NELSON, NEW ZEALAND - January 30: Giant Top Gun Downhill on January 30, 2016 in Nelson, New Zealand. (Photo by: Evan Barnes Shuttersport Limited)

Local riders on fire in Top Gun

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Nelson riders showed plenty of speed on their hometown tracks with Henry Jaine, Reuben Olorenshaw and Ingrid Richter winning their elite races and Sam Todd taking out an open men’s race at the Top Gun event held over the long weekend.

Henry recorded the only sub-one hour time to win Sunday’s cross-country race around the Codgers Mountainbike Park, the day after Reuben won the downhill on the Kaka course in a fast 2min 55.32sec. Ingrid was the fastest women in the cross-country winning in 1hr 19min 29.77sec while Sam won the open men’s downhill in 3min 3.07sec.

Henry’s win ended a frustrating run of second-placings in under-23 races in the Mountainbike New Zealand Cup cross country series. The promising Richmond rider was too quick on Sunday winning in 58min 47.6sec, six minutes clear of second-placed Warren Burgess.

Sam’s result was a continuation of his top form this season following a win and second-placing in the Mountainbike New Zealand Cup series. The 19-year-old Teapot Valley rider is on target to win his second consecutive open men’s downhill title and graduate to pro-elite class next year.

“Last year was my first year as a senior and I didn’t have any great results but I was the most consistent overall so I won the series,” Sam says. “This year, I won in Auckland and then finished second in Napier and now I’ve won in Nelson so I’m getting faster – my goal is to win the series again and then hopefully next year race in pro-elites.”

However, the Nelson riders couldn’t close out the title with Wellington’s Raewyn Morrison winning Monday’s Enduro to win the women’s Top Gun which is decided by the best two results of the three-race event. Whanganui professional Sam Blenkinsop won the men’s Top Gun after finishing second in the downhill and third in the Enduro.