German rider Carolin Friese competes in the New Zealand
downhill series at Dunedin's Signal Hill earlier this year.
Photo by Craig Baxter.
Dunedin will not host any races in the 2013 New Zealand
mountain bike series this summer.
"We thought we'd have a break from it this year. We'd run
ourselves a little bit ragged hosting events," Mountain Bike
Otago president Hamish Seaton said.
"Traditionally we've hosted a national level event every
second year, but lately we've run five of them on the trot.
"We just needed a rest from running national events and
decided to have a year off."
Dunedin has hosted the national series, the New Zealand
championships and the Oceania championships over the past
five years and the small band of helpers felt they needed a
But they will stage the South Island secondary schools
championships in Dunedin on March 23-24 in both downhill and
They will also be involved in running mountain bike events
for the Otago Peninsula Challenge on Sunday, May 12.
Bluff has replaced Dunedin for the New Zealand series with a
cross-country and downhill event.
It will not be a complete rest for the Mountain Bike Otago
committee because work on the tracks in Dunedin will
"We are still busy on that and have corrections workers
helping us," Seaton said.
"We are still working with the Dunedin City Council to get a
road and car park behind Logan Park High School."
Mountain Bike Otago members will be spending time developing
the downhill track on Signal Hill and and easy grade track up
"We are maintaining our old tracks at Ross Creek and still
have plans to build more tracks there,"
This year's New Zealand Mountain Bike Cup will consist of
five downhill and four cross-country events, starting in
Bluff on January 4 and concluding at Hunua, Auckland, on
The 2013 national championships, for both downhill and
cross-country, will be held in Rotorua from February 15-17,
as part of the Rotorua Bike Festival. Only New Zealand
residents are eligible to compete for national titles.
The star of the series will be 18-year old Anton Cooper
(Canterbury), who won the junior world title in Austria in
September. He is the first New Zealand mountain biker to win
a rainbow jersey in the Olympic discipline of cross-country.
The national championships is the beginning of a big year for
Cooper, who will race a world cup campaign as a full-time
professional next year.
There will still be a programme of five events held in Otago.
They are: November 25, Haggis Hunter 6hr race at Forrester
Park; December 1-2, Otago mountain bike championships and
single speed championships in Naseby; December 15,
Three-Peaks Enduro; April 6, Naseby 12hr race; May 12, Otago
January 4-6, cross-country and downhill, Bluff; January
12-13, downhill, Mount Hutt; January 18-20, cross-country and
downhill, Nelson; February 2-3, downhill, Levin; February 3,
cross-country, Mount Victoria, Wellington; February 8-10,
downhill and cross-country, Hunua, Auckland; February 15-17,
NZ championships downhill and cross-country, Rotorua.