Photo: Outerimage.com.au

One of the longest-standing mountain bike endurance racing series will kick of its 2017 campaign this Saturday, 11 March, in Newcastle: events promoter Rocky Trail Entertainment will hold the first round of this year's SHIMANO Mountain Bike Grand Prix at Glenrock State Conservation Reserve with its popular four and seven hour race format. Race start is at 9am and race organisers await mountain bikers from all over NSW and the ACT as well as some local guns, include the newest Novocastrian, 24 Hour Solo World Champion, Jason English.
 
Race Director Martin Wisata said that there would be five races for a wide range of mountain bikers across NSW and the ACT under the patronage of Shimano Cycling Australia, who have been the naming rights sponsor since the series was launched in 2010. 
 
The endurance race series for everyone
“Together with our major sponsor, our goal has been to run this series for all kinds of riders and looking at the start lines we get a very wide range of male and female riders – from people who only ride locally and come to our events because they are close-by to loyal Rocky Trail racers who follow the entire series throughout the year,” he said. 
 
Wisata added that the series has been geared towards the everyday rider and that a big focus will continue to be on offering a fun and challenging variety of venues. 
 
“We want to put less emphasis on the winning aspect of the races, but rather create memorable experiences for all event participants”, Wisata explained. With the prize pool from major sponsor Shimano and series supporters being distributed ahead of the races through lucky draws and stunning race photos by a professional crew of sports photographers included in the entry, the event participants will be sure not to go home empty handed.
 
Elites enjoy Rocky Trail racing action 
Regularly, some of Australia's best elite cross-country and endurance racers make an appearance at the start line of the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix as well. 
 
“Rocky Trail has been promoting races since 2008, so often, we do get some racers come along that are well-known on the national and international mountain bike racing circuit. We like to see our riders all as equals, some are faster than others, of course, but we love that diversity and looks like our racers do too”, concludes Martin Wisata and confirmed that non other than Jason English, the multiple 24 Hour Solo World Champion, who just recently moved to Newcastle will be attending this Saturday's SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix Series Opener.
 
Who would miss the opportunity to roll out of one's driveway to ride to the start line of a race? 
 
Race registration will be open until Thursday evening, 9 March 2017, via http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com/events/MTBGP-overview.html