Suzuki NZCCC - Rnd 1 Updated :

Posted: Mon 08 Mar 2004


Update: The full NI results can be Found Here: in Acrobat.

Hawke’s Bay and Nelson Openers:

A month after leaving Hawke\'s Bay, Steven Croad returned home to win his first ever national cross-country event.

The 24-year-old former Napier rider, now working at a new job in Auckland, dominated the first North Island round of the Suzuki national championships, leading the three-hour race almost all the way.

Already at the end of the first 25km lap, he had pushed his Suzuki RM250 two-stroke to a one-minute lead over the rest of the field. \"My plan was to go hard right from the start just clear out and ride my own race,\" Croad said. \"I eased off on the last lap.\"

Morrinsville rider Neville Coomes had a shocking experience -- quite literally -- on his way to second place on his KTM525 four-stroke, a fine result for the 41-year-old veteran.
\"Kevin Hermansen crashed in front of me and I went down too,\" Coomes said.
\"My bike got tangled up in an electric fence and I was getting a hell of a boot off it.\"

Third and fourth overall went to two riders on Yamaha WRF250 four-strokes, Mark Pollard from Te Awamutu third and Steven Bird from Palmerston North fourth.

Croad, Coomes and Pollard all won their classes, while Waikato rider Brad Graham won the under 200cc two-stroke class on his KTM.

The new breed of 250cc four-strokes dominated the first South Island round, in Nelson, with victory going to Motueka rider Brad Thomas on a Suzuki RM-Z250.

National number one Graeme Allan led by more than a minute and a half at one stage on his Kawasaki KX250F, but tired and dropped back. \"I haven\'t done enough training or riding lately and my hands just blew out,\" he said.
Otago rider Joel Hennessy was third on a Yamaha YZ250F. Allan said the tight course suited the smaller bikes.

Other class winners were:
Open four-stroke, Ian Thornecroft, Honda CRF450;
Open two-stroke, Sam Arundel, Suzuki RM250;
Under 200cc two-stroke, Shane McGowan, KTM200.
Veterans, Phil Skinner, KTM450 Putaruru.