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A record seven months out from race day and the elite field for the 2013 Motatapu Speight’s Summit 47km high country mountain bike event scheduled for 9 March 2013 has been filled. Only half of the overall mountain bike field entries remain available.
The elite field, capped at 100 riders, has filled faster than organisers expected, possibly due to the lure of a cash prize for breaking the course record.
Race Director Gemma Boyle says, “Elite riders are known to enter events relatively late, so it’s great to see so many have entered early to secure their spot and be in with the chance to win some cash.”
This coming year’s elite field will include current Motatapu record holder and current NZ Cross Country Junior Champion Anton Cooper, who’s looking to improve his time across the course. And he has an added incentive, thanks to Volkswagen NZ. Volkswagen NZ is putting up a $1,000 cash prize for anyone who breaks the course record in any of the Motatapu events (excluding the multisport and team events). This year saw a photo finish between Gavin Mason and Mark Williams for the mountain bike title and Boyle is expecting the lure of prize money will up the stakes even more.
Less than half of the entries remain available in the sport and recreational mountain bike categories and given the unprecedented sales for the elite field organisers are expecting that entries for all mountain bike categories will sell out earlier than previous years. Would-be participants are encouraged to enter now to avoid the disappointment of missing out.
Boyle also attributes the early entries to the inclusion of entry waves for the sport field, a system introduced for the 2012 event.
“For this year’s event we altered the way sport entrants enter the event; it’s first in, first served. When you enter determines where you are on the start line,” says Boyle. “The competitors first experienced this new wave system at the March event this year and I think people have seen how it works; and more people are keen to be the first out the gates. The sport fields will start in waves of 200 competitors. The first three waves have closed, and wave four is filling fast.
“With less than half of the field left, it’s my guess the mountain bike event is likely to be full by the end of October. If mountain bikers want to ensure they make the 2013 event they will have to get their entry in fast,” says Boyle.
The Motatapu Speight’s Summit 47km mountain bike event is New Zealand’s largest mountain bike event and traverses three high country stations from Lake Wanaka to Arrowtown. The route is accessible only once a year, through this event. The Motatapu also includes four other events held on the same day: New Zealand’s third-largest marathon, the Arrowtown.com Miners Trail 15km mountain run, the XTERRA Motatapu UDC Finance Triathlon and, new for 2013, the R&R Sport Multisport.
Image – Gavin Mason and Mark Williams providing an exciting finish to the 2012 Motatapu. Credit: MMPro