Heading into the 2018-19 Giant 2W Gravity Enduro Series, Rotorua Mountain Bike Club will be taking the reins.
Having purchased the event earlier this year, event owners Heather Logie and Shane Spicer, of HeroDirt Limited, have decided to gift the event to the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club.
"We are sadly unable to run the event ourselves, due to a change in personal circumstances. But we would like for the Giant 2W to remain a key event on the Rotorua events calendar, for it to be owned by the community, and for the profits from the event to be invested back into riders, and into the trail network we love so much," Logie said.
As a condition, HeroDirt has specified that the club establishes the Mark Dunlop Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, valued at $10,000, will be awarded each year to a rider to support their international racing dreams.
Dunlop's family said the scholarship would be "a wonderful way to remember and celebrate the man Mark was".
"Mark was a bright light in the enduro riding community. He loved riding his bike and sharing that love with others. He supported so many riders to achieve their riding goals while still quietly working towards his own. He would love to know he is still helping riders to chase their dreams," his sister Hayley Dunlop said.
Profits from the event will be channelled back to riders and trails. The current club activities of Rotorua Mountain Bike Club First Response Unit, Rotorua Mountain Bike Club Rider Development Programme, events and donations to the Rotorua Trails Trust will all get a significant boost in funding from the series.
The 2017-18 series experienced some bad luck with the weather, resulting in damage to a number of trails. The Rotorua Mountain Bike Club will be working alongside the Rotorua Trails Trust to ensure the event becomes a significant contributor to the maintenance, growth and development of the Whakarewarewa Forest trail network.
The season kicks off with the first event on October 27 and an announcement on race director appointment will be made in the coming weeks.
Entries open August 1 at www.2w.co.nz.