Popular tourist resort Rotorua in New Zealand was the location for the Subaru Oceania Downhill Championships, where reigning World Champion Fabien Barel and local rider Vanessa Quin took the top spots. Barel, of course, is French, so despite winning the race it was second-placed Sam Hill who was crowned as Oceania Downhill Champion. 2005's top-ranking woman Tracy Moseley showed good early-season form and managed third behind Sabrina Jonnier, who were both over three seconds adrift of Quin.
All of these non-antipodean racers made the trip to New Zealand for a couple of reasons. First, it's summer down there and second, Rotorua is hosting the 2006 UCI World Championships. So the Oceania Championships were a great opportunity to get some practice in on the newly developed course.
Moseley said, "This was great chance to check out the Worlds course, and as much as I'd have liked to win I'm pleased with my result and know where I can gain time come the Worlds. I can't wait to get back here and race it again in August."
Visit the Rotorua website for more information.