28 Oct National accolades for trailblazers

Nayland College friends Emma Bateup and Amber Werensteyn had their talent well and truly affirmed at the New Zealand Secondary School Mountain Bike Championships in Dunedin on October 6.

Amber came first in downhill, first in the South Island in Super D (a blend of cross-country and downhill), third in New Zealand in the cross-country and second overall in New Zealand in the under 16s female category.  Her success is even more remarkable, considering she  has only been mountain biking for less than a year.

Amber particularly likes the downhill and endurance races.  “You can challenge yourself,” the year 11 student said.  “It’s adrenalin.  Sometimes it’s like ‘oh my god, am I going to be able to stay on?'”

Year 12 student Emma (pictured above) also had plenty of success at Nationals.  She competed in the under 20s category and received no less than seven badges, as well as finishing in the top three in her downhill and super D races.  Emma has her eyes set on a career in the sport.  She is one step further to realising this goal after being accepted onto the Norco Racing Development New Zealand team and would like to go to Worlds in the next couple of years.

The two enjoy riding together and have fun on their regular rides.  “We just have some good laughs out on the trails,” Emma said.  “Some of our crashes are pretty funny.”

Amber negotiates the ups and downs of the trail

Amber negotiates the ups and downs of the trail