Dunstan High School pupil Bradley Harris (15) recently took the top spot on the fourth day of the Trans NZ Enduro mountain bike race, held in Alexandra.
Harris finished 11 seconds clear of the second place-getter and overall competition runner-up Mike Cowlin.
Harris was excited to receive a wildcard entry to the invitation-only event held between the February 26 and March 2, and was pleased with his result.
“I was pretty happy. I couldn’t really believe it”, he said.
Harris competed on the fourth day of the five-day event, which was held in a variety of locations in the South Island, and finished with the fastest time of 19min 40sec.
He finished ahead of a world-class field, including several professional riders.
His performance at the Tranz NZ follows a recent string of good results including winning novice men’s category in the 3 Peaks Enduro race, first overall in the under-16 boys’ event at the 2016 New Zealand Secondary School MTB Championships and top placings in the under-17 men’s enduro and downhill events at the Linger & Die MTB race.
Harris has been riding for two years and racing for 18 months and said there was a good crew of local riders who constantly supported and pushed each other.
His talent has been recognised by many in the local mountain bike scene and has also resulted in him becoming a brand ambassador for bike manufacturer Giant.
Harris said an increasing number of people were starting to make a living from riding professionally and he would like to do the same.
Harris’ mentor Phil Oliver said he was riding at a very high level for his age and he could become faster and stronger as he got older.
“He’s beating adults even though he’s only 15 years old.”
Oliver said Harris’ potential was great and his association with Giant was a step in the right direction if he intended to further his mountain biking career.