The Giant Top Gun 2016 is mere weeks away, with entries now open. You should be excited. To miss it would be madness. Three races over four days makes Nelson the only place to be from January 29 to February 1st. All of the best local trails are on display - and in Nelson that means steep, technical and long.
The brutality begins with the Downhill, running on Friday and Saturday. The course heads down the infamous Kaka DH, long time favourite of those who love their tracks steep and rough. Recently the boys have put in time on the shovel, and Kaka is primed and better than ever. Down low on the track, things will be festive with perfect spectating opportunities at the final big double. For non-racers, its the ideal spot to bask in the sun, drink cold beverages and exchange banter. This race is also round three of the NZ DH series, so there are sure to be some big guns and rapid times.
Sunday sees the good times return to XC racing with a long single lap course in Codgers mountain bike park. The track promises to combine vicious climbing with some class descents. Expect the full range of trail with berms, jumps, roots and rocks, and steep bits in both directions. It's the perfect place to mix suffering with fun.
Top Gun saves the best for last with Monday’s Enduro. This may well be the toughest Enduro in the country. It’s a big day out with over 1200m of technical descending. All three tracks are grade 5 and ready to bite the unwary. Errors at pace will be punishing. It’s some of the best riding the region has to offer.
The genius of the Giant Top Gun is that there's an overall winner. To be eligible, you have to race at least two of the events. Your two best results count towards winning the sweet cash prize of $1,000 NZD’s (for both the fastest male and female). That’s a fair bit of moolah for riding your bike.
Oh yeah, Giant have put a sweet 2016 Reign up for grabs as a spot prize. There are loads of other spot prizes as well. The prize pool totals over $7,000.
Nelson Mountain Bike Club has gone back to the Nineties with their pricing scheme. These are some of the cheapest races in the country. The enduro is $45, the xc $25, and the DH $90 (for two days shuttles). Insanity! Combo pricing is available if you're doing more than one race. There really is no reason not to get involved.
The sharp-eyed will have noted that this is the week before the Dodzy Memorial Enduro. Week long riding holiday in Nelson anyone?