New Zealand festival adds mountain bike event

Top Kiwi riders commit to inaugural race

Organisers of the Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling have announced the addition of a mountain biking event to this year’s event in Christchurch, New Zealand. The 35 kilometre off road event and a BMX race are new additions to the December 5-6 event’s harbor ride, city criterium.

Taking part in the mountain biking event will be Olympic and Commonwealth Games representative Kashi Leuchs, from Dunedin. Leuchs won a round of the Mountain Bike Marathon World Cup last year, which will serve him well on the Festival’s new Port Hills course.

Rotorua’s Mark Leishman, a former New Zealand representative, has also signed on for the inaugural race. Among women, New Zealand number two Nic Leary has been the first elite rider to sign up.

The new mountain bike ride will cater for riders of all age and ability, according to the organiser. The 35 kilometre route will start at McCormacks Bay Reserve in Redcliffs and head to the scenic trails of the Ports Hills. Experienced riders will take on the toughest, trickiest tracks, while a more sedate course will be on offer for rookies.

Organisers added that five dollars from every mountain bike entry will go back to trail maintenance on the very tracks participants will ride.

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