Two competitors navigate a rugged track during the 2007 running of the Karapoti Classic, New Zealand’s premier and longest-running mountain-biking event. Begun in 1986, it is held in the Akatarawa Range 10 kilometres north of Upper Hutt. Organisers describe the event as ‘an uncompromising yet exhilarating and achievable 50 kilometres of 4WD trails, gnarly single track, wheel sucking sludge, raging river crossings, wall to wall wilderness and huge hills that have you grinding a granny ring up but grinning like a goon on the way down.’ Those completing the course in less than three hours earn the right to join the élite Sub-3hr Club. In 2007 this group comprised only 4% of all riders.
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