As the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials Championships get underway in the Italian alpine town of Livigno in Northern Italy, the minds of New Zealand’s national mountain bike team and support staff is not just on the races – they will be looking to learn everything they can about throwing a World Class World Championships – because Worlds heads to Rotorua, New Zealand in 2006.
Rotorua was awarded the World Championships by the UCI in December 2004. “They (the UCI) have given every mountain biker on the planet just the excuse they need to visit New Zealand,” says Dave Donaldson, chairperson of the local organizing committee for 2006. “For Kiwis, it is the opportunity to showcase our trails to the mountain biking world and to see the world’s best in action in our own backyard.” The event village and courses for the World Championships will be purpose built on the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha.
So with their event only one-year off, and with support from support from Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and Destination Rotorua and Events Venue Rotorua, New Zealand is sending current world Elite Women's Downhill Champion Vanessa Quin and Junior Women's Downhill Champion Scarlett Hagen to race as well as a team from the 2006 Worlds in Livigno to promote next year's event.
If you’re headed to Livigno yourself, the Kiwi crew invites you to visit them at the New Zealand House at Le Mirage from 5 to 6pm every evening from Wednesday, August 31 to Sunday, September 4. If you can't be there in person, check their 2006 web site for regular updates and news about the Kiwis in Action.