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by Alexia Johnston

Young cyclists have put their mountain biking skills to the test in Timaru.

A total of 100 children converged on Timaru’s Centennial Park last Wednesday for the annual South Canterbury Primary School Sports Association (SCPSSA) Mountain Bike Championships.

Wearing their school’s logo, the district’s budding young cyclists pedalled their way around the mountain bike course, doing their schools proud.

Events co-ordinator Vickie Elliotte said the event had grown in popularity over the years, attracting participants from as far away as the Mackenzie, Geraldine, Carew Peel Forest and Winchester.

The championships were launched five years ago, attracting about 60 competitors, she said.

Warm conditions helped add to the success of the latest event, in which the children followed one of the mountain bike tracks in Centennial Park while spectators watched on.

Geraldine High School pupils Ben Wyborn (12), Lee Voigt (12) and Cameron Anderson (12) were among those who joined in the action.

Cameron, who wore an action camera on his helmet for the occasion, said there was not any one particular aspect he was looking forward to the most.

“I’m looking forward to the whole event,” he said.

However, Ben said he was looking forward to “overtaking” fellow competitors, while Lee was looking forward to “just riding”.

Fifteen schools were represented at this year’s event.