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Pros, semi-pros, and not pros at all...

 

Kelli Emmett (USA), Sarah Leishman (USA) and Anka Martin (NZ) are the Juliana SRAM team. They wear Nzo Burners shorts! Kelli Emmett (USA), Sarah Leishman (USA) and Anka Martin (NZ) are the Juliana SRAM team. They wear Nzo Burners shorts!

Sorry for the lack of communication for the last couple of weeks! Things have been busy.

There was the Nzo MoonRide, and Crankworx Rotorua. That included the Rotorua Enduro World Series round. Then there was Easter, hordes of visitors, and the last frenzied days of daylight saving for this summer. All of those things complicated the smooth operation of the Nzo HQ.

The Nzo MoonRide was an opportunity to get amongst an event that is all about what makes mountain biking great, average riders like us fanging around on the same trails as squads made up of top-level racers.

That whole concept was taken to a new level the following week at Crankworx. It presented possibly the best field of athletes gathered together for any mountain bike event, ever. While the top riders make a living doing stuff that is almost beyond comprehension, others are weekend warriors fighting the good fight in an age-group competition that won’t make the live TV feeds or global webpages, but will not be forgotten by any of them any time soon.

The Enduro World Series event was a big deal for Nzo. A new team has been launched for the EWS, and other enduro events, and Nzo is supplying their shorts. The Rotorua event was the first outing for the Juliana SRAM team, in their Nzo Burners special team issue shorts. Some locals were also running the new shorts, which we only managed to get finished on the day before the race. We had developed the lightest, coolest, comfiest shorts we could for race days and super hot weather, and after testing several pairs for a year or so we felt they would be a good item for the race team. The Burners were about ready to add to our range, so everything came together at once.

Nzo’s deluxe tent was in a paddock below the main arena, our mission being to let people know about the Nzo shop in town (it worked). We couldn’t get out into the forest to watch with the thousands of people who did, but we made it to the finish of the Enduro at the Crankworx venue. Racing all day on seven tough stages, with no shuttles to soften the 1800m of climbing, was a big ask. But the happy looking punters standing or lying around the finish area showed that even though many of them might not get the chance to line up for a race at that level again, doing it this time had been well worthwhile.

We got good feedback on the Burners, and it was good to see how many Nzo shorts were being worn in an event on their local patch.

Crankworx will be back in Rotorua next year, and if there is another event like the EWS, locals and visitors alike will be scrambling to get into it.

In it or on the sidelines, we can’t wait.

Anka Martin owns a corner on Kataore, a very steep and rooty trail out the back of our local patch of NzoLand. Anka Martin owns a corner on Kataore, a very steep and rooty trail out the back of our local patch.

IMG_4735 In this gaggle of riders is Wyn Masters, who finished an amazing 3rd in the Pro Mens field. He raced in his favourite Nzo Sifters, but had to slip his sponsor's DH shorts on for the podium shots.

IMG_4732 Rosara Joseph. Strictly speaking Rosara is no longer a pro, which might explain why she is wearing Nzo Sifters. She finished 7th in the Pro women's field, and looks like she has just been for a ride around the block.

IMG_4733 The ever-competitive Vanessa Quin. World DH champion in '04, inventor of the VOQ bagel, mother of two, artist, all around good guy. Oh, wears Nzo Sifters now she is a privateer.

10865919_1101429846549542_4652969896027291320_o Take a guess at what Anka is saying about the previous 7 hours.

10999667_1101429319882928_2482047280632418100_o Anja McDonald and Tristan Rawlence would have easily won the couples' category, if there had been one.

11083785_1101429033216290_8489745375857789263_o Our heroine, Aly Bennett. Mother of two, artist, businesswoman, bike rider. No fear. Well, maybe some. But you would never know it.