Sellout on track for Snowies MTB Festival next month…
Sellout on track as age groupers and elites frantically sign on to race the Snowies Mountain Bike Festival in the Snowy Mountains in February…
BRISBANE—The field is loaded in the elite men’s and women’s categories, with just a few select spots remaining for pros and amateurs at next month’s second annual Snowies Mountain Bike Festival to be held 12-14 February.
The three-day, five-stage event attracted a who’s who of Australian mountain biking last year, and this year’s event held in the picturesque setting of Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa and Thredbo Resort in the iconic Snowy Mountains of New South Wales is on track to be even bigger with discounted ‘Early Bird’ entries scheduled to close on Monday, 17 January.
Defending champion Andy Blair (Swell Specialized) of Canberra tops a list of elite male contenders that also include Kyle Ward (NSW), Tim Fitzpatrick (On Your Bike Echuca), Trent Pons (NSW), Sebastian Jayne (Subaru Marathon MTB), Nathan Russell (Cyclery Northside).
Also joining the two-time Aussie national men’s XCM (cross country marathon) champion are Ryan Kyprianou, Lewis Cressy (ONYAbike-Hammer Maxxis) and Mark Cordingley (Team05 Racing).
Ireland’s Jenny Blair (neé Fay), captured the elite women’s crown last year, but it’s Renata Bucher (SWI), Sharon Heap (QLD), Jessica Simpson (NSW), Cristy Henderson (ACT) and Briony Mattocks (Cyclery Northside) who will all be vying for a shot at the title. Other stars to watch include Sara Mills (JetBlack-Pivot), Laura Renshaw (Drift Bikes), Louise Cook (ACT) and one of our ‘Young Guns’ Zoe Cuthbert (ACT).
This year’s race still features an Alpine start line at 1,260 metres in elevation, as well as 100 kilometres of rugged mountain terrain, technical single track, monstrous ascents, daring descents and, of course, a hefty $10,000 cash prize pool.
“The inaugural Snowies Mountain Bike Festival in 2015 was so good it’s hard to believe that it was the first year the stage race had been run and it was one of my favourite races of the year,” Blair told race host In2Adventure. “This is truly a mountain bike race that has everything; iconic location, epic trails, varied fun stages that are challenging yet achievable, friendly atmosphere, beautiful accommodation and no stressful transfers.”
According to Blair, who won the final three stages and lifted the leader’s jersey off stage 1 winner Mark Tupalski (Torq Australia) on stage 3 in February, this year’s race is not only bigger, but is also scheduled to be even better than last year’s event.
“The new Thredbo all-mountain trail is set to join the Thredbo Valley Trail as the showcase of the event, with the three day program allowing the maximum down time between stages to enjoy the wonderful venues without making it a huge commitment away from home,” he said.
Previously in the elite women’s division, Fay won stages 1, 2 and 4, with Queenslander Jodie Willett (Liv Cycling Australia) taking the win from Fay on stage 3.
Like last year’s historic event, this year’s race kicks off with a gruelling 5.5km time trial around the scenic bushland surrounding Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa. However, unlike last year, the time trial opens the Festival on Friday evening, leaving the 21.5km Thredbo Summit Smash and the brand new 9km Thredbo All Mountain Descent on Saturday before the 24km Gravity Check descent and 45km XCM closes out the final day of racing.
The Snowies Mountain Bike Festival is not just for elite riders. The Snowies will also be a testing event for age group solo riders, as well as for those looking for a slightly less demanding challenge. Riders can take part in teams of two or three riders, with one team member taking on different stages of the race. Riders can also take part in either the 45km, 30km or 15km XC MTB on Sunday, choosing the distance most suited to their ability.
“With over 50 percent of entries sold on the first day and a continuous flow of entries over the past few weeks, numbers have already surpassed last year figures and we expect the event to sell out over the next few weeks,” said In2Adventure event director Robyn Lazenby. “This is such exciting news for a festival in only its second year, but is testament to the standard of mountain biking that the Snowy Mountains Region has to offer riders, especially at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa and Thredbo Resort.
“It’s going to be a spectacular few days and, like last year we have a few surprises planned to create a really special experience for all riders.”
The one of the event hubs, Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa will offer competitors and spectators use of the resort with properties from studios to three bedroom apartments covering all budgets and tastes. And the other, Thredbo Resort also has a wide range of accommodation and activities, giving visitors a perfect base to explore this spectacular part of NSW.
The Snowies Mountain Bike Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
In2Adventure are Asia-Pacific’s premier adventure event specialists. With a full calendar of national events scheduled throughout Australia, including adventure races, cross triathlon, XC Mountain Bike, trail runs and corporate events, In2Adventure fully embraces all things ‘off road’ and ‘off the beaten track’ and offers a unique, individual experience for all ages and skill levels. For more information visit In2Adventure here.
Upcoming Events (2016):
- Snowies MTB Festival – Snowy Mountains, NSW, 12-14 February 2016
- Australian Cross Triathlon Championships (2016 Worlds Qualifier) – Snowy Mountains, NSW, 27-28 February 2016
- Mountain Designs Adventure Race Australia – NSW, 20 March 2016
- Queensland Cross Triathlon Championships (2016 Worlds Qualifier) – Sunshine Coast, QLD, 16-17 April 2016
- Mountain Designs Adventure Race Australia 18hr Dark Side & 12hr Dawn Attack – Sunshine Coast, QLD, 29-30 April, 2016
- ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships – Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa, Snowy Mountains, NSW, 18-20 November 2016
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Photo Credit: In 2 Adventure
Aaron S. Lee
Media Manager | Public Relations
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