This Sunday is the first XCO Republic event in the Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua.
XCO Republic is an Nduro Events non profit event with all proceeds donated to assist U19 riders who are selected to represent New Zealand at the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.
Whaka100 winner Josie Wilcox will be taking on the inaugural event.
“I love racing Nduro events, I've done the Whaka100 twice and the 3 races of the winter series in 2017 and 2018. Tim and the team always put on great events with fun courses, so no doubt, this will be no different!”
Wilcox said she expects this weekend's race to involve a bit of mud, steep pinches and fun descents.
She has trained as she usually does with regular rides and two wins at the South Island and North Island champs.
Wilcox said the main goal she is striving for this year is continual improvement.
“There is no such thing as a perfect season but as long as I'm continually improving and racing my best on any given day, I'll be happy with that.”
Sam Shaw is also set to be taking on the event after placing third in the Whaka100 in 2018 and winning the 2019 North Island Champs Elite men's category at Arapuke Forest Park this month.
XCO Republic is held on undulating circuits including single track climbs and descents, which riders must complete several laps.
Riders start at the same time, racing between one hour and one hour and 40 minutes, depending on category and course. The course is 4.1 km long and the amount of laps each category of riders do is set to match the overall race time.
Event director Tim Farmer said “we are a collective of like minded mountain bikers that have come together to form a world class XCO race for cross country riders in New Zealand.”
Rotorua entries only make up 3 percent of all riders with seven percent from the South Island and the biggest group being from Auckland with over fifty percent of all riders.
The event welcomes spectators to come and watch. A good place to watch from is 49 Sala Street.