The 2020 Bike Buller Festival is ‘go-for-launch’ according to race directors – and it’s a packed schedule, too. Riders will be busy from dawn till dusk with lots happening on and off the track during the Labour Day long weekend. Entries for the 12th edition of the annual festival opened in November last year. 

Highlights will be the downhill races on Saturday and Sunday and a gravity enduro format starting early Sunday morning. Cross-country riders won’t be left guessing either with a ride on the Alpine Epic trail on Saturday and a short circuit on Sunday known as the Cornhill Grand Prix.

The gravity enduro is especially popular and keeps riders of all abilities coming back year after year. The format is all about cranking the down-hill sections then cruising on the climbs.

“You can ride the descents flat out, showing your mates who’s boss and then join up again at the bottom to cruise the climbs, taking your time to catch your breath and get ready for the next full-gas downhill segment. This is pure gravity enduro racing and, arguably, the best way to ride the Buller trails,” said Rapid Ascent General Manager and event organiser, Sam Maffett.

Both the ‘Gravity Gods’ and ‘XC Whippet’ combined-race categories return for 2020 too. Riders can compete in two different races over two days for the chance to be the overall weekend winner in both gravity and cross-country riding disciplines.

Added to the schedule this year is a Highline Slopestyle World Tour event hosted by Freeride Mountain Bike. Riders will perform aerial manoeuvres in an effort to win the attention of judges. Spectators are in for a real treat in the main village square when the final lights up the mountain late on Saturday afternoon as the sun begins to set.

Lots of spectators and riders are being encouraged to support the local community at Mt Buller and surrounding area. The looming threat of bushfires in December and January had a big impact on local tourism. The high country is typically buzzing with activity in summer with hikers, campers, mountain bikers and adventure seekers trawling the area. Limited access to the mountain put a dampener on activity during the summer though.

“It will be great to see a throng of people up on the mountain after the summer we’ve had. It’s a long weekend and we’ve got something for everyone. There’s the Picnic in the Park for those not so interested in mountain biking. And for hard-core riders, it’s a weekend you won’t forget lightly with the chairlift running and a good mix of gravity