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Queenstown Biking Excitement

Queenstown Biking

Queenstown Biking

Breath-taking alpine scenery and courses ranging from challenging to recreational will put Queenstown, New Zealand, on the world cycling stage.

The 10-day Queenstown Bike Festival (now in its third edition) features more than 25 events ranging from recreational rides, social events and the Tour de Wakatipu to the extreme downhill races and freestyle events that have attracted the sport’s big names to the lake and alpine resort.

Now accredited as a Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Silver Event, the spectacular downtown Slopestyle (28.03.2013) has attracted a virtual ‘who’s who’ of international freeriders all primed to show their big tricks off to thousands of spectators. The line-up includes:

  • Cam McCaul (US) – Red Bull Joyride 2012, 3rd
  • Kurt Sorge (Canada) – Red Bull Rampage 2012 winner
  • Sam Pilgrim (UK) – five 1st place results in the 2012 season
  • Sam Dueck (Canada) – hyper extended tricks
  • Benny Phillips (Australia) – Slopestyle 2012 winner
  • Chad Kagy (US) – 2011 Dew Tour first stop, 2nd; Big Air bronze at X Games
  • Daiki Takahashi (Japan) – Freeride Jam Japan winner
  • Conor MacFarlane (NZ) – Teva Slopestyle 2012, 2nd
  • Kelly McGarry (NZ) – Teva Slopestyle 2012, 5th

Remarkables Mega Avalanche
A new event, the Mega Avalanche (31.03.2013), has also attracted international entries including French Commencal team riders Remy Absalon and Nicolas Quere, and World Cup downhiller and current female Canadian National Champion Casey Brown.

Based on the famous ‘Megavalanche’ in the French Alps, the race is expected to test even the world’s best downhillers as they hurtle down a course on Queenstown’s iconic Remarkables mountain range.

Bob’s Peak Dirtmasters Downhill
The Dirtmasters Downhill runs on 27 March and names to watch include local star and 2010 UCI Oceania Champion Reon Boe, and Christchurch’s Cameron Cole, 2011 National Downhill Champion and 7th overall in the 2011 World Cup.

Set to International Cycling Union (UCI) standards, the course down Bob’s Peak is not for the fainthearted – riders will have to contend with speed, drops, air and technical challenges but will be rewarded with panoramic lake and mountain views along the way.

Spectators can also get in on the action by enjoying the festive atmosphere at the downtown finish line and cheering on the competitors as they drop down the Brecon St stairs.

Queenstown’s biking revolution
Destination Queenstown Chairman Mark Quickfall says that Queenstown has undergone a biking revolution in the past couple of years and the addition of the Bike Festival has given both riders and spectators more great reasons to visit in autumn and extend their stay over the Easter break.

“With over 5,000 entrants and attendees at the 2012 festival bringing in an estimated NZ$2 million to the local economy, the Queenstown Bike Festival has become a key autumn event on our calendar.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or advanced, like fat or skinny tyres, or like watching the pros test their skills – this is about celebrating all things biking and getting the chance to explore some of our spectacular alpine scenery.”

With every genre of biking covered including 110km of cross country trails, heli-biking, gondola-accessed downhill trails, a jump park, and world-class road rides, Queenstown is gaining a reputation as a world-class biking destination for people of all ages and abilities.

The latest Lonely Planet New Zealand Travel Guide has singled out mountain biking in Queenstown as one of its top 12 new favourite New Zealand recommendations, mentioning that “since the opening of the Queenstown Bike Park, the region is now firmly established as an international focus for the sport.”

Background: Autumn in Queenstown

Autumn is one of the most picturesque times of year to visit Queenstown, as the seasonal change transforms the world-renowned landscapes into a stunning palette of red, orange and gold.

Daytime temperatures range between 12-25°C (53°F – 77°F), while mornings and evenings can be cooler.

The wide selection of things to do, temperate weather and tourist-friendly activities combine to make Queenstown one of New Zealand’s favourite holiday spots.

Bright sunny days provide the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and take part in the many local adventure activities, hiking and biking trails, and world-class golf courses.

Dining al fresco is popular at wineries, cafes, bars and restaurants, while art galleries, heritage trails and events of all types add to the adventure on offer.

Queenstown’s autumn events calendar includes:

  • Arrowtown Autumn Festival, 12 – 21 April 2013
    The historic goldmining village is renowned for its autumn colours, and attracts many national and international artists and photographers. The festival celebrates Arrowtown’s history and natural heritage.
  • Southern Lakes Festival of Colour, 15 – 21 April 2013
    This regional arts celebration features theatre, dance, art, film, music.

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