Thursday, May 30, 2024

Bike tracks pedal events growth for Marlborough

Marlborough District Council says the region is in line to host more large-scale mountain bike events thanks to the highly successful Skoda Cycling NZ Schools National Mountain Bike Championships held recently.

The Wither Hills Farm Park, Gentle Annie Skills Area, Taylor Pass Forest, Homebrook and Jentree in Taylor Pass played host to nearly 500 riders, with 1,400 people descending on Marlborough for the event which ran from 4 to 7 October.

Marlborough Mountain Bike Club’s Neil Sinclair said hosting the cross-country at the Wither Hills Farm Park was made possible due to the newly constructed Gentle Annie Track which Council approved earlier this year.

“Officials, riders and parents all loved this new track, loved the features, and loved the proximity to the Rifle Range Event Area. This track really was critical to our ability to host a big event like this one,” he said.

“The event was a great success with many involved saying it was the best organised event they had been to. Our aim was to raise the bar and we think we achieved that, as Cycling NZ have been complimentary of our facilities and organisation. This event was only possible thanks to the huge volunteer effort from our club and supporters, and we are very appreciative of everyone’s efforts.”

Marlborough District Council’s Regional Events Advisor, Samantha Young said the secondary schools’ mountain bike nationals had, “really put Marlborough on the map as a region that can excel at hosting successful mountain bike events”.

“Based on the number who entered and all those who came from outside the region, most of whom stayed an average of five nights, this event generated a total economic impact of nearly $2.4m,” she said.

“It is one of many events we have supported through Council’s Commercial Events Fund, and it demonstrates the tangible benefit of this support – events are drivers of the local economy.

“We are now in line to host more mountain bike events of this scale,” Ms Young said.

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