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While Whakatane's Mitchell Rees may have finished just off the podium in fourth place overall at the weekend's 35th annual Tarawera 100 dirt bike marathon, that clinical result only tells half the story.
Though the race was won by Mount Maunganui's Cody Cooper, with Hamilton's Darryll King and Mount Maunganui's Rhys Carter completing the podium, it is perhaps the story of the young man who only just missed out on a podium spot that best captures the imagination.
Fourth overall – although actually second overall to Cooper in the battle-within-a-battle for over-300cc four-stroke class honours – was truly an impressive performance from the 19-year-old Rees.
In the end he was only forced to settle for fourth overall because his energy reserves ran out near the end.
"I knew fitness would let him down," said his former national superbike champion father, Tarawera 100 event sponsor Tony Rees.
"He got a great start and led the race for a lap. Imagine how I felt, I sponsor the event and my own son is leading it?
"None of the riders ahead of Mitch at the finish have to go to a proper job on Monday. They're all professional racers and Mitch finished as first amateur rider, so I'm very proud of him. He has now certainly finished higher that I ever did at this event.
"Mitch has only had the CRF450F for two months now but he loves it. He says it feels small and smooth, even though it's a big bike, and it obviously kicks into life well too, judging by the great start he got.
"The business is going really well ... really taken off lately ... and it's good to represent the Honda brand by sponsoring this event and also by having my own son go so well," he enthused.
Mitch Rees also recorded the second fastest time of the day, clocking a time of 47 minutes 10 seconds on his opening lap, eclipsed only by race winner Cooper (46m51s).
(Bike Sport NZ)
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