Top flight riders set scorching pace in series opening at Tauranga

The cool, casual approach of Sam Blenkinsop, ranked fourth in the world, proved untouchable at the weekend as the rising Kiwi star swept through to win the national downhill series’ opening round at Tauranga.

Having got through his first-ever tilt at the tight Cycle Obsession Mountainbike Park course on Friday, the Wanganui rider nailed the fastest time in Saturday’s seeding run, then sheared 2.16secs from it to edge out reigning series champ Nathan Rankin.

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