Tokoroa is set to host New Zealand's biggest bike stage race

Monday 06 March 2023

​For the first time in history, the South Waikato region is helping host the biggest mountain bike stage race in New Zealand. The Tineli Volcanic Epic will take place from 23-26 March 2023, being held across 200 kilometres of New Zealand’s spectacular North Island geothermal region in Rotorua, Taupō and Tokoroa.

Some of the 520 competitors will be packing their passports as they travel from all corners of the world to experience New Zealand’s hidden treasures on wheels.

Mike Cockin, Marketing and Sponsorship Manager for Nduro Events is excited to bring this first-time event to the South Waikato.

“This event is about showcasing the region with different rides across different routes through unique places,” says Mike.

The four-day mountain bike race is set through unique forest trails, some only accessible in the Tineli Volcanic Epic, with competitors riding between 40 to 60 kilometres per day.

After the race, competitors, whanau and viewers can enjoy the region and everything it has to offer from local food, music and beverages.

Mike loves how each region has its own culture. “Our idea is to leave a good impression for riders and supporters to showcase the region’s attractions, local hospitality, and food.

“It’s been exciting working alongside the South Waikato District Council and helping bring people to the region, working hand in hand with them.

“Harnessing the power of mountain biking is a great way to bring outsiders into the South Waikato in a sustainable way through incredible trails.”

This race sees both solo competitors and those in pairs, riding new courses every day, with each track offering a new challenge and terrain for riders to experience. The race starts in Rotorua, before heading to Taupō, then Tokoroa and then finishing back in Rotorua.

“The South Waikato offered unique trails, but we also loved the idea of showcasing what Tokoroa has to offer,” says Mike.

“The South Waikato District Council has been really encouraging and we want to help them celebrate their region and bring people here.

“We want to create ways for the Tokoroa community to get involved, it’s our first event and it’s a sell-out and we want to make it an annual event for years to come.

“We’re hoping the event can help lower barriers for locals who are keen to get into mountain biking, it’s a platform to engage people in the region.”

South Waikato Mayor Gary Petley says the district is looking forward to hosting stage three of the Volcanic Epic at Cougar Mountain Bike Park.

South Waikato recently hosted The Elite Road National Championship and it’s exciting to have another cycling event in the district. Council invests significantly in supporting cycling and it is great event organisers recognise the potential and utilise the facilities. We encourage our community to come along and cheer the riders on as they take on the trails of Cougar Park.

To find out more about the event and where you can go support and experience everything South Waikato has to offer, click the following link:

About South Waikato

The South Waikato District lies at the heart of New Zealand’s North Island with State Highway 1 running through three of our main towns - Tokoroa, Putāruru and Tīrau. The other main town is Arapuni village, home to Arapuni hydro power station. The district’s close proximity to Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland, all less than a two-hour drive away, makes it an attractive place to live and do business.