Enduro mountain bike racing will feature Coronet Peak early in the New Year. In the last year enduro has grown from nowhere into one of the mainstream disciplines in the sport and the Enduro World Series has spread around the world from its core base in France.
The Queenstown Bike festival team ran the first local enduro early this year and have now built on that with two enduro’s in the new year.
Torpedo7 events sponsorship manager Lester Perry says “Torpedo7 are stoked to be involved with the ‘Coronet Enduro’ events. This formats appeal to a broad range of riders, not just the hardcore racer crowd, really appeals to us. Many of our staff are into this style of riding so it was a no-brainer for us to get involved. The team from Traverse events runs a tight ship, and we’re looking forward to partnering with them to bring you two killer ‘Coronet Enduro’ events this summer!”
The Coronet Enduro is on the 11th January and starts at the top of Coronet Peak and features 5 stages. Three of these stages have not been used in a enduro race before and this will keep the interest high for the racers.
“If you like to go fast, ride hard and have fun, then enduro racing is right up your alley. Enduro races are equal parts fitness and skill. The courses range from moderate to technical, and sprinkle in sections of pedaling 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.” says Hunt.
This was well represented in a recent event in Dunedin, the Three Peaks Enduro. The fastest time was set by a specialist in the sport of enduro, now Queenstown resident, Jamie Nicholl. He was followed closely by ex downhill racer Justin Leov, with the Under 23 World Cup Cross-country winner Anton Cooper third.
Around the world the bike companies are focussing more and more attention on an ‘all-mountain enduro style’ of bike and these bikes typically would offer 160mm front and rear and most will feature a 1×11 drive chain. While this style of bike makes the racing easier at the front of the field it is still possible to race on a XC or downhill bike.
Enduro racing looks set to become a major fixture on the Southern Lakes mountain biking calendar, and with the course already tested and endorsed by local riders, this looks set to become a high profile event which will further underline the Queenstown area as an important cycling destination.
Words & Photos: Queenstown Bike Festival
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