Bennett takes home two stellar results from one of the most prestigious cycling events in the south pacific! The Oceania Mountain Bike Championships, held in Dunedin, New Zealand, showcases the best mountain bike racers from Australia, New Zealand and the region all battling it out to win the title of Oceania Champion.
Following a streak of problematic races, Kieran seems to have gotten his rhythm back as he has finished his second race aboard his new DRD Tomac Primer... and with just as many podiums! With a new bike & a new team, Kieran is quick to prove just why he’s one of the quickest Kiwis on the circuit!
After a last minute decision to race 4X, Kieran promptly proved that his decision would be fruitful. Within a few practice runs, Kieran had the course dialled and had some big inside lines ready on the turns.
Going into qualifying, Kieran was pleasantly surprised to find himself in 6th position after a fairly average run.
During the race, Kieran’s inside lines paid off, as he was still getting accustomed with gated racing. Getting pushed to the back, he had to dig deep and make a move for advancement. The next round once again required Kieran to make a move against some veteran 4X riders. After a few strong passes in the first two corners, Kieran found himself in the lead & holding on until the finish.
In the finals, Kieran would find himself next to strong competition in Wyn Masters and Daniel Franks
“I definitely wasn’t expecting to be in the finals that when I decided to race, but I was stoked knowing I had made it that far,” said Kieran
Wyn Masters and Daniel Franks would take the top two spots at the finish, while Kieran was all smiles with his strong 3rd place performance.
Kieran’s main focus this weekend would undoubtedly be in the Downhill. The track suited Kieran well as it varied in terrain & was a lot of fun to ride. Kieran had to hold himself back from riding, so he wouldn’t exert himself doing too many practice runs, and remain fresh for race day.
Kieran was feeling confident and knew he could pull a good result. However, qualifying would prove to be bittersweet as a mechanical would cause a bit of a dampener in his plans, as he wanted to leave the start gate hard and see how he ranked against his competition.
“I sprinted hard out of the start and into the first few turns,” explained Kieran. “As I was pedalling out of the 3rd turn on the track, my chain dropped and got jammed out in my guide! I was pretty gutted so I just tried to carry as much speed as possible for the rest of the run. I somehow still managed to come in 12th, so I felt good going into the finals.”
Kieran’s confidence going into his race run would prove essential as there were a number of elite world cup level racers in attendance.
“Straight away I was feeling good on my DRD Tomac Primer and hardly felt like any time had passed by entering the final wooded section,” said Kieran. “Knowing all I had to do was make it out of the trees and through the 4x section clean, I started to ramp it up a little more, until I hit the finish and into the lead!”
In the end, Kieran’s time would be good enough for 4th place behind fellow countrymen Cam Cole, Nathan Rankin and Wyn Masters who have all been at the top of their game as of late.
All-in-all, an extremely successful weekend for Kieran, as he makes another big step towards the top of the podium! His confidence is on the rise & he’s getting comfortable on his new DRD Tomac!
Next up on the agenda, team DRD Tomac will be competing simultaneously in two different states. While Robin Baloochi will be attending the first round of the NWCup in Port Angeles, Washington; John Keep & Brad King will race the first round of the California Gold Cup in Fontana, California.
Photo credit: Max Carter-Smith
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