Three Deniliquin High School Year 10 students tasted success at the Riverina All Schools Mountain Bike Challenge on Sunday, claiming the intermediate division at the Wagga Wagga course.
Ben North, Cameron Crockart and John Bowie competed in the relay event that was held over four hours on a 4.5km cross country track at Pomingalarna Reserve.
The Deni team started out well leading their division after the third transition and holding down second overall to the NSW Junior Champion Team from The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC).
A battle developed over the next hour-and-a-half with the more experienced TRAC boys, with Deni taking the overall lead during the ninth lap.
The Deni team continued to pull away over the next hour building up a six minute lead when disaster struck in the form of a punctured tyre. Cam Crockart was forced to push his bike over the challenging track for three kilometres to make it back to the transition start line but surrendering a six minute lead to the TRAC team.
Still in second overall John Bowie raced after them and all three Deni riders got another lap in to take 90 seconds out of the lead each lap. Unfortunately the four hours ran out before the Deni High team could reel them in.
The brave Deni team finished a creditable second overall in an excellent and exciting day’s racing, dominating the latter half of the race and finishing 17 laps of the course in total.
It was the team’s first mountain bike race, with the cyclists usually competing on the road.
After an impressive first showing, the trio hope to represent Deni High in the NSW All Schools Championships next year.