With not many XCO lap races in New Zealand the event served well as a pre Nationals hit out. The course at the Wrights farm in Hawea Flat was great to race on, with plenty of rocks, twists and turns to keep you on your toes. The sun baked down and made for a brutal 5 laps. I made sure to keep a lid on things with Nationals less than a week away. After a fast start I backed off into a comfortable rhythm, made easier in the latter half of the race by a bit of cloud cover and cooler temps. As a full dummy run for Nationals things couldn’t have gone any better; riding well to take a strong win and boost the confidence levels before the big one.