Cameron Orr was the top finisher for Northern Ireland in the Men’s Mountain Bike race on the Nerang Mountain Bike Trails today at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Brisbane as he finished in 8th place. Marc Potts finished 18th in the same race, after switching his focus from the track to off-road for the day.
“The mountain bike race was unreal,” Potts said after the race. “That’s the best atmosphere I’ve had at a race since I used to do downhill. Nothing can compare with it. Everyone was going crazy at the side of the track.”
The 32.2-kilometre race was won by New Zealand’s U23 Cross-Country World Champion Samuel Gaze in a time of 1 hour 17.36. Teammate Anton Cooper won silver and South Africa’s Alan Hatherly was third.
“From the gun four guys just rode off – the good guys like Sam Gaze rode off with other world cup riders, so I was left with guys of a decent level. They were still guys who had done world cups, but I knew I wasn’t competing to win, so I was just trying to enjoy myself, and it was brilliant,” Potts explained after the race.
The focus for the 26-year-old was to enjoy the racing – “I really, really enjoyed it, so glad I did it,” he admitted, “It was amazing, I was glad I was able to still do it again, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to ride the mountain bike fast, I was still alright. I wasn’t top level, but was still good enough to enjoy it. It was great,” added Potts.
“Everyone was going crazy at the side of the track. And there’s a section there at the bottom of the course with loads of jumps – there were loads of people going crazy wanting people to do the jumps, but I don’t think a lot of people were doing them. I think it’s quicker if they didn’t do them, but I was just doing them anyway, cos it was so much fun.”
The final races for cycling at the Commonwealth Games are the Road Races for both the women and men, which take place next Saturday.
Men’s Mountain Bike Race – 32.2km
Gold Samuel Gaze (New Zealand) 1.17.36
Silver Anton Cooper (New Zealand) 1.17.36
Bronze Alan Hatherly (South Africa) 1.17.36
8th Cameron Orr (Northern Ireland) 1.20.06
18th Marc Potts (Northern Ireland) LAP + 9.16