CHALLENGING NEW DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE EVENT TO DEBUT IN QUEENSTOWN
Expert mountain bikers will debut a challenging world class downhill track in the Ben Lomond forest above Queenstown in a new three day event to be staged at Easter 2011. It is hoped that this event will raise the profile of mountain biking in the resort.
This is the resort which has New Zealand’s only gondola assisted bike lift. It’s new, it’s fun, it’s funky.
The area is already well known for the high quality of its bike tracks and the MTB season runs from 24th January until May 29th 2011, from 10am – 8pm every day.
The region is crying out for a high profile MTB event and Geoff Hunt of Southern Traverse fame has come up with the idea of the Ben Lomond Downhill.
“The track is still to be defined but there is huge potential in the forest and with the support of Skyline Queenstown who will provide access for the event I believe we have a great formula. The local mountain bike fraternity spends considerable time in this area riding the already formed tracks established by the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club and bikers are upbeat about the opportunity for a real adrenalin rush that the new event offers,” he said.
The technically demanding course which will start at the top of Skyline Queenstown will be about 3km long finishing in Brecon Street where there will be a full-on party atmosphere.
It is the most amazing venue as the Ben Lomond Forest is virtually in the middle of the town. This new mountain bike park has an abundance of beautiful natural flowing single tracks – flowing right into the town and that is not an exaggeration I promise you… witness the above race which plans to finish in Brecon Street! So for access it couldn’t be easier – especially now that they have made the gondola bike friendly.
“There will be a lot of input into the development of the course from internationally renowned bikers and from local Queenstown experts and it certainly won’t be for the fainthearted,” says Hunt.
Qualifying rounds will be held on Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23. The final is scheduled for Easter Sunday April 24 and will be limited to the top 100 competitors. With good prize money on offer it is expected to attract competitors from all over the country as well as local hotshots.
“Queenstown is recognised as a world class destination for mountain biking and its reputation will undoubtedly continue to grow just as Whistler in Canada has done,” says Hunt. “This new downhill event which will become an annual Easter fixture can only help reinforce Queenstown’s international mountain biking status.”
Skyline Queenstown’s Mountain Biking project Co-ordinator Brad Rowe says the company is excited to be linked with the Ben Lomond Downhill.
“It will be fantastic to see an event like this with top level riders racing through the Ben Lomond forest during Easter. Having already witnessed the likes of Justin Leov here in action this really is an exciting time to be a mountain biker in Queenstown.”