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I arrived in Dunedin to photograph my first mountain bike race in New Zealand, the Urge 3 Peaks Enduro. The event was held over two days and brought in riders from in town, out of town and Australia. Typically the weather forecast was meant to be pouring rain but it held off for the most part. When it did rain it felt like I was back in Scotland shooting on a dreich day. With it being an enduro event riders would climb to the start of each stage and ride down the course, carrying this on for six stages, three each day.
Rooty, muddy and steep, riders put down some solid runs and most managed to get back up after sliding out. Even for me shooting could be interesting at times as I made my way up steep, off-camber land, darting to get the best angle while trying to avoid going flying down the hill (only happened once). Riders were looking controlled and relatively energetic, even after making the long, steep climb up to Mount Cargill to take on the steps. It was impressive seeing the amount of encouragement and support for this race, especially when the crowd are giving it ‘yaldy’ to passing riders. I was greeted by a local on the first day in boxers, a platinum blonde wig and goggles, yielding a chainsaw and encouraging everyone to go faster. At the final stage there was a mass of hecklers cheering on riders with music, chainsaws and horns as riders pinned it to the finish.
Kashi at Bike Otago and his team did an incredible job on the event, getting times in fast and creating something locally with a great vibe. For full race results head over to their Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/3peaksenduro