October 25 - November 3 2019!
October 25 - November 3 2019!

New race the perfect trail recipe

New race the perfect trail recipe

words: Jamie Troughton

photo: www.graememurray.com


Take one magic forest.  Pour in some of the best mountain biking trails on the planet. Add to the mixture unlimited shuttle passes, a killer atmosphere and a group of your mates.  Finally, dial up as much competitive juice as you desire.

Congratulations – you’ve managed to recreate the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro, set to debut in Rotorua on February 17 next year. 

Following an explosion of downhill enduro events overseas, Rotorua event director Neil Gellatly has deemed it time to bring the concept to the spiritual home of the New Zealand trail scene.


His event will be one of the highlights of the inaugural 10-day Rotorua Bike Festival in the Sulphur City. 

“It’s time to introduce Kiwis to the gravity enduro concept – we’ve all got a little downhill gene deep in our DNA and this is the perfect event to bring it bubbling to the surface,” Gellatly, of Dare to Sweat Events, said. “It’s like this concept was developed for the town of Rotorua and the spectacular Whakarewarewa Forest and we’ve just given it a bit of local flavor to appeal to mountain bikers both here and across the ditch.”

Riders will compete against the clock in a series of timed downhill trails, over a three-hour or five-hour duration. 

The gravity enduro concept is similar to car rallying, with competitors cruising between special stages and then nailing down the trails.

“It’s so accessible to so many riders - part-timers have the chance to pit themselves against top cross-country riders and champion downhillers, all on their own terms," Gellatly explains.

Adding to the appeal of the race, Gellatly has secured four race-exclusive shuttle buses for the day, with riders able to catch rides to the start of the race stages..

“You’ll need plenty of strategy with the runs you choose to do and in what order you ride them but you’ll probably need a bit of luck as well, to hit the bottom of the runs in time for the next shuttle bus leaving.”

All competitors will start and finish at Eat St in the heart of Rotorua's restaurant district, with riders rolling out in groups of five every 15secs, heading along off-road trails into the forest.

Groups of mates are encouraged to enter together, keeping the social theme of the event in the forefront, with a number of Australian riders embracing that concept and entering early.

Gellatly is confident he’ll fill the field in plenty of time, though such is the nature of the venue, he could pack several thousand cyclists into the forest and they’d still feel like they were riding solo.