PREPARATIONS are in full swing for next year’s Evocities MTB Series which will stage one of its rounds in May at the new Bathurst Bike Park.
The announcement was made several months back that Bathurst would join Orange, Dubbo, Western Sydney, Albury, Wagga Wagga and Tamworth as host venues for the inaugural edition of the mountain bike series.
Bathurst’s turn will come in late May, but before then their nearest neighbours will get their moment in the sun as the competition kicks off in Orange on February 15.
While the riders from Bathurst will have that meeting in their sights, the committee will be putting much of their focus on making sure that their own round runs without a hitch.
Bathurst Cycling Club president Phil Egan said everything so far has been smooth sailing.
“We’ve put together a mountain bike committee within the club that has seen about six guys working to finish off the trail out at the bike park,” he said.
“The club has done a lot of work with Bathurst Regional Council. This will be one of the first events to be staged at the park and with the clubhouse under construction, we’re hoping it is going to be finished and operational by then.
“The track itself has been in use for about 12 months now so we know it functions the way it should, we will just have to make a couple of alterations to it so that it finishes and starts at the clubhouse.”
The track looks likely to be somewhere between eight and 10 kilometres in length for the multi-lap events, a distance that will take the better riders around half an hour to complete or up to an hour for the less regular competitors.
From the moment the competition was launched and details were revealed of the prize money on offer, it has been clear that the state’s most elite riders and probably plenty from interstate will be putting their hand up to compete.
According to Egan, one of the main attractions from a club perspective will be the idea of seeing regular weekend riders having the opportunity to turn the pedals over alongside some of the best in the business.
“There is $80,000 on offer in terms of prize money for the series and at each round there will be additional money up for grabs as well,” he explained.
“Because of the proximity Bathurst and Orange have to Sydney I’d expect to see some massive fields for those rounds, around 500 people or close to it.
“An elite solo rider could earn themselves upwards of $20,000 through the series.
“Each club has the right to program other events around the elite stuff, so from our point of view it would be great to see mums and dads competing and then getting to watch national and world champions in action.”