2 in a Row for Groombridge & Suzuki

Four Hour CrossCountry

maddix park mx

He's done it again ... Taupo's Brad Groombridge has made it back-to-back Acerbis Four-Hour Cross-country race wins after charging through the field to win again near Taupo at the weekend and, even more remarkably, he did it again as a soloist.

The 24-year-old won the MX1 class at the big annual MX Fest motocross extravaganza at Taupo the previous weekend and he showed his versatility to take his Suzuki RMX450 model bike and switch over to cross-country mode to win the off-road endurance race in the Tahorakuri Forest, just north of Wairakei, on Saturday.

What's more, while many of the other riders were entered as two-rider teams, Groombridge again won the race riding as an individual, competing as an ironman.

Runners-up were recent Suzuki Six-Hour race winners Chris Power and Adam Reeves (who were again sharing the riding duties), while Taupo pair Greg De Lautour and Cameron Dillon finished third overall.

Cambridge 14-year-old Aston Grey won the Motomuck 90, a 90-minute race for the juniors earlier in the day. 

With support again from Suzuki New Zealand, and again staged by Taupo company Epic Events, the event has been growing in popularity each year and an estimated 400 riders signed up this time around to tackle the sixth annual running of the gruelling dirt bike marathon in the Tahorakuri Forest, on the road between Taupo and Rotorua.

Power led from the shotgun blast start and, caught in traffic and blinding dust, Groombridge found himself back in about 20th position as the riders entered the bush for the first time.

By the end of lap one, about 40 minutes later, Power still held the lead and handed off to team-mate Reeves, while Groombridge had obviously been on the charge and he arrived second at the pits, about 90 seconds behind Power

“I found a comfortable pace and simply pushed hard where I could and rode cautiously where I couldn’t” said Groombridge.

The order at the front stayed the same for the next four laps, until Groombridge snatched the lead with one lap remaining and he held on to win comfortably, slowing near the end to conserve energy and eventually winning by just seven seconds from a hard-charging Reeves.

Groombridge had been a revelation at the event last year when he powered his Suzuki through the field after a poor start to eventually win the race outright and that was the first time that had been done by an ironman.

Now he’s done that twice and few would doubt he could do it again.

“I’ve scored back-to back wins now and I’d certainly like to come back next year and make if a hat-trick,” said Groombridge.

“This sort of riding is great training for motocross and it is part of my deal now with Suzuki that I ride these big cross-country events too, so I guess it’s a win-win for me and Suzuki.”

For further information contact Simon Meade, General Manager of Motorcycle / ATV Marketing, [email protected].

Words and photo courtesy of Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com


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