Mountain Bike National Performance Hub in Rotorua set to develop talent

By CyclingNZ High Performance

Mountain biking in New Zealand will take a giant jump with the establishment of the Mountain Bike National Performance Hub in Rotorua.

The Hub is one of a potential eight hubs that underpin Cycling New Zealand’s strategy to foster and grow young cycling talent, and increase the quantity and quality of riders feeding into the National High Performance Programme.

It will pedal into action with the inaugural training and development camp on 10-16 October in Rotorua.
The camp will be led by Head Coach, Sam Thompson, who has over 10 years experience as a mountain bike coach, including leading several of our prominent riders on international campaigns and managing the recent national team at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championship where Sam Gaze won the Under 23 honours. 

“We’re stoked to be making this programme happen. We know there’s a need for it because mountain biking is such a popular sport in New Zealand and there’s a huge talent pool.  As a result of the Hub in Rotorua, we’re looking forward to more promising talent taking their mountain biking further on the national and hopefully international stage,” Thompson said. 

The camp is open to both cross country and downhill riders.  Interested riders are invited to submit an expression of interest via Cycling New Zealand’s website.  Following the inaugural camp, the Mountain Bike National Performance Hub will provide training for a small squad of riders who will be based fulltime in Rotorua, as well as running six to eight training camps a year for wider groups of young riders. 

Riders selected for the Hub will have access to some of the best trails in the country, along with sports science and training facilities at the Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechic’s Mokoia Campus. 

“WBoPP has always been invested in what is best for our communities and region and look forward to seeing the results that will come from the Mountain Bike National Performance Hub, particularly the first cohort of programme participants,” said Clarke Raymond, Director Research and Planning, Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

With the first cycling hub operating in Cambridge and now the mountain bike hub to launch, Cycling New Zealand said the concept is gaining momentum.

“We’re really excited to see this National Mountain Bike Performance Hub coming to reality.  Cycling New Zealand is committed to creating pathways for our future champions and we believe these Performance Hubs will be the start of something big,” said Matheson. 

The Mountain Bike National Performance Hub has received support from local stakeholders and businesses including Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic as the official tertiary education partner, Red Stag Timber, Rotorua Lakes District Council and Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust. 

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