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Wright crowned NZ mountain bike champion

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/02/2017

Keegan Wright © Instagram/keeganwrightmtb Keegan Wright Amateur downhill rider Keegan Wright has upset a number of professionals to claim victory at the national mountain bike championships near Wanaka.

The 20-year-old from Rotorua sped down the rocky track at Cardrona Alpine Resort in 3min 02.51sec to edge out world-ranked stars Brook Macdonald and Sam Blenkinsop by a second to claim the honours.

The young Rotorua rider was blown away with his efforts which he hopes will spark interest in him as he plots his first international season.

Wright works as a builder's apprentice but his focus is on securing a fulltime ride with a professional team.

"I am totally stoked. It was a good gnarly track and most of the big professional Kiwi riders were here," he said.

"To win the New Zealand title has always been a goal of mine but it has happened earlier than I thought. Wearing the New Zealand colours on my riding gear hopefully will help get me noticed."

Earlier, Queenstown's Alanna Columb defended her women's title comfortably, clocking 3:44.38.

A lack of funds means she won't be able to defend her Oceania title next month but will instead focus on key European World Cups with the major goal of the world championships in Cairns later in the year.

Most leading Kiwis will compete at the Oceania Championships in Toowoomba, Queensland on March 10-12.

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