Track featuring in event

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Alexandra’s latest mountain-biking track will soon be used by some of the world’s best mountain bikers.

The new 6km Sphinx Rock Track will be part of next week’s 424km “The Pioneer” ironman event. About 600 competitors will cycle the track as one of the stages of the Central Otago-Queenstown Lakes event next Tuesday.

The track, which was opened on Saturday, was a joint initiative between Mountainbikers of Alexandra (MOA) and the Department of Conservation (Doc), and built with a $30,000 Doc grant and 600 hours’ volunteer labour.

The track climbs from the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail to Sphinx Rock, at the summit of Flat Top Hill, near Butchers Dam.

MOA president Joe Sherriff said for some years there had been a popular 10km loop track, “Purple Haze”, that climbed from Butchers Dam along the top of Flat Top Hill and went back to the Butchers Dam car park.

Sphinx Rock Track connected the Purple Haze track to the Roxburgh Gorge track and had “magnificent views of the gorge”, he said.

He praised all the people involved with the Sphinx Rock Track initiative and said MOA and Doc were continuing to work together to further expand the Flat Top Hill network of tracks.