Jared Graves on stage 3, EWS round 3 2014, Valloire. Photo by Matt Wragg

Jared Graves on stage 3, EWS round 3 2014, Valloire. Photo by Matt Wragg
One of the success stories of the first two Rotorua Bike Festivals will be back in 2015. The Giant 2W Gravity Enduro will be a feature of the second weekend of the Rotorua Bike Festival on Saturday February 21.

And 2014 Enduro World Series champion, Jared Graves from Australia, hopes to be on the start line.

The Giant 2W Gravity Enduro will be a dress rehearsal for the Crankworx Rotorua Enduro in late March. This is round one of the Enduro World Series (EWS). It will bring together some of the most talented riders in the world for this multi-stage, mainly downhill event that is the fastest growing form of mountain bike racing.

Graves is looking forward to starting his title defence in Rotorua in March.

“It’s going to be great racing so close to home, instead of the usual lug over to Europe for the start of the season,” he said as he took a welcome holiday break after a busy race season. “Tonnes of family and friends will be at the race too…can’t wait.”

Graves and Yeti teammate Richie Rude are hoping to race at the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro at the Bike Festival.

“At this stage, we’re planning to come over,” Graves added. “I was supposed to race at the 2006 World Mountain Bike Champs in Rotorua, but got injured a couple of weeks before.”

Even though he couldn’t ride he still made it to cheer on a big Australian team and is looking forward to finally sample the Whakarewarewa Forest network.

“I’ve only heard good things about your trails,” he continued with his trademark enthusiasm. “Pretty much everyone I ride with at home here has been there, which makes me wonder why I haven’t. They can’t say enough good things about what’s there.”

Neil Gellatly is race director of the 2W Gravity Enduro and the EWS round and he’s very excited about the prospect of the upcoming race season.

“Our Giant 2W events over the last two years have proven the popularity of gravity enduro style racing,” said Gellatly. “To have the very best of the best racers here over summer, like Jared, in preparation for Crankworx and the EWS in March is just fantastic for both Rotorua and New Zealand.”

The Giant 2W Gravity Enduro at the 2014 Festival sold out a month before race day. Entries for next year’s race are open at www.2W.co.nz and are selling fast.

“I expect it to sell out, again, for sure. It’s just a matter of when,” continued Gellatly. “We are also running a Giant 2W Gravity Enduro event on Saturday December 13 and that’s in high demand, too. The sense of anticipation is growing.”

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