The Whaka 100 is one of the most prestigious events in the Oceania region. While the marathon commands respect from anyone who has put a number on the bars, it also needs a way to sort the starting order. For 2022 the event moved from the traditional time trial to an Eliminator event. And then things escalated. As the Whaka 100 was announced as the New Zealand Marathon MTB (XCM) Championship, the Eliminator on Friday night would be as well. A course was planned and built, and sighting laps started around 6pm in the Rotorua CBD, as crowds filled the bars and along the courses edged.
Taking home the coveted New Zealand Champion jerseys were the pre-race favourites Anton Cooper (Woodend) and Sammie Maxwell (Taupo), who both added the Eliminator (XCE) title to the Olympic (XCO) titles they won in Christchurch in February.
Raced over a around a tight and twisting 500m street circuit with man-made obstacles including jumps and huge curved wall ride the competitors took on a short (500m) one lap time trial for seeding. The top 32 men and 16 women then raced in heats of four where at the end of each heat two of the four riders were ‘eliminated’ until there are only four riders left to contest the final – with the winners taking the title and the coveted National Champion jersey.
Maxwell will have the opportunity to add a third national title in 2022 to her resume when she starts on the front row of the Perma Pine Whaka 100 on Sunday, but Cooper has opted to go home due to being unwell.
Whaka 100 Eliminator Results
1. SAMMIE MAXWELL 00:02:22.4
2. MIA CAMERON 00:02:25.4
3. JESSICA MANCHESTER 00:02:26.7
1 ANTON COOPER 00:02:09.2
2 BEN OLIVER 00:02:10.0
3 LOCHLAN BROWN 00:02:14.7