Submitted by Andy McGechan
Thursday, 7th July 2016
Viewed 688 times

CAPTION: Titirangi's Callan may (Yamaha YZ250FX), leader in both the Dirt Guide and NZXC cross-country competitions. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

JUNE 20, 2016: Auckland's Callan May made his debut outing on his new Yamaha YZ250FX bike at the weekend a winning one and it was twice as good as any win he's ever experienced in the past.
The 24-year-old electrician from Titirangi romped to a convincing win in forestry land just south of Tokoroa on Sunday, the event there doubling up as round one of the Dirt Guide Cross-country Series and as round one of the parallel but separate NZXC Cross-country Series as well.
That means, with just one impressive race win under his wheels, May leads two different competitions and the challenge now will be for him to carry on and maintain his position at the top of both of them.
The NZXC series, created by Yamaha's two-time former US Grand National Cross-country Champion Paul Whibley, is now into its second season and this competition piggy-backs onto some of the best races that feature as a part of several other competitions.
The next round of the NZXC series is set for July 31, sharing the day with the Woodhill Two-man Cross-country Series, while the next round of the Dirt Guide Series is set for Ohakuri, near Tokoroa, on August 7.
It's just as well then that May is self-employed and so getting time off work is entirely up to him.
"I worked for nine hours on Saturday and then drove down to race at Tokoroa today," he grinned.
"It's my first time on this bike. I've been racing the Yamaha YZ250X (two-stroke) since returning to New Zealand in November (following two seasons of racing in the United States), and it was nice to be back on the four-stroke again."
May raced a Yamaha YZ250FX in the US in 2014 and 2015, finishing sixth and 10th overall respectively, in the XC2 Pro class of the GNCC series.
It turned into a thrilling battle on Sunday, with May leading but coming under pressure from Howick rider Liam Draper.
"MY arms got pretty pumped up at the start because I hadn't raced for about two weeks and because I was on a new bike. But, once I was warmed up, I was okay," explained May.
"I felt really comfortable on the bike and was in second spot around the first corner. I was into the lead pretty soon after that but then Liam (Draper) started to catch me. He got past me when I crashed.
"I wasn't injured and caught up to him again and passed him in the open section of the forest, before he then crashed and the pressure was off for me. I was probably able to cruise after that but I didn't know how close were the riders behind me so I kept on charging hard to the finish."
In fact, May was so far in front that he was the only rider to finish five laps in less than the two-hour cut-off time, and so was required to complete a sixth lap, not knowing that he was the only rider still out on the track at that time.
Eventual runner-up was Coatesville's Sam Greenslade, with Wellington's Jake Whitaker, Cambridge's Ashton Grey, Morrinsville's Nathan Tesselaar and Rotorua's Cameron Vaughan rounding out the top six.
Meanwhile, Te Awamutu's Daniel White won the earlier 90-minute junior race.
May is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Kiwi Rider magazine, BikesportNZ.com, Dunlop, Forma Boots, Moose Racing, EKS brand goggles, Graphic Creations, City Electrix, Construct Now, Muc-Off, Renthal and Carbsport.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

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