Kāhu ki Rotorua: Homegrown BMX champ Tuhoto-Ariki Pene signs with Mondraker

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Kāhu ki Rotorua: Homegrown BMX champ Tuhoto-Ariki Pene signs with Mondraker

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He ahakoa he taitamariki nei a Tuhoto-Ariki Pene nōna katoa ngā whakawhiwhinga o te ao tūāroa nei, e kaha mātai hoki nei ia ki te tihi o te whakataetae UCI MTB Kapu o te Ao i Lourdes i Wīwī hai te hiku o Māehe.

Ko tana rautaki mō ngā marama kai te haere he karawhiu i tōna kaha i ngā whakataetae a motu nei hai whakapikinga kaha mōna kia pakari ai tōna mana a tana taenga ki Wīwī.

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“Ko te karamata o te rākau tāku e whai nei – hau nui, hau toa, hau pūkerikeri!”.

Nā tēnei kaupapa nui kua uru atu ia ki te whare pakari, kai te oma ia, kua tāhuri hoki ia ki te whakapau kaha ki ngā huarahi pahikara. Hai whakapikinga wairua hoki māna kua mana ai tana hainatanga me te tīma Mondraker.

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He rōpū mana nui nō Paniora a Mondraker kua nanao atu rātou ki a Tuhoto hai toki whakataetae mā rātou mo tēnei tau. Whai ana tēnei hainatanga i te hainatanga o Austrian David Trummer.

Whoi anō, he toa hiriwā nō te whakataetae Ao i tū i te tau e rua mano e rua tekau, koia hoki te toa nui ā motu nei e toru o ngā taima kai a ia kai a Tuhoto Ariki, he ahakoa ēnei wikitoriatanga kāre ia i whai tīma nā runga i te whakaputanga o YT Mob ka whakatā rātou mō tetehi wā.

He ahakoa tēnei kōrero kua hono atu ai a Tuhoto Ariki ki te tīma o Mondraker. Kātahi nei a Tuhoto ka oti i te whakataetae nui i tū i Rotorua nei, ka wikitoria e ia tēnei rēhi ko te mahi aianei he aro ki ngā whakataetae ā motu ka tū ki Tamaki Makaurau ki Te Kirikiri, ki Otepoti me Whakatu.

Ko te whakataetae a motu mātua ka tū ki Otautahi a te Pepuere.

Whai muri o ngā whakataetae ā motu ka kotahi atu a Tuhoto ki Wīwī mō te whakataetae tuatahi o te Kapu nui o te Ao. Ka māmā rawa atu ngā nama i a Mondraker.

Ko te nama i ngā tīkete eroperena, ko te wāhi moe me te hāpai i te nama whakatika i ōna pahikara mā Mondraker katoa enei taumahatanga. Kāre e kore he nui hoki ngā wānanga whakatakoto rautaki kai te haere engari taihoa ēnā.

Tokowhā ngā ika a whiro ki te tīmā rangatira, ara hoki he tīma whakatupu. E rua tekau noa te rahi o Tuhoto nōna e toru noa ōna tau ka timataria te whakaeke pahikara, he mahi whānau noa tēnei āhuatanga engari mō te whakataetae nei e tū ana te hokotahi ko ia anake.

He ahakoa nō Te Arawa matangai rau ia ka nui kē ngā whare e pūare ana mōna i ngā hiwi i ngā moka katoa o Aotearoa nei.

Nā te mate urutā kua tino mārō rawa ngā ture. Kia kotahi rau noa iho ngā tangata ki te whīra, ka rua, kāre e whakaengia te hunga tautoko, te hunga mātakitaki, nā reira ka āhua mimiti ai te ihi me te wehi o te whakataetae.

I te tau e rua mano kotahi mā iwa ka whakawhiwhia a Tuhoto ki te metara mātāmuri i te whakataetae UCI whakaihuwaka o te Ao me te metara koura mo te huinga iti iho i te kotahi tekau mā iwa te pakeke i te whakataetae Oceania i te tau e rua mano kotahi tekau mā iwa ka riro hoki i a ia te taimā parahutihuti katoa.

Kāhu ki Rotorua: Homegrown BMX champ Tuhoto-Ariki Pene signs with Mondraker

He raukura a Tuhoto-Ariki no nga tini akoranga a tona whanau me ona ihopumanawa. Whakaahua / Homaitanga

Kai te taumata o ngā Ika-a-Whiro ia ināianei me tana kahui Uniana ka riro i a ia te tūranga toa i te XS kapu o Ūropi me te tūranga kotahi tekau mā wha i te whakataetae UCI whakataetae o te Ao i Val di Sole.

