There’s no better way to finish a MTB race than soaking in a thermal hot tub. Well, possibly soaking in a thermal hot-tub with a rather nice frothy amber-coloured beverage in hand. And that’s part of the appeal of the Craters Classic.
The Craters Classic – scheduled for 11th June 2017 – has just opened another 200 entries for popular demand.
Set on the trails of the Craters of the Moon just above stunning Lake Taupo, the race offers 10, 25km and 35km iterations. While famous amongst cyclists principally for the mass participation road ride around the massive volcanic caldera, Taupo also contains some fantastic mountain biking.
Craters of the Moon is set in pine forests located just north of the town, a convenient singletrack pedal away. With trails set amongst the violent eruptions of volcanic material, one very convenient winter feature is gained: drainage. Where water would puddle and pool on most trail network, here it simply seeps through, providing exceptional trail conditions even in soggy conditions. Added to this – the trails provide great variety, climbing away from the lake before plummeting down, and transitioning between pine, native and open forests for a veritable smorgasbord of mountain biking fun.
Taupo is also home to the famous W2K and K2K tracks set along the coast for a change of pace from the race. With stunning views over the Crater Lake and towards the volcanic peaks of Tongariro and Ruapehu, these trails provide an immersive experience of the beauty of the lake as an alternative.
For me, it’ll be a chance for one last blast before New Zealand yields to the depths of a snowy winter, and before I’m forced to embrace my dismal skiing (aka: falling over) abilities as a winter escape. And it couldn’t be a better way to cling onto Autumn – a mountain bike race on draining trails, followed by the promise of thermally heated pools (with or without frothy beverages)
Entries are available through Nduro Events: