Wyn Masters on the Queenstown Bike Festival
Wyn Masters gives us an over view of the recent Queenstown Bike Festival, New Zealand.
Words: Wyn Masters
Photos: Patrick Fallon
So the past weekend I attended the Queenstown Bike festival for the first time and I thought I better put together a few words on it, as it was pretty much one of the best weeks of riding and partying ever!
The event is in its second year running and is already the biggest event of it's kind in Australasia, with this year featuring a Super D race, a DH event, and even this year for the first time a slopestyle event along with all sorts of other events throughout the week. I was there for most of the week but unfortunately didn't make it to the Super D as I had to work but I will definitely be there for it next year!
The Teva Slopestyle went off with a bang, the course built in a carpark in the middle of town by local rippers Kelly Mcgarry and Tom Hey was amazing and everyone was pumped on it! A huge crowd showed up to see all the action and the riders didn't disappoint with some huge tricks being thrown down, it was wicked to see a slopestyle event of this calibre right here in NZ, and I am sure next year will be even better!
The Dirtmasters Downhill was the event was the main event I came down, it was a DH race from the top of the Skyline Gondola through a wide range of tracks varying from bike park style berms to loose off camber sections and it was definitely a fun and challenging race track it even had a crowd pleasing finish area down the stair set in the middle of town!
Pretty much all of the kiwi international rider's showed up for it, making this already the biggest DH race in New Zealand this year. You know its going to be tough racing when you have four guys that have had WC podiums in the field! I didn't hear a bad word about the event all weekend everyone was stoked on it and rightly so, they even sped up the gondola for us making it only a 2 and half minute ride to the top!
The womens racing was taken out by Rotorua Zerode ripper Gabby Molloy with Scarlett Hagen making a return to racing in the 2nd spot and the podium was rounded out by Harriett Latchem in 3rd.
In the mens class Lapierre rider Sam Blenkinsop took some redemption after a disappointing start to this year's World Cup backing up a fastest qualifier and taking out the win over Justin Leov with Matt Scoles taking third, someone really needs to hook Scolesy up as he is still without a deal for this year's World Cup! He was followed out by George "Gandolf" Brannigan, the only rider to send the sketchy stairgap in to the finish for the crowd.
The Bulldog Brook Macdonald snapped up 5th spot. Blenkinsop's team mate Cam Cole showed up and made this event his comeback from the terrible arm injury he suffered at the World Champs last year and it was great to see him back racing and he put in a solid ride considering with an 8th place right on my tail!
All in all it was an awesome event and an amazing week in Queenstown and was capped off with a wild night with all the boys after the prize giving at LoneStar!
I want to thank everyone that helped me out for the week especially Pinewood lodge the best place for MTB accommodation in QT and also Jono at Queenstown Bike Taxis for some awesome runs at Dirtpark during the week, also thanks to Jarna at Outside Sports for keeping my bike going!
All I can say is get there for next year everybody, you won't be disappointed!