Coronet Peak enduro entries open

U23 World Cup Cross-Country winner Anton Cooper, of Christchurch, rides down a trail on Signal Hill in Dunedin during the 2013 Urge Three Peaks Enduro race earlier this month. Coronet Peak will play host to an enduro event in the resort on January 11, just the second time one of its kind has been held in the Wakatipu. Photo by www.boxoflight.com
U23 World Cup Cross-Country winner Anton Cooper, of Christchurch, rides down a trail on Signal Hill in Dunedin during the 2013 Urge Three Peaks Enduro race earlier this month. Coronet Peak will play host to an enduro event in the resort on January 11, just the second time one of its kind has been held in the Wakatipu. Photo by www.boxoflight.com

Entries have opened for an enduro mountain bike race being held at Coronet Peak early next year.

The Coronet Enduro will be held on January 11, beginning at the top of the mountain and featuring five stages - three of which had not been used in an enduro race before.

Director Geoff Hunt said enduro was a relatively new format which appeared to have taken some inspiration from car rally and motorbike enduro racing.

In the past 12 months it had become one of the mainstream disciplines in mountain biking and the Enduro World Series had spread around the world from its base in France.

A typical one-day enduro race comprised three to five timed ''special'' stages, held on technically demanding and generally descending terrain.

The special stages were linked by predominantly ascending ''liaison'' stages and the riders' performances on those would not affect their results.

Mr Hunt said the resort had held its first enduro event as part of the Queenstown Bike Festival earlier this year, but had built on that with two being held in 2014, supported by Torpedo7.com.

Events sponsorship manager Lester Perry said the format of the enduro races appealed to a broad range of riders ''not just the hardcore racer crowd''.

Mr Hunt said the events would attract those who ''like to go fast, ride hard and have fun''.

''Enduro races are equal parts fitness and skill.

''The courses range from moderate to technical, and sprinkle in sections of pedalling to keep you honest.

''In a perfect world, the type of rider best suited would be an XC rider who has the skills of a downhiller, or vice versa.''

Entries for the event are open at coronetenduro.com.