Mountainbiking: Singlespeed champs return


The New Zealand Singlespeed Mountain Bike Championships are returning home to Rotorua where it all started in 2008.

The Rotorua Singlespeed Society hosted the first championship in 2008 and again in 2009.

In 2010, the society hosted the big show, the Singlespeed World Championships, bringing nearly 1000 riders to the Whakarewarewa Forest trail network.

Rotorua Singlespeed Society president Gaz Sullivan said the society continued to get positive feedback from the worlds in 2010.

In 2010, Queenstown was the venue for the New Zealand Singlespeed Champs; 2011 it was Hawke's Bay's turn and, last year, the event was staged in Nelson.

Pig and Whistle owner and keen mountainbiker Gregg Brown has agreed to sponsor the event again. "We did the same in 08 and 09 and were event HQ for the worlds in 2010," Brown said.

"The single-speeders are a great crew who race hard and enjoy a beer or two afterwards, so it's a perfect fit for us."

The championships will be run on Saturday, April 27.

Sullivan said the event was traditionally run on Anzac Weekend and that would continue in Rotorua.

"It's been great to see the other clubs who've run it stick to that as a tradition, as they were under no obligation to do so, it's not like it's a sanctioned event," he said.

There will be at least one world champion on the start line this time around with local singlespeed hero Garth Weinberg having another crack at the title.

"One of the best aspects of the 2010 worlds was Garth winning on home territory after a ding-dong battle with top US pro rider Rad Ross Schnell," Sullivan said.

A ride to the Anzac Day Dawn Parade at Tepapaiouru Marae at Ohinemutu on April 25 will start the championship weekend.

There will also be a film night at the Pig and Whistle, along with registration, race day is the Saturday and on Sunday there will be a big Kiwi breakfast for competitors and fans.

However, Sullivan said entry numbers were restricted and the event was filling fast.

"One thing remains the same. No ta moko, no title."

A tradition of singlespeed racing is the winning man and woman receive a tattoo.

"If you don't want a tattoo or ta moko, don't win," Sullivan said.

For event details visit www.rotoruasinglespeed.com.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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