Round 3: Ngati Tama
The day of Round Three dawned clear and settled. Thin wisps of rain drifted in occasionally from the west, but there was little else to indicate the diabolical lurkings of the bog at the north end.
Thick semi set sludge heaped up on straddle cables and fork legs grabbed at front wheels with conniving mud fingers. Wayward leaves spun up into the mix, wedging themselves among the filth. All over the north end, riders bent double, frantically pulling the muck from within the arches of their forks.
Out the back of the course, riders got their first taste of the woodlands for 2016. A couple of tight, nibbly corners slung riders through gaps, blowing gravel past the skins of trees that stood sentinel.
Closer to home, the course routed through a flat pad/stop bank combo that the adventurous exploited for their modest airborne purposes, breaking the laborious rhythm of the lap. The crowd was delighted.
Although it was a great deal more rideable than Round One at the same venue, that's not to say it was any easier. A lot of riders learned expensive mechanical lessons on this honest course that rewarded sly tactics and gear choices that minimized mud uptake.
All photos courtesy of Digby Shaw Photography
Results are archived here.