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Nelson Tasman Is A Year-Round Mountain Biking Destination

The Nelson Mountain Bike Club would like to let the world know that Nelson Tasman, ‘The Mecca of MTB’ is always open for riding.

Geoff Wright, Club Manager, Nelson Mountain Bike Club says “With 400km of tracks within 40 minutes of Nelson City, there are always tracks open somewhere, even when adverse weather, floods or fire risk threaten some track closure”.

March 2024 promises to be an exciting time for mountain biking (MTB) in Te Tauihu. Backtrack to 2021, and Nelson was confirmed to host the Enduro World Series (EWS) - but Covid-19 travel restrictions forced its cancellation. Now, the region has another international MTB competition to fill that gap. This is Nelson Tasman’s time to shine.

From 1-3 March Cycling New Zealand are excited to partner with Cable Bay Enduro to host the 2024 Enduro MTB National Championships. The 2025 iteration will also take place in Nelson but the venue is yet to be decided. Enduro MTB is a fast-growing discipline and identifies most closely with the recreational mountain biker. The Cable Bay Enduro will include categories for age groups from U15 to Masters. This event is a UCI Sanctioned Championship. The Nationals will be staged for Elite and U21 divisions and will carry full national status on the international stage.

Our region then plays host to the NZ MTB Rally, from 9 - 16 March, a week-long, all-inclusive Enduro format race traversing New Zealand’s undiscovered top-of-the-south region across world class (IMBA Gold Level) trails in pristine back country. 120 competitors, including 75% of participants travel from overseas, will be uplifted by 4X4, helicopter and catamaran between locations. Prominent platforms GMBN and Pinkbike will be covering the event. This event alone is estimated to bring $1.8m to the region.

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On 23-24 March it is time for the Mammoth Enduro 2024, New Zealand’s toughest single-day, multi-stage enduro ever with Grade 5-6 rides. The event was first held in 2012 and has been run every one to two years since. 80-120 riders have attended most years. This year over 33% are expected to be national and international entrants. This will be a true test of their skill and fitness.

Thousands of competitors, support crew, families and associated visitors are expected in the region for these events throughout March which will be an economic boost to the region.

Fiona Wilson, NRDA CE says " Our trails are hugely important and highly valued in Nelson Tasman for visitors and the local community. MTB was recently estimated to have potential value of $49m direct spend for our economy on the basis of full access - that's not even counting the bigger economic benefits such as the many skilled workers based here for whom our quality of trails is such a draw card!

These events are great examples of seeing our MTB visitation building back after the impact of Covid-19 and 2022 flood damage.”

Geoff Wright, Club Manager, Nelson Mountain Bike Club says, "Nelson Mountain Bike Club members have been working tirelessly for the last 35 years to establish Nelson as a world-class riding destination. The recent report by BERL which was commissioned by NRDA, demonstrates that more investment in mountain biking will directly result in a substantial economic return for regional business owners while also greatly benefiting the locals who use the trail network.”

This April, the NRDA and Nelson Mountain Bike Club will host a Mountain Biking Forum including a line-up of guest speakers who will share their insights. The forum is for the wider MTB community plus any businesses, who interact directly or indirectly, with mountain bike visitors such as; bike shops, accommodation, pubs, cafes, restaurants, transport, retailers etc. The aim is to discuss ways we can make Nelson Tasman an even more appealing destination for the rapidly growing sport. 

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