Queenstown's Reon Boe leads the pack and eventual winner Wyn Masters over Marshall Point on the Remarkables earlier this year, during the inaugural Mega Avalanche, part of the Queenstown Bike Festival. The event is one of three which has been granted 10-year concessions and it has been given ''silver status'' in the New Zealand Mountain Bike Crown, providing a central hub for all mountain biking events in New Zealand. Photo by Patrick Falcon.
Entries have opened for the 2014 Queenstown Bike Festival.
Six major events headline the week-long event, and
predictions are for larger fields than before.
Now in its fourth year, the festival, featuring the Super D
Enduro, Dirtmasters Downhill, Slopestyle, Mega Avalanche and
Tour de Wakatipu, had a growing reputation as a premier New
Zealand biking event, race director Geoff Hunt said.
Further, the Mega Avalanche, the Rock n' Roll Enduro, being
held at Coronet Peak, and the Tour de Wakatipu had been
granted 10-year concessions, providing the festival with
certainty for the future.
''The main festival events are also included in the NZMTB
Crown which provides a central hub for all mountain biking
events in New Zealand and gives riders an overall national
ranking in enduro, downhill and cross country.
''Our Super D and Coronet Enduro and Mega Avalanche have all
been given silver status and the Tour de Wakatipu bronze,''
''The calendar for 2014 is expected to attract increased
numbers with the festival's growing profile both in New
Zealand and offshore.
''We are starting to get recognition as a southern hemisphere
biking alternative to Whistler in Canada and Morzine in
France and last year there were 1600 competitors, which was
an increase of 30% on the previous year.''
Mr Hunt said the numbers of visitors, both domestic and
international, also rose and, given the increased focus on
Queenstown as a biking destination, those numbers were
expected to continue to rise.
''We think 2000 competitors from Queenstown, New Zealand and
overseas is a realistic target in 2014 and the number of
spectators is also likely to outstrip the 5000 who turned out
to the glamour events last year.''
Mr Hunt said the economic impact from this year's festival
was about $2.1 million, based on visitor spending and
including sponsorship and funding support from outside the
''Our goal is to have an even greater economic impact in
''The festival is a significant contributor and that can only
increase as the festival develops.''
The Super D Enduro was New Zealand's only gondola assisted
enduro and provided six hours of intense downhill and uphill
racing in the Queenstown Bike Park, for both individuals and
The Rock n' Roll Enduro at Coronet Peak would use the new
trails and tracks on the skifield, as well as the Skippers
The Dirtmasters Downhill would also be held in the Queenstown
Bike Park and Mr Hunt said that it was an event that
attracted daredevils of all ages.
''Next year's course is on a new Queenstown Mountain
Bike-developed downhill track and features high speed berms
and technical rock and root sections.
''It's definitely not for the faint-hearted.''
The Mega Avalanche, held for the first time this year, had
huge pulling power due to the ''wild ride''.
Competitors start high on the slopes of the Remarkables
mountain range, at 1980m.
This year, competitors would be flown from the valley floor
to the ridge line by helicopter, which would add to the
''excitement and calibre of the event'', he said.
The downtown Slopestyle was the top spectator event.
World-class riders perform a series of tricks and are judged
on style and degree of difficulty.
The Tour de Wakatipu was the major attraction for
recreational riders, who would follow a 36km course through
the Wakatipu, from Millbrook to Chard Farm, with divisions
catering for both elite and social riders.
Several other smaller events were planned to suit bikers of
all ages and abilities, including a ''grape ride'' to
wineries, a girls' only coffee ride, children's events, a
Crown Range ride and a night mountain bike ride.
''There is something to suit all levels and we hope everyone
who owns a bike will find something to suit them.
''It's all about getting out there and having fun with
friends on the bike,'' Mr Hunt said.
The 2014 festival will be held from April 12 to 20.