Expat Whanganui Sam Blenkinsop wins Oceania and New Zealand titles
Expat Whanganui BMX downhill specialist Sam Blenkinsop picked up an important double in Dunedin last weekend with victories in the 2020 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships and the NZ Nationals.
Competing in the Men's Elite division, the Christchurch-based and former WHS student Blenkinsop won the Oceania downhill title last Saturday on the course at Signal Hill, completing it in 2m 36.410s, which was over three seconds clear of Nelson's Sam Gale, with Australian Dean Lucas coming third.
Wellington's Bryn Dickerson and Queenstown's George Brannigan rounded out the Top 5.
Blenkinsop then backed up the following day for the New Zealand National Championships, and although the Oceania title was arguably contested against the stronger field, it was very special to finally carry off the NZ crown.
"Well it's only taking me about 13 years to get this one, but so stoked to take National Champs title this weekend at Dunedin," the delighted rider said on Facebook, having previously won international titles but never the home grown trophy.
"Thanks to everyone out there who makes this happen."
In the Sunday event, Blenkinsop held off Gale by less than a second.
Blenkinsop will now be wearing the Continental Champion's jersey on the UCI World Cup circuit, with the 2020 season starting on March 21 in Portugal.
Whanganui Chronicle 1/2/20