A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Downhill is first round this weekend
Justin Leov races to fourth
The 2012 edition of the long running New Zealand national mountain bike series launches this weekend in Queenstown. This first round of the 2012 New Zealand MTB Cup brings the country's best downhill competitors and a host of international visitors together for the first time since the end of February last year. And the 200-plus competitors will be breaking in a new venue on the face of the Remarkables in the bustling holiday destination of Queenstown to celebrate on January 8-9.
The downhill events are exceptional in that they showcase a number of truly world class professional athletes who are proud to represent New Zealand at the highest level of the sport. From recent junior world championship medalists Cameron Cole, Brook MacDonald and Matt Scoles and the current elite world championship bronze medalist Sam Blenkinsop, to consistent World Cup top 10 finishers of the calibre of Justin Leov, the quality of competition is a treat for every venue the series visits.
This weekend's competiton in Queenstown begins with a full practice day on Sunday, with race day taking place on Monday. Competitors will be faced with a new course on the Remarkables which pays homage to downhill courses of a prior era, but with a very modern twist. Fast, wide open and likely to change drastically during practice day due to the very dry conditions in the Southern Lakes area, this course will test the nerve of all, while providing a good spectator experience with long lines of sight.