Bike Buller Mountain Bike Festival Entries Open

Words by Chris Southwood

Entries have opened for the 2013 Bike Buller Mountain Bike Festival presented by Giant with a stellar roster of cross country and downhill biking events scheduled for the March Long weekend (9-11 March).

Luring more riders than ever before will be the fact the line up of races will be on trails recently given the highest seal of approval ever awarded in Australia by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).

IMBA certified Mt Buller with Bronze level Ride Centre status this month, meaning the mountain joins a select group of mountain biking destinations around the world recognised for large-scale mountain bike facilities.

Now in its fifth year, Bike Buller Mountain Bike Festival presented by Giant will make best use of the newly crowned trails lining up a raft of two-wheel mountain delights on the March Long Weekend (9-11 March, 2013). This year’s three-day celebration of singletrack will again coincide with the popular ‘Picnic in the Park’ food, wine and music festival held at the base of Mt Buller.

Bike Buller is regarded by many as one of Australia’s most revolutionary MTB events, with one eminent mountain biking commentator stating that “Bike Buller epitomises the kind of progressive vision for mountain bike events that Australia needs…”.

The event is unique in Australia for the variety of XC and XC/DH races, the variety of riders who attend, and the fact that they come from all over Australia to compete.

The festival is also one of the fastest growing mountain biking events on the calendar, growing from a first year attendance of 220 in 2008 to last year’s 650 riders.

Event organiser, Rapid Ascent, is expecting a record number of competitors following last year’s bumper crowd and have broadened the offerings to ensure there is something for every rider from elite to beginner and, of course, the kids.

“All in all, the Bike Buller MTB Festival is designed as a super fun mountain bike event for everyone; racers can race, recreational riders can enjoy the trails and the scenery, non riders can enjoy the mountain scenery and we can all get together to enjoy a good party on Saturday night,” says General Manager, Sam Maffett.

This year’s event will feature a 50km cross country stage with a 30km option; the famous Brakeburner Enduro, a 4.5hour multi-lap featuring a life ride as part of each lap; a Super-D downhill and 25km cross country to finish up with. Plus there is a kids’ race to entice the next generation of mountain bikers to get a taste.

There will also be a Bike Expo and plenty for non-riders to enjoy, including the renowned Merrijig Rodeo on Saturday night and a range of activities available on and around Mt Buller to suit all ages and interests.

Entries are now open at www.bikebuller.com

The long weekend schedule is:

Stage 1 – A Stirling Circuit: 50km cross country (XC): over Mt Stirling and back again on the incredible ‘Stonefly’ single track and other flowing trails all in a magical alpine setting.

Stage 1b – A Mountain and Back: 30km XC. A shortened version of stage 1 that still takes In Stonefly and some stunning alpine single track.

Stage 2 – The Brakeburner Enduro: a 4.5hr mutli-lap enduro down a flowing XC-downhill course where you catch the lift up as part of each 6km lap until the final 12km Mt Buller Super D descent to the Picnic in the Park food, wine and music festival at the bottom of the Mt. Suitable for XC bikes.

Stage 2b – The Mt Buller Super D: a friendly 12km top to bottom race down a flowing 1,100m vertical descent to the Picnic in the Park festival at the base of the hill.Suitable for XC bikes.

Stage 3 – Cornhill cranker: 25km XC: on the flowing singletrack around the Mt Buller village and neighbouring Corn Hill

Stage 101 – The Kids Race – 10km: held on the single track around the village – designed to give kids their own fun MTB experience

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