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Coronet Peak withdraws from hosting Oceania Championships

Brisbane's James Maltman at the 2007 Oceania Games

Brisbane's James Maltman at the 2007 Oceania Games (Image credit: Evan Jeffery / evanjeffery.blogspot.com)

Following the announcement of a massive redevelopment at Coronet Peak, the mountain resort has withdrawn itself as host of the 2008 NZCT Oceania Mountain Bike Championships. Nelson has been confirmed as the replacement host.

Southern Alpine Recreation General Manager of Sales and Marketing David Ovendale said that while he and the project team had explored multiple possibilities to retain the event for Coronet Peak, it simply was not going to be achievable while the redevelopment projects were underway.

"We are naturally extremely disappointed to announce that we will be unable to host the event. It was to run in mid-March which is a time when the construction of the new base building and particularly the development of a huge snowmaking project would be in full swing."

"It is particularly disappointing because mountain biking at Coronet Peak has gone from strength to strength over the past two years and we were anticipating a record season in our third year. 148 new snow gun pits, the same number of fixed above ground machines and two new reservoirs, would present a real safety hazard and we felt we had no choice but to withdraw as the host.

"We would like to extend our apologies to everyone who has been inconvenienced by this decision, particularly participants and those at MTBNZ and BikeNZ who have already put a lot of time and effort into event planning.

Ovendale said Coronet Peak was doing what it could to support the new venue and that ultimately mountain biking would benefit from the developments that were taking place. The venue will still host the Tyre Brake Burner endurance race the weekend of February 3 and a leg of both the downhill and cross country South Island Cup Series January 4-6.

The 2008 NZCT Oceania Mountain Bike Championships will happen March 12-16, with more details on the timetable and venue to be released soon.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.