American cyclo-cross racer Katie Compton has announced plans to race the New Zealand Singlespeed Championships April 25 - 27, 2008.
Although Compton is best known as a world-class 'crosser, her Kiwi husband, Mark Legge-Compton, prompted her to register for the event.
When they saw Rotorua was hosting the first New Zealand Singlespeed Championship, at Anzac Weekend, the Colorado-based couple decided to enter, enjoy the race and the weekend’s festivities and then ride some of the Whakarewarewa Forest trails. Their entries were in the first dozen or so received by the event organizers.
“We were stoked to get our first entries from the States so early,” says event director, Dean Watson. “And with Katie it was the starting point for a very strong women’s field.”
Because Compton isn’t a New Zealander she won’t be eligible for the women’s title and winner’s tattoo.
“We explained that to her, but she didn’t mind,” Watson added. “Both her and Mark told us they will be here to just ride and have some fun in the true spirit of singlespeeding. Alpin Motel is one of our sponsors and they are helping Katie and Mark with accommodation”
Another early bird entrant was local favourite, Garth Weinberg. He was top 10 at the World Singlespeed Champs in Scotland in 2007 and races major long distance mountain bike races like Karapoti and the Colville Classic on his locally built, Jeffson Singlespeed.
“We organize one of New Zealand’s toughest races, the Whaka 100, in October,” Watson said. “One hundred kilometres in the Whakarewarewa Forest with a lot of hard, technical single track and around 2500 metres of climbing. In 2007 Garth was top 5 in this on a one-geared bike. Incredible.”
However, it may not be all plain sailing for Weinberg in April.
“We’ve been looking for someone to give Garth a bit of a tune-up and Katie might just be that person!” Watson said. “Seriously though, Katie has a brilliant race CV and will give a lot of the men a real work-out.”
The entry limit for the event is rapidly approaching and sponsors are still coming on board. New Zealand’s top cycling web site VORB, leading charitable trust, the Lion Foundation and US-based designer Troy Lee Designs, all signed on last week.
For more information, visit http://www.n-duro.co.nz/tri/.