The Queenstown Bike Festival is set to roll round soon for its second year. It runs from 30th of March to the 9th of April and again it's not to be missed. The latest press release just came through from the organisers and gives a rundown on a few of the events that will be taking place. Spoke will be there bringing you in-depth coverage over the week (really, we will). But in the meantime check out what's going to be on offer below. We have introduced two new events already for 2012: the Opening function, featuring comedian Joseph Harper and his 'Bikes I've owned versus girls I've fallen in love with' show, combined with the awarding of the prize for the ‘Bikes built in New Zealand’ competition, followed the next day by the Speights Summit Super D Enduro. Sunday brings the League of Gentlemen Meagre Avalanche and the 16 inch World Championship.
What a start—I'll be exhausted already at this stage—and check out what's happening over the rest of the week.
Watch for the movie nights, the Hilton coffee ride and Arrowtown ride, the MiniX for kids, the tourist operators specials, some great music, and at the end of the week the New World Tour de Wakatipu and the DirtMasters Downhill.
A whole week of activity. Fun for the action boys and girls, or enjoy a relaxed coffee ride on some of the great trails in the Wakatipu.
Speights Summit Super D Enduro.
We are very excited to announce that Speights Summit will be the major sponsor behind the Super D, with backing also from Outside Sports who, with John Knight, were instrumental in its inception last year.
It now has all the makings of a great second event with the demand for spots really high.
Last year we worked hard in the weeks up to the event testing different ideas for the course, to get the timing right for the Skyline gondola and to have you, the competitors, go home with a smile on your face. I think in the end we got it just right. Jarna from Outside Sports has been working on ideas for this year, so expect a little variation in the course just to keep it fresh and interesting.
What did people think about the first SUPER D ENDURO using the gondola? " . . . . I have to say that Saturday was just fantastic, my new favourite race! A challenging, well-marked course, smoothly organised, very well marshalled and a friendly relaxed vibe amongst the competitors. Great value when taking into account that we had the hill to ourselves + great prizes + awesome prize giving venue + free drink at pub + video footage ready to watch. It will surely go off and be huge next year!" SUSAN
Well Susan was right, it will go off. If you raced last year, you'd better enter now as those who didn't race are entering and with a limit to the number of riders who can get on the track at any one time, it's going to fill before the end of February.
Be warned! Don't wait, or you WILL miss out.
Event: Speights Summit Super D Enduro Date: 31st March 2012 Event: Super D Enduro set in the Queenstown Bike Park, with Skyline Gondola access, 6hrs non stop tag team or individual Divisions: Open - Men Women, Vet - Men Women, Teams 140 starters only on race day (mix of teams and individuals) ie approx 70 teams / 70 individuals accepted Entry fee: $110 for individuals, and $80 per team member
"Spectacular action highlighted the inaugural Corona Dirtmasters Downhill in the Ben Lomond Forest as 80 competitors took on the challenge with top honours going to national downhill exponent Reon Boe of Queenstown, in a time of 5:08.50 minutes.
Boe was the fastest qualifier and the top seed and a big crowd gathered at the Brecon Street steps to watch him put in the quickest run of the day ousting second fastest rider, Rupert Chapman of Christchurch who clocked 5:13.56, from the “hot seat.”
“This was an awesome race and it's such a good thing for Queenstown,” says Boe. “I am sure we can get lots more people to come here in summer and hopefully one day we can hold a World Cup downhill.”
Festival co-ordinator Geoff Hunt predicts the Dirtmasters will grow into a major event. “This was the inaugural event in the inaugural festival and the huge interest it has created amongst both spectators and riders bodes well for the future. Judging by the numbers of people on the hill, lining the street and gathering on nearby balconies, it’s the sort of action people love.”
Tony Moore (local Queenstown mountain bike enthusiast): “Today’s race was impressive, a really good start. Riders have come from all over the country and the draw is Queenstown and also the gondola."
“We set a reasonably mellow course to allow ‘have a go’ downhillers to enter but as the event gets sharper the hill will become more geared to it and focus around higher end riders.”
So to 2012 We've mapped out the course already and it will be a little harder than last year's event. It uses some of the well known trails in the Queenstown Bike Park and some not so well known. The exact details of the route will not be announced till the day before the race. While Queenstown riders have a chance to ride the hill regularly, they will not have an undue advantage.
Note: the course will be almost as long as last year's (5:08 winning time), but will leave the hill in a different place to ride through the campground and down Man Street before dropping down the stairs for the ceremonial finish.
The stairs attracted a huge crown and proved to be a highlight for everyone, bringing the downhill mountain bike sport right into the heart of Queenstown.
Event: Dirt Masters DH: A two day mountain bike downhill event with Skyline Gondola access. Location: Queenstown Bike Park Course: The course covers 3km down steep downhill tracks, finishing with the steep stairs dropping into the finish line outside the Lone Star, Brecon Street, Queenstown. (Sun only) Actual finish (timing) on departure from the mountain. Date: Practice Day Sat 7th April Race Day Sun 8th April Divisions: Male and Female. Junior - under 15 through Master Entry fee: $130 (Queenstown Mtn Bike Club discount)
New World Tour de Wakatipu This event is entering its fourth year and we fully expect it will grow further, especially with the great support from Wakatipu New World.
And with such a beautiful course along both the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers, starting in Millbrook, coupled with fantastic food, wine and music at Chard Farm! The formula is well established now, and the course offers great riding for all involved.
The course is basically the same as it has been for the last three years although some parts will use the new Wakatipu Trail, i.e. alongside Slopehill Rd, and on the lower Shotover Delta everyone rides along the new ‘stopbank’ section.
We are also able to traverse some private farmland down the true right of the Kawarau River thanks to the support of Steve Laing and Mike Mee. This is the only chance to ride this side of the river.
We are also talking about an extended elite race, but will have to wait until we can see which sections of the trails will be open to use.
The Race: From the elite to the family rider, it caters for everyone. We actually have two races. The elite and sport start early in the day followed by their own prizegiving, while the recreational riders start a little later with their prizegiving at about 4pm.
This event supports CureKids and the Wakatipu Trails Trust.
Event: New World Tour de Wakatipu Date: 7th April 2012 - note Easter is early this year Location: Start at Millbrook, finish Chard Farm Elite and Sport: 45kms hard and fast Recreational: Fun riding 36kms Entry Fee: $75, $45 Juniors