Future pro-riders raced down the Wattles dirt track yesterday in the hopes of becoming the first prize winner of Crankworx.
Sixty-five bike mad children travelled from around the country to get a taste of the international event through the Dual Slalom Challenge.
Open to those aged 8 to 12, Heath Malynn just made the cut and was more than excited to get among the racing.
Having visited New Zealand last year with his family from Western Australia, the 12-year-old then begged his father to move over because he couldn't get enough of the mountain biking scene.
"I've been doing this for about three or four years."
But Heath said he had been busy riding a bike since he was 3 and his parents described him as obsessed.
His advice for winning future races was "it's not good to be nervous".
Children involved in the dual slalom challenge could race not only against the clock but another rider matched to their age.
Rotorua professional mountain biker Keegan Wright, who spends much of the year competing in Crankworx, enduro and downhill events all over the world, was thrilled to see Crankworx Rotorua getting the kids involved.
"I think it's awesome, it's cool to inspire the little kids to get involved. I'll probably even try to get down to some of it and see all the kids giving it a go.
"I think what Crankworx is doing is awesome, involving the little kids and for them to be on their own little world circuit. It gets them used to the pressure of racing and doing it in front of a bit of a crowd."
He said the creation of pathways for young riders was "definitely" having an effect on junior numbers.
"In Rotorua at the moment there are so many kids doing the downhill and enduros, there's kids getting into it all which is really good to see."
Kidsworx event manager Kylee Steven said it was an awesome event to be a part of and a great way to keep kids active.
"Once you have a bike it is relatively free ... It is such an amazing life-long skill.
"What Rotorua has to offer in biking is incredible and the more kids that can get out there and enjoy what we have to offer is better for our society."
The Kidsworx event was only the first of many Crankworx events set to take over the city this week.
This year, events on Monday and Tuesday off Tarawera Rd will be free to access, events on Wednesday and Thursday will be free for locals with proof of residency, and events on Friday through to Sunday will have a cost for all.
What: Crankworx 2019
When: March 19 to 24
Where: Skyline, Redwoods, and more.
Cost: Varies from free to free for locals to $75 for an adult's five-day pass and $35 for a child's five-day pass.