Dirt bike thriller is off to Toko­roa

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PETRICE TAR­RANT

Sec­ond- to- none tracks in Cougar Park have helped bring one of the coun­try’s big­gest moun­tain bik­ing events to Toko­roa.

About 1000 rid­ers from all over New Zealand are ex­pected to roll up to Cougar Park on Septem­ber 18 for the an­nual Tor­pedo7 Day- Night Thriller.

Events pro­mo­tions mar­ket­ing man­ager Char­lotte Pear­son said there were only a hand­ful of other moun­tain bik­ing events in the coun­try that can match the thriller.

She said the event had been held in Taupo since it be­gan in 2002 and at its peak, drew more than 3000 en­tries in one hit.

The move to Toko­roa was made be­cause the tracks in Taupo weren’t up to scratch, she said.

‘‘The for­est we were us­ing was felled ... for a cou­ple of years the tracks have been out in the open and not in the for­est and not re­ally ideal for the event.’’

She said the Toko­roa Moun­tain Bike Club put its hand up and when event or­gan­is­ers saw the qual­ity of their tracks, there were no doubts.

‘‘The tracks will speak for them­selves,’’ she said.

Sell­ing the lo­ca­tion has been the big­gest hur­dle to day, she said.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple don’t know much about Toko­roa. In the past it be­ing in Taupo has been a rea­son for peo­ple to go away. That’s where we’re find­ing it dif­fi­cult to at­tract peo­ple to come.’’

The Toko­roa Moun­tain Bike Club se­cured the con­tract for four years and trea­surer Larry Sul­li­van be­lieved that there is only one way to go from here.

‘‘Peo­ple say you can’t have events here be­cause there’s not enough ac­com­mo­da­tion but our an­swer to that is you’ve got to have events here to in­sti­gate that ac­com­mo­da­tion.’’

He said the club put in hun­dreds of vol­un­teer hours to en­sure the tracks were up to scratch.

‘‘We can of­fer a real good venue and word will get around. In two years time it could pos­si­bly be the big­gest event that comes to Toko­roa on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.’’

Ex­cited rid­ers: Toko­roa Moun­tain Bike Club mem­ber Wayne Ry­der is ex­cited about host­ing the Tor­pedo7 Day Night Thriller.

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