Extra thrills for Skyline Sprint Warrior 2014 event

Skyline_Sprint_Warrior 49Extra thrills for Skyline Sprint Warrior 2014 event  – A special practice run has been added to the second annual Skyline Sprint Warrior downhill mountain bike event, ensuring keen riders will have even more opportunities to ride the mountain’s trails.

The inaugural event in February this year was hugely popular and next year’s, to be held on Friday 21 February as part of the second Rotorua Bike Festival, is expected to be a sell-out once again.

Entries open on Monday December 2. Racing will take place on Friday 21 February; however, Mt Ngongotaha’s slopes will be opened to riders for an extra day this year, with a practice day event on Thursday 20 February. Practice sessions will still be held before the main race on the Friday.

Thursday’s practice session will include a range of different trails, while the race day route will involve a dedicated 1.8km downhill track, specially-crafted for maximum thrills by master trail builders Empire of Dirt. The practice sessions will be fully supported by marshals and first aid cover.

A new jump competition event has also been added to the programme, with New Zealand clothing brand Hukkit hosting a “Sick Trick” competition at the bottom of the Skyline site after the official racing is complete.

The Skyline Sprint Warrior event is owned and organised by brothers Tak and Tu Mutu of Mountain Bike Rotorua and Multi-Day Adventures, and is run in conjunction with Skyline Rotorua and Descend Rotorua.

Mr Mutu says riders will be timed and seeded during the practice runs in the hours prior to the race proper.

“Juniors will race first, followed by all other age groups from fastest to slowest, while the top 20 will ride in reverse order – slowest to fastest.”

Skyline Rotorua general manager, Bruce Thomasen, says the inaugural event was a huge success for event organisers, mountain bikers, spectators and Skyline.

Skyline Sprint Warrior riders will be offered special deals on race day, including discounted gondola passes for friends and family, special dinner offers in the Market Kitchen Café, and live entertainment before and after prizegiving.

Early bird entries for the Skyline Sprint Warrior are available until January 17, with late entry fees applying from February 15 until race day.

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