NZ MTB Championships to return to Rotorua

Rotorua’s Lachlan Stevens-McNab, world class downhill rider, expected to return home for the national championships in 2025. (Bartek Wolinski-Red Bull Content Pool). Photo supplied.

The 2025 New Zealand MTB Championships will return to the sport’s spiritual home in Rotorua.

It will be the seventh time that Rotorua has hosted the event in the last 20 years, with the event hosted by the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club and Cycling New Zealand on 22-23 February.

The championships in the Whakarewarewa Forest carry special significance, with the famed Taniwha Trail to be used for the final time, as it is planned for logging next year.

The downhill trail, spanning 1.8kms with a 309m decent, has a massive legacy and contribution to mountain biking in New Zealand.

The cross-country will be staged in the same area of Whakarewarewa Forest, around a 4.9km loop with 221m elevation gain.

“The club are beyond stoked to be hosting the national championships for 2025,” says Clair Scott from the Rotorua MTB Club.

“Bringing the national champs back to the North Island has been a long-time goal for the Club and to finally see it come to life is nothing short of epic.

“It is especially significant as it is the last chance to ride the legendary Taniwha Trail before it is logged.

“The Whakarewarewa Forest holds a special place in the hearts of our local riders and the wider MTB community. We cannot wait to dive into this unforgettable event and showcase the epic trails in Rotorua and the talent we have right here.

“We are thrilled to provide this incredible opportunity for riders, especially with some recent world-class performances by riders from our club.”

Local Rotorua club riders have been in excellent form internationally with Eliana Hulsebosch winning her first World Cup downhill in Val de Sole and Lachie Stevens-McNab with the first elite men’s podium for many years at Leogang.

Added to that are the efforts of club riders Tuhoto-Ariki Pene and Shania Rawson who are chasing top honours in Crankworx with several other club riders competing on the world stage.

“We would like to thank the landowners for the opportunity to host an event of this calibre and also acknowledge the support from Timberlands for adjusting their logging schedule around this event, allowing us to use the Taniwha National DH Trail one last time,” says Scott.

Cycling New Zealand Event Director, Chris Christensen says the organisation is delighted that the Rotorua MTB Club has agreed to host the championships, and is confident of attracting significant entries.

“The North Island Schools MTB event at the Whakarewarewa Forest last year attracted over 550 event entries and this year there were more than 700 school riders competing at the same venue,” Christensen says.

“With the added special circumstance around the Taniwha Track, we are confident of strong entries for the championships.”


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