More than 300 mountain bikers are expected to participate in the first event of the 2015 SHIMANO Mountain Bike (MTB) Grand Prix endurance race, which will be held at James Estate Winery in the Upper Hunter Valley on Saturday, 14 March 2015. The entire series will include five more races in the Sydney and Newcastle regions, as well as at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra.
The SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix Series is in its seventh year in 2015. Under the patronage of SHIMANO Cycling Australia and with its host of major sponsors and supporters it has grown to one of the major cross-country endurance racing series in Australia. It will be the third time that this event will be hosted by James Estate and the race organisers from Rocky Trail Entertainment will once again put together a 10 km loop right through the vineyards, past the Cellar Door and into the fantastic bush MTB trail network, which has been built by its resident winemaker and General Manager, Graeme Scott.
Event participants will be able to camp on-site before and after the event or stay in nearby Sandy Hollow or Denman, the ideal vantage points to explore the Upper Hunter Valley and Muswellbrook Shire. Families and friends of racers are welcome to spectate and enjoy the picturesque surrounds of James Estate. “We are more than just a winery”, says Graeme Scott and adds proudly that his custom-built trails have become quite popular since Rocky Trail’s inaugural race there in 2013. “Our mountain bike trails attract a lot of local riders and we get a lot of visitors regularly who start their rides right from our Cellar Door. There is a nice ridge walk on the property and the SHIMANO MTB race will be a perfect opportunity to taste our award-winning wines.”
No seven-year itch for the series
“We want to reward as many riders as possible with prizes across the series. We will be looking after and welcoming our elite racers as we have in previous years and our focus in 2015 is to deliver a series that is less of a winners-only-focused competition, but a positive and inclusive experience for all participants”, said Race Director Martin Wisata from Rocky Trail Entertainment, who run 18 cross-country, downhill and enduro mountain biking events in NSW and the ACT a year.
The event organiser also confirmed that the “voice of cycling in Australia”, Mike Tomalaris from SBS Cycling Central will be the official race MC and is said to look forward to some off-road action. Racers can sign up online to compete for four or seven hours solo or ride the circuit course in teams – the entry fee includes a complementary bottle of James Estate wine and free rider photos by OuterImage.com.au. Entry for spectators and camping is free. Rocky Trail Entertainment also offers free kids activities on race-day with games, colouring-in competitions and a kids race.