Reeves Goes It Alone Against Nation’s Elite
SEPTEMBER 2, 2014: It could possibly be said that Palmerston North’s Adam Reeves is as good as two of any other off-road motorcycle racers.
Though on his own against the might of two-man teams of elite riders from all around New Zealand, the 32-year-old three-time former New Zealand cross-country champion was in his element at round two of the annual Woodhill Two-man cross-country series near Auckland on Sunday.
After three hours of gruelling race action on the sand-based forest course, Reeves had taken his Yamaha YZ450F to claw his way through to finish third overall and easily win the ironman (solo rider) section of the event.
Outright winners were national enduro champion Chris Birch, of Glen Eden, teamed with Morrinsville’s Simon Lansdaal, with round one winners and defending champions from last year, Kaukapakapa’s Josh Jack and Muriwai’s Luke Mobberley, claiming the runner-up spot.
The Auckland Yamaha pairing of Chris Power and Mitchell Nield finished immediately behind Reeves in fourth spot overall, while the next best solo rider, Auckland’s Liam Draper, claimed fifth overall and finished as ironman runner-up.
Because he had been unable to race the opening round of the series last month, Reeves was obliged to start Sunday’s race from the fourth row and this mean t he had to first battle his way past a dozen or so riders before he could hope to challenge for the outright win.
“All the expert grade teams were in front of me and I had to get through a bit of traffic at the start,” explained Reeves.
“I was up to fourth overall by about lap three (of seven), but it was hard work.
“It was hard to pass in the trees and some of the riders took a bit of shifting. I had to forcibly move a couple of riders out of my way,” he laughed.”
Supported by Yamaha New Zealand, Sargents Yamaha in Carterton, Darbi Accessories and BikesportNZ.com, Reeves eventually finished five minutes ahead of ironman rival Draper.
“It was a good confidence-builder for me,” said Reeves. “I have not had a great time these past couple of seasons. I’ve always had the pace to win races but luck has never been on my side.
“But the bike went well on Sunday and everything seemed to line up well for me.”
Reeves will next race the annual Dead Toad cross-country race on September 13 before tackling the third and final round of the Spectrum Woodhill Two-Man Cross Country series, which is set for Sunday, September 28.
Reeves has a busy time ahead with plans also to tackle the big annual Six-Hour Dirt Bike Challenge near Whakamaru in October and the Acerbis Four-Hour race near Taupo, again as an ironman, in November.
by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com