Motorbike parts Yamaha Ducati Otago Dunedin Motorcycle Replacements Ltd - reeves looking over his shoulder

By: Motorcycle Replacements  05-Apr-2012

Manawatu's Adam Reeves may have a sore neck by the time this season's New Zealand Cross-country Championships wind up in Christchurch in May.

That's because the 29-year-old Palmerston North man will be constantly looking back over his shoulder, watching for the attack to come from his many rivals.

The short season will reach the halfway point this weekend, with the second of four rounds set for rugged farmland just outside Huntly on Sunday afternoon.

The pressure is on Reeves as he attempts to make it four national titles in a row this season and that won't be easy with the rider line-up reading like a Who's Who of off-road motorcycle talent.

Reeves stamped his authority on the Suzuki-sponsored series when he won the opening round near Pahiatua last month, but he'll be very wary of an attack by his rivals this weekend.

Reeves finished ahead of Hawke's Bay brothers Lance and John O'Dea at round one, with New Plymouth's Renny Johnston third and Mokau's Adrian Smith fourth, and it is perhaps these men who Reeves must respect most.

With Sunday's senior race lasting three hours, the emphasis goes on rider fitness and endurance, as well as machine reliability, not to mention the element of luck, with broken bikes and broken bodies the likely outcome when things go wrong.

In the junior class action, South Islander Ethan Bruce ruled the roost at round one, finishing ahead of Raglan's Mathew Quirke, Pahiatua's Scott Sowry and Pahiatua's Daniel Christie, and the same riders should be expected to run near the front at Huntly on Sunday.

The venue for Sunday's race action is Bothwell Road, Waikaretu (signposted from SH1 Rangiriri, about 30km from the bridge).

The riders next head to the South Island for the second half of the season, with round three set for Marlborough on April 22 and, finally, round four near Christchurch on May 12.

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