Words: Mons Royale
30 events, 10 days, 8 after parties and the most amount of stoke you’ve seen in one mountain town – it can only be Queenstown Bike Festival. Returning after a few years break, the 2023 Festival started its opening weekend off in style.
Sold-out events, some of the biggest whips you’ve seen, a huge heli-bike mission, New Zealand's only Bike Bungy, and an epic Enduro, there was something for everyone.
The Festival opened with a huge heli-bike mission from Heli Bike NZ - insane views and a huge descent down into the valley meant those long, scenic downhills were possible without the pedalling. Keeping the adventure going, we rounded out Day 1 with New Zealand’s only Freestyle Bike Bungy Jam hosted by AJ Hackett Bungy NZ. If you’ve never done a Bike Bungy, trust us, get it on the bucket list!
Moving into Day 2, 150 riders dropped into a sold-out Coro1200 Race at Coronet Peak. This is a 1200-metre descent, racing peak to valley floor and includes the infamous Rude Rock trail. Riders were also the first down a brand course, and a brand new trail adding some extra spice to racing. The crowds then moved down to Cargo Gantleys for the legendary 16’ pub champs - and it stood up to its reputation. There were obstacles, head-to-head underwear races, crashes, plenty of dogs on course (and pet pigs?) along with a lot of fun and some worthy winners.
Check out Mons Athlete Conor Macfarlanes POV of the Whip-Off.
Rounding up the weekend, Day 3 of the Festival definitely was a day to be remembered. Kicking off the day, the Mons Royale Enduro took in some of the best views, descents and climbs Queenstown has to offer. An epic turnout meant there were a few hotly contested battles between the riders which of course made for great racing.
Finishing the day was the Deity Whip Off, newly rebuilt by Dirt Tec Trails and it went off! 100 riders and so many whips, flips and tricks, it could have gone on all night. Congratulations to Jackson Goldstone, Vinny Armstrong and Junior Winners Connor Buckland and Morgan Antone for taking home the Whip-Off crowns on the night.
So what’s next? The Festival is far from done and with events across the week ranging from coaching sessions, photography competitions, family rides and group gravel sessions to dual slalom, pump track and even the first-ever female FMB event in New Zealand at the Mons Royale Slopestyle, there’s something for everyone, from the top pros to the youngest riders.
Queenstown Bike Festival will finish by moving into McGazza Fest - a weekend in memory of the legend Kelly McGarry. With the idea of the festival to live the weekend how he would live each day, it includes the McGazza Fest Mega Train, McGazza Memorial Ride, Airbag Sessions and Dream Track Sessions with heaps more on the schedule. It’s guaranteed to be action-packed and high energy, in all of Kelly’s favourite riding spots.
To see the full schedule for both Festivals head to https://www.queenstownbikefestival.co.nz/
or to follow along with the action, check out the Queenstown Bike Festival Instagram https://www.instagram.com/queenstownbikefestival/
Mons Royale are stoked to be supporting the 2023 Queenstown Bike Festival and McGazza Fest. Make sure to come and say hi if you see us throughout the week - we’ll be on-site across McGazza Fest and on Wednesday 25th at the Mons Royale Slopestyle - the FIRST-EVER Female FMB event in New Zealand and currently the only Bronze Event scheduled for NZ in 2023. We’re also launching a unique local colab with Atlas Beer Cafe to raise money for the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club.
With 30 events over 10 days, daily after-parties, and events from the youngest riders to the top pros, we can't wait to be part of it!
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