The rapidly growing Queenstown Bike Festival is gearing up for its fourth year of downhill, endurance and slopestyle events.
Race director Geoff Hunt said entries were open for six major events, the Super D, Enduro, Dirtmasters Downhill, Queenstown Slopestyle, Mega Avalanche and Tour de Wakatipu.
"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."
This year the organisers estimate the festival will attract 2000 entrants.
"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 5000 who turned out to the glamour events last year."
The Super D is New Zealand's only gondola-assisted enduro event and provides six hours of downhill and uphill racing in the Queenstown Bike Park.
The R&R Sport Mega Avalanche, introduced last year, has pulling power too because the competitors start high on the slopes of the Remarkables.
Three events, the Mega Avalanche, Rock ‘n' Roll Enduro and Tour de Wakatipu have been granted 10-year concessions.
Fast facts What: Queenstown Bike Festival When: April 12-20 Where: Queenstown bike park, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Wakatipu trails Who: downhillers, endurance riders, racers Economic impact of 2013 festival: $2.1 million More information: queenstownbikefestival.com --------------------
- The Mirror