He ahakoa ko te wāhanga whakatā ināianei ka whakataetae tonu ia, nā wai rā ka whakawhiwhia ki te tūranga matua i te Dual Slalom me te Pump Track me te tūranga kāmehameha rawa atu i te Air DH i te whakataetae Crankworx i tū ki Rotorua nei i te tau kua pahemo.

He aha i tua atu māna, kua hainatia ia me tetehi tīma whakaharahara, kua ea katoa ngā moemoeā.

“E noho ngākau whakaiti nei ahau i taku urunga atu ki te tīma o Mondraker, kua roa nei ahau e whaiwhai haere atu ana i ōku tuakana e eke ana ki tēnei taumata koi nā taku hiahia kia pēnā i a rātou. E tika ana te whakaaro ki te whakapau kaha koe ka ea ngā uauatanga katoa ka eke atu ai koe ki te tihi o te taumata he kōrero kai te kaha kōrerongia e ōku mātua, ” Ki te whakapono koe, ka tae koe!”.

“Kua hamuti noa ahau i te korenga o ōku mātua me ōku tino hoa piri tata e mana ai te kōrero, ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini”.

“Me taku whakapono tuturu ki te mana o Mondraker e taea ai e ahau ki te whai i ōku moemoeā hou, moemoeā katoa me tētehi tīma wetiweti nei”.

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene is a young man on a mission who won’t be relying on a miracle for success at UCI MTB World Cup in Lourdes, France, in late March.

He will be using the next rounds in the national championship downhill series to prepare for the world stage in France.

“I want to be at my peak — as strong and fast as I can be.”

To that end he will be working out in the gym as well as putting in as much time as he can on the track, running and cycling.

Helping to boost his enthusiasm and confidence is the fact he has just been signed to the Mondraker team.

The Spanish manufacturer has signed Tuhoto for the 2022 season, following their signing of Austrian David Trummer. The 2020 World Championship silver medalist and three times National Champion was left without a team after the YT Mob announced it was ‘taking a break’ but has found a new home on the Mondraker team.

Kāhu ki Rotorua: Homegrown BMX champ Tuhoto-Ariki Pene signs with Mondraker

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, 20, since childhood has worked hard with the support of his whanau to become the champ he is today. Photo / Supplied

Tuhoto, following his podium finish in Rotorua at the weekend will be racing in the next rounds of the national championships at Auckland, Queenstown, Dunedin and finishing at Nelson.

The national finals will be held in Christchurch in February.

A few days after the national finals Tuhoto will be on a plane to Lourdes, for the first round of the World Cup.

The Mondraker sponsorship will help grease the wheels of his World Cup mission.

As well as paying his flights and accommodation Mondraker will provide a back-up team of mechanics. There will also be workshops and strategy sessions.

The elite team has four riders and there are development teams too.

Tuhoto, 20, has been riding since he could walk and competing from the age of three. It was a whole whanau experience but this time he will be going alone because of the cost.
The uri of Te Arawa whanui has whanau throughout the motu so accommodation at home is not really a problem.

The covid pandemic means fields are restricted to 100 and there are no spectators which takes away much of the ihi and wehi of the races.

Tuhoto won the bronze medal at the 2019 UCI World Championships and U19 gold medal at the 2019 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships, where he also claimed the fastest time of the day.

Since then, he has moved up to the elite category riding for the Union where he earned wins at the IXS European Cup and a 14th place finish at the 2021 UCI World Championships in Val di Sole.

This off season, he took wins in both the Dual Slalom and Pump-Track along with an elite podium finish in the Air DH at the 2021 Rotorua Crankworx.

For Tuhoto being signed to a factory team is a dream/goal come true.

“It’s an honour to be part of MS Mondraker. I’ve slowly watched all the Aotearoa bros growing up being on these teams, that’s how I wanted to roll.

“Just goes to show, that if you go hard and believe in your goals, you can achieve them.

Something my parents always reminded me, “If you believe, you can achieve.

“But I wouldn’t be here without the people that surround me, ‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini kē’, which means “My success isn’t just because of me, but the many that surround me” and I believe Mondraker will be a solid rock where I can start my new goals and begin a journey with an amazing team.”

Kāhu ki Rotorua: Homegrown BMX champ Tuhoto-Ariki Pene signs with Mondraker

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