February 17th, 2014

George Brannigan Wins NZ National Title on 650B Prototype Session

Last year it was Brook MacDonald, and the year before that it was Justin Leov, but this year the Trek World Racing rider to win the New Zealand National Downhill Title was George Brannigan, aboard his brand new Prototype 650B Trek Session.

The racing was held in Rotorua, site of the 2006 World Championships, and in good weather. Some red flag course holds delayed the start of the final but George was feeling good on his new bike and ready to try and win his first Elite Title. Both Brook and George received their prototypes just the week before and had the option of riding these or their 26 inch bikes for this important race. Both opted for the new bike.

Brook said: "I felt comfortable on this bike from the beginning. It's crazy the difference to the 26, as a race bike it's a lot faster for sure! I'm really looking forward to racing it on the World Cup this year."

This was Brook's first week back on a DH bike, so his 5th place confirms he's on track and his recovery from shoulder surgery is on target.

For George this was a very important race. After spending all of 2013 coming back from major knee surgery, this is the first time that he's felt 100% in a race for a long time. Despite winning the Junior National Title in 2010, this was the title he was after. In winning he not only achieved his first Elite Title, but became the first rider to win a National DH Title on a 650B bike.

George said: "It's good to win that race and show the new bike is where it's at! It's amazing to be feeling how I was a year or so ago. I have put in a huge amount of work to get back. So this makes me so happy. I'm really stoked to take the win, canít wait for Oceania's next."

The Oceania Continental Championships are being held at Mt Hutt (NZL) on March 15 and 16.

If you're in California this weekend, be sure to get to Fontana where Neko Mulally and Greg Williamson will be aboard their new 650B Prototypes.

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