Six major events headline the 2014 Queenstown Bike Festival (April 12-20 2014) with predictions for even larger fields as the festival moves into its fourth year with a growing reputation as a premier New Zealand biking event.



Race Director Geoff Hunt says entries are now open for the Super D, Enduro, Vertigo Bikes Dirtmasters Downhill, Queenstown Slopestyle, R &R Sport Mega Avalanche and the New World Tour de Wakatipu, all key events on the festival calendar.

“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.”

Hunt says the numbers of both out-of-town and international competitors also rose and with the increasing focus on Queenstown as a biking destination this trend is expected to continue.

“We think 2000 competitors from both Queenstown, New Zealand and overseas is a realistic target in 2014 and the number of spectators is also likely to outstrip the 5,000 who turned out to the glamour events last year.”

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The Super D Enduro is New Zealand’s only gondola assisted enduro and provides six hours intense downhill and uphill racing in the Queenstown Bike Park ,high above Queenstown, for both individuals and teams while the Rock n’ Roll Enduro at Coronet Peak uses the new trails and tracks on Coronet Peak as well as the historic Skippers pack track.

The Vertigo Bikes Dirtmasters Downhill also takes place in the Queenstown Bike Park and Hunt says it attracts 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.”

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The R&R Sport Mega Avalanche, introduced last year for the first time, has big pulling power because of the “wild ride’’ competitors get starting high on the slopes of the Remarkables Mountains range at 1980 metres.

“This year competitors will be flown all the way by chopper from the valley floor to the starting point on the ridgeline which adds to the excitement and calibre of the event.”

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The Queenstown downtown Slopestyle is the top spectator event as world class riders perform a series of tricks, judged on style and degree of difficulty, while the New World Tour de Wakatipu is a major attraction for recreational riders. The course follows a 36km course through the Wakatipu Basin, from Millbrook to Chard Farm, with divisions for elite and social bikers.

Three events – the Mega Avalanche, the Rock n’ Roll Enduro and the Tour de Wakatipu have been granted ten year concessions which provides the Queenstown Bike 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 event s in New Zealand and gives riders an overall national ranking in enduro, downhill (DH) and cross country (XC). Our Super D and Coronet Enduro and Mega Avalanche have all been given silver status and the Tour de Wakatipu bronze,” says Hunt.


The Queenstown Bike Festival calendar also incorporates a number of other smaller events to suit bikers of all ages and abilities.

“We have included a grape ride to the wineries and a girls’ only coffee ride, kids’ events, a Crown Range ride and a night mountain bike ride. The 16inch world championship is another highlight on the programme. 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.”


The Queenstown Bike Festival’s economic impact in 2013, based on visitor spending and including sponsorship and funding support from outside the region, was assessed at around $2.1m.

“Our goal is to have an even greater economic impact in 2014,” says Hunt. “The festival is a significant contributor and that can only increase as the festival develops.”


Words & Photos: Queenstown Bike Festival

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