Best singlespeeders in New Zealand to head to worlds

The first rider to cross the line for the 2008 New Zealand Singlespeed Mountain Bike Championship coming up on April 25-27 in Rotorua will not only win bragging rights and the traditional winner's tattoo, but also the chance to compete at the World Championships in August in Napa, California.

"Over a thousand people from around the globe applied to enter the Worlds in Napa in California," said Graeme Simpson, one of the New Zealand Singlespeed Championship team. "Only 400 made the final cut, but we were in touch with the organizers before entries opened and they're keeping one place open for our first champion."

"We've already had entries from singlespeeders all 'round New Zealand and from Australia and the United States keen to be here in a couple of months," said Event Director, Dean Watson. "The first entry was from Auckland, closely followed by a crew from Alexandra in Central Otago."

This year's winners' tattoos will be done by local artist Bryony Edwards. "That's a Singlespeed tradition we're not messing with," said Simpson. "No tattoo, no title." And that applies to the first man and woman. The design will incorporated bike chain rings and fern leaves with a distinctive blend of New Zealand and Pacific imagery. "It's all black, as well, which will be instantly recognizable anywhere," Simpson added.

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