This years Junior Nationals was not for the faint hearted. Held at Taranaki’s Barrett Road, rain leading up to the event left things looking fairly iffy, and when it did dry up there was still plenty to keep riders on their toes.
Those that thrived tended to be the bigger kids, able to move around on the bike. This was the case all the way from an on form Grayson Veitch in the 8-10’s to Hadleigh Knight in the older 250 class, with one of the riders in particular really styling his way around the demanding circuit – standing out big time. If you were watching then I am sure you will agree, there was no missing how comfortable Joel Meikle looked.
Perhaps I should have expected it, knowing what he is capable of, but after the nightmare run Joel has had over the last few years he would have been excused for not wanting to race at all, let alone go out there and come from behind to win convincingly. It was one of those special things to watch and we definitely hope he can continue on with this kind of form.
Of course you would expect me to have enjoyed the relative ease of which Maximus Pervus won his races, the glory falling in just the right place with him being such a great kid and knowing the hard work he puts into it along with his Dad.
Unfortunately there were also some pretty deep disappointments. Bike failures and injuries were the end for many riders, although the worst had to be for Kurt Langford who got major injuries because of a bike failure. It can’t get much more disappointing than that, especially seeing as he was in the lead before his bike got stuck in the gear that would eventually send him over the bars.
As to the riders who were a part of our after schools and boot camp, I was blessed with thanks from most of the ones taking part in these nationals, and stoked to see results such as Brodie’s second overall as an 8 year old, to rides like Steen Duckworth’s 9th place finish. There are too many others to name but you know who you are and we are privileged to have been able to help.
The Taranaki MCC deserves many thanks for what was a massive effort and we wish them all the best. It seems that next year will be at the Gold Nuggets of Westland before Otorohanga gets their turn in 2015. We will be there as always and hope to help many more riders achieve their dreams as they work through juniors and on to the future.