Words by SSWC NZ 2017 | Images by SSWC NZ 2017, Alan Ofsoski

Dates are set for the return of Singlespeed World Mountain Bike Championships to Rotorua.

Race day will be Saturday, November 18 2017.

“We want to make a week of it leading up to the race,” said Graeme Simpson from the host club, the Rotorua Singlespeed Society. “We’ll run a variety of events including a film night.”

The Society expects to announce their naming sponsor before Christmas.

“I think people will be really pleased when we do, they are great supporters of Rotorua and New Zealand mountain biking,” Simpson continued. ‘The official event HQ will be the Pig and Whistle Historic Pub, who’ve backed us since we set up the Society in late 2007.”

For Gregg Brown from the Pig and Whistle it was an easy decision. “We are well-stoked to be involved in such an awesome event, again,” he said. Brown is chair of the Rotorua Trails Trust, which will be the primary beneficiary of the championships. “They do great work, in their own time, for all recreational users of the Whakarewarewa Forest,” said Simpson. The Society has donated $30,000 to a variety of causes since 2007, including the local trails.

When the Society hosted the Championships in 2010 it attracted 1000 entries with Canada, Italy, Australian, South Africa and Ireland bidding for the 2011 championships. The finale of that was horizontal bungee, which Ireland won by the width of a beer can.

“It was great that South Africa went on to host in 2012,” said Society president, Gary Sullivan from Nzo dirtwear. “Since then it’s been in Italy, Japan, Alaska and Australia. Great venues, but lots of people still mention Rotorua as the best ever in twenty years of Singlespeed World Champs history. We have a bit to live up to.”

Enthusiasm is already high around the world. “People started booking accommodation minutes after we announced the dates on our Facebook page,” Sullivan added. “Apparently, we are really popular in South America. Who knew?”

Entries will open in the new year.

“We’ll definitely be offering entry to riders from the 2010 champs, first,” said Sullivan. “It’d be rude not to.”

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