Otago’s mountain bike trails will will be showcased later this year as Crankworx hosts its first New Zealand “ultimate mountain bike road trip”.

The world-renowned Crankworx yesterday announced the addition of a summer series festival to be held across the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes districts.

New Zealand’s inaugural Crankworx Summer Series, festival featuring international and local riders starts at Alexandra’s Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park on November 27-28 for a super downhill before rolling into the Wakatipu.

Riders will then compete in downhill at the Queenstown Mountain Bike Park and a pump track event at a yet-to-be-announced location on December 4-5 _ the latter will be broadcast live on

Next, riders will head to Cardrona Alpine Resort for an air downhill on December 9, and then finish the summer series at Bike Glendhu, Wanaka, on December 11-12, also being broadcast live.

Funding support from the Central Otago District Council, the Southern Lakes Event Investment Panel, and the regional tourism organisations of Queenstown and Wanaka, helped secure the event this year, with support offered in principle to secure the event for 2022 and 2023.

Central Otago District Council (CODC) chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said the event heralded Alexandra’s arrival onto the global mountain bike scene.

Crankworx Rotorua attracted more than 47,000 on-site visitors in 2020 and just under 700,000 viewers tuned in world-wide to watch the live action from afar, she said.

“When the combined exposure of all media, social, production efforts is combined, the global reach of this event is staggering.”

Tourism Central Otago committed $50,000 to support the 2021 event as part of its destination promotion role, while the CODC granted another $10,000 to support event costs this year. Councillors agreed to support the event for 2021 and in principle for the next two years at a council meeting in August and the decision was withheld due to commercial sensitivity until event organisers could confirm all necessary elements to run the events.

Tourism Central Otago (TCO) general manager Dylan Rushbrook said events like Crankworx had the potential to leave a lasting legacy on the host community.

“Our team has been working closely with members of the community and Crankworx event organisers to ensure the legacy value of this event is fully realised for Central Otago.

“Growing our base of events has been a target of Tourism Central Otago and was identified as a strategic project in the 2018-2028 Central Otago Tourism Strategy. This is a significant step forward for that project and significant opportunity for Central Otago to realise its potential in hosting major events.”  

TCO’s digital marketing specialist and avid mountain-biker Antz Longman said it was “exciting news” to be sharing.

“As a keen mountain biking family and as a member of the local club Mountainbikers of Alexandra it is really exciting to see this event taking place in our little patch of paradise.”

Crankworx managing director Darren Kinnaird said he was thrilled to see how the Summer Series concept had taken flight in New Zealand.

“This idea of the ultimate mountain bike road trip was born in British Columbia last year.

“It created such a great opportunity to bring a taste of Crankworx to different locations and get athletes out racing in different places outside the Crankworx World Tour circuit.
I can’t wait to hit the road after Rotorua and bring the action to these other iconic riding destinations and take the world along for the ride.”

Kiwi pro Keegan Wright says he’s “super-stoked” to be heading south.

He and other all-stars already confirmed are Canada’s Georgia Astle, Casey Brown, Bas van Steenbergen and Vaea Verbeeck, the United States’ Kialani Hines, Harriet Burbidge-Smith and Danielle Beecroft, from Australia, and Kiwi Robin Goomes.

Athletes can register from September 20 2021.