Yesterday saw the launch of the Port to Port MTB (Mountain Bike) Classic, another international event to be staged in the Hunter Region, bringing welcome economic benefits.
The event will attract top Australian riders, as well as a selection of international riders and is open to all serious recreational riders from across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Set in amongst some of the most iconic and beautiful scenery in Australia, riders will enjoy the best roads, tracks and trails the region has to offer, as they wind their way from Port Stephens to the Newcastle finish line.
Member for Port Stephens, Craig Baumann was on hand to officially launch the event, to be held for the first time from 29 May – 1 June 2014.
“The 2014 Port to Port MTB Classic, supported by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, and the City of Newcastle, will bring to the Hunter an international stage mountain biking event like no other,” he said.
“Our local communities will benefit from the economic impact this event will bring, and, with the NSW Government continuing to promote Newcastle and the Hunter region, this will be a boon to both the local economy and lifestyle.”
Event Director, Chris Heverin, said that mountain biking is a growing sport and the four day stage event will provide a great challenge for riders of all standards.
“The Port to Port MTB course is amazing, with some of the best trails in Australia,” Chris said.
“As a sister event to the fabulous Cape to Cape MTB in Western Australia, we will be giving riders another outstanding MTB stage event.”
Minister for Major Events and Tourism, George Souris said that the annual calendar of events that has been secured for Newcastle and the Hunter includes international surfing competitions, international rugby, World Cup Soccer qualifiers, many other top sporting events and the nation's biggest international country music festival.
“Securing and developing events such as the Port to Port MTB is delivering strong results for the region,” he said.
“In the past 12 months, events and festivals are estimated to have been worth about $700 million to the local economies of Newcastle and the Hunter regions.”
“During 2012, the Hunter Valley attracted more than 2.2 million domestic and international overnight visitors who spent a combined $1.0 billion in the region during their stay, enjoying the best food and wine the Hunter Valley has to offer.”
The five-stage event is designed to be a fun and challenging for riders of all levels, from recreational to competitive.