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New world class mountain biking trails open in Hanmer Springs this weekend, December 6, after five years in the making.

Located in the Hanmer Forest Park, the new trails add to an existing network that caters to all ages and abilities.

The new trails include the 4km Tombstone trail, an advanced single-track that provides 185m of climbing to the highest point (698m) followed by an exciting 240m descent with multiple twists, turns and drops.

Lead track builder of the Tombstone trail, Steve Pearson says it took five years to get here, and they’ve built something truly special.

“The terrain is as good as it gets for building mountain bike trails. It really is world class and compares to anything youll find in Europe or North America.

“Tombstone also has some of the best views around, making it not just a ride but a spectacular experience.”

Lead builder of the Southern Cross trail, Mark Inglis says the trails will help attract avid mountain bikers to the alpine village.

“These new trails really put on us on the national mountain biking map. Where else can you be having a coffee and then a few pedal strokes later be on some of the best mountain bike trails.”

The trails were constructed mostly by hand with volunteers completing 90 percent of the work, including volunteers from the Track Network Group and the Hanmer Springs Mountain Bike Club.

Without the support of our local community, we wouldn’t have been able to create something to this scale. Its a true testament of teamwork and community spirit, says Inglis.

The trails will be officially opened at the inaugural Tombstone Mountain Bike Race on Sunday, December 6, by double mountain bike World Champion, Anton Cooper.

Cooper, who hails from North Canterbury, says its an exciting prospect having the new trails open in his backyard.

“New Zealand has some of the best trails in the world and all reports are saying these new trails are up there. They’re technical and exciting so Im looking forward to getting out there giving them a go.

“The trails are really just the icing on the cake. Mountain biking is taking off around the world and amidst a pandemic, its awesome to see what the team in Hanmer have been able to do,” he says.

Cooper, who has just returned from the European mountain bike circuit, will also set riders off in the inaugural Tombstone Mountain Bike Race.

The race consists of three different courses, with two incorporating the new advanced Tombstone track, while the third is a shorter and less technical ride for bikers of varying abilities.

The weekend also marks the official opening of a bike wash and repair bay built with support from the Hanmer Springs Four Square.

Sunday, December 6 events:

Location: The race village is located at Hanmer Springs Domain, Jacks Pass Road. Please park your vehicles in the designated parking area.

Race Times: Short Course: Race Briefing: 8am, race start, 8.30am. Long Course (one & two lap races): Race Briefing: 8.30am, race start, 9am.

Prize giving: The prize giving ceremony will be held at Hanmer Springs Domain at about 12 noon, or as soon as the last rider has completed.

Find out more about the Tombstone Mountainike Race at www.hanmerevents.co.nz/tombstonemtb.

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