222 competitors ended a scorching sunny day here at the Wairoa Gorge with dusty eyes, full bellies, tired bodies and perma-grins as the practice and seeding day for the 2016 Dodzy Memorial Enduro went off under perfect blue skies.
The vibes were high in memory of fallen legends, and gritty smiles were in abundance as those who have had the privilege to ride the hand-built perfection knew what a hell of a day they were in for, and the new indoctrinates to the Wairoa gnar tried hard to tame their imaginations. After gorging themselves on some of New Zealand’s finest tech singletrack, competitors were treated to slowroasted pulled-pork buns for lunch, and an afternoon spent learning lines down the race trails or just roaming around the trail network. Whoops and hollers echoed around the valley as tired bodies filtered to the river at the bottom and rehydration ceremonies commenced.
Team Mons are here in full force. Kristen Fellers arrived with late ring-in Dave King, who is standing in for Scott Fellers (who couldn’t have timed a broken hand more poorly). Kristen is a 2 time veteran of the DME and ended her seeding run 4th in her age category and is fired up going into today’s racing. For Dave it is his first look at the trails here, and he is more than happy just to be here soaking it the incredible experience cheered on by Scott Fellers, who will be acting as the one-man support crew cheering the crew on from the bottom.
Race day today has dawned hot and clear, and after some rousing and emotional words in memorium of Gazza and Dodzy from race organiser Nick Crocker, the fired up riders were loaded into shuttles and let loose on the race trails above.
Stay tuned for a full wrap up of the event, and check out some photos from the first 24 hours.
Biggest line of the day was for the coffee cart
Nick Crocker pays tribute to fallen legends and the true spirit of this event
Dirt Town Queens check seeding ahead of the day’s racing
Cooling the ankles before a big day
The views are a welcome distraction from the concentration needed to successfully negotiate these trails
“Training” took on a pretty relaxed vibe as people rolled around in big crews.
Slow roasted pulled pork fills everyone’s belly.
Perfect end to a day in biking paradise