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Cairns withdrawal ends Rotorua’s mountain bike World Cup bid

Cairns withdrawal ends Rotorua’s 2015 mountain bike World Cup bid

Rotorua’s bid to host the opening round of the 2015 UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale] Mountain Bike World Cup has been lost following the withdrawal of Australian city Cairns.

Rotorua Provisional Organising Committee chairman, Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson, telephoned the sport’s governing body UCI in Aigle, Switzerland, last night [1 July, 2014] for an explanation, after the 2015 MTB World Cup calendar remained unconfirmed having already been postponed once.

It is understood that Cairns withdrew as a 2015 host due to a lack of funding. Rotorua had been invited to bid by UCI, as back-to-back rounds within Oceania made it financially viable for all concerned. However, without an Australian round in 2015, UCI has decided it is now no longer feasible to bring the event to New Zealand.

While UCI advised Cr Donaldson that it was still unable to confirm the 2015 MTB World Cup calendar, the international organisation is encouraging Rotorua to remain as a bidder for 2016 and 2017 rounds when Australian hosts are understood to be assured.

Councillor Donaldson said he was extremely proud of the “Rotorua Inc effort” in preparing and submitting a bid, supported by BikeNZ, at very short notice. He highlighted the valuable work of Rotorua District Council events manager Martin Croft, and interim event director Tak Mutu who had contributed many hours of unpaid work to the bid.

“This work is not necessarily wasted,” says Cr Donaldson. “There remains strong potential for Rotorua to host UCI MTB world cups in 2016 and 2017. BikeNZ has expressed their support for that, and there is now a lot less pressure around preparations.”

“I’m sure the wider mountain biking community of New Zealand will share our disappointment in not getting to host the UCI in 2015. However, we know Rotorua is still well placed to showcase its position as the southern hemisphere’s premiere mountain biking destination through our fast growing and popular annual Rotorua Bike Festival.”

Approaching its third year in 2015, the Rotorua Bike Festival also incorporates the BikeNZ MTB National Championships. The third Rotorua Bike Festival is scheduled to run February 13-22, 2015.

ENDS

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