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Local ripper proves winning streak no fluke

After posting impressive results at the Monster Energy Dirt Jump Open, one of NZ’s premiere dirt-jumping events, 18-year-old Waitetuna teen Lewis Jones is cementing his position as an up and coming talent in the NZ dirt-jumping scene.

Lewis took out the mountain bike class at the Monster Energy Dirt Jump Open, wowing the judges with a combination of technical skills and smooth style, improving on his third place ranking from last year. As well as his big win, Lewis also won the Nature Valley Best Trick Competition, bringing the 1000-strong crowd to their feet with his “Super Seat-Grab”.

The quality of the riding was high, with only 30 riders qualifying to compete in the mountain bike, BMX and junior classes. As the competition progressed, riders upped the ante to pull off some big tricks, the level of difficulty and the risks involved in these big jumps was unmistakeable, with one rider taken away in an ambulance after crashing his trick attempt. The day saw attempted back flips, front flips, and 720’s, but Lewis soared over rivals with his huge trick and bagged the
cash prize.

Lewis’s win was especially deserved considering his first attempt at the jump had only been earlier that weekend. Citing the appropriately named ‘Monster Jump’ as “ too big,” in the past, there was no doubting Lewis’s confidence as he flew over the 10 metre wide gap.

The NZ Dirt Jump Open, held on Sunday 22 May at the Woodhill Mountain Bike Park near Auckland, attracted some of the best mountain bike dirt-jumpers and BMXers in NZ. The newly renovated Monster Energy Airfield staged most of the action on the day at Woodhill Bike Park, which boasts over 130km of mountain bike tracks as well as more than 250 man-made features.

Lewis’s double win at the competition builds on his previous achievements, which includes winning two years in a row at the Gorge Road Jam in Queenstown and winning the Coast to Coast event in Waitetuna as well as other consistent high-placings in competitive mountain biking. The teen’s talent in the sport is recognised by Canadian mountain bike manufacturer Cove Bikes, Lewis’s new sponsor, who say they are “more than happy with the result.”

Along with Lewis’s takings on Sunday, Lewis has received a trip over to Canada in July this year to compete in events and also to participate in the ‘Camp of Champions’, an eight-day training camp with world-class coaches. The camp will give Lewis an opportunity to push his limits and learn from some of the biggest names in the sport.

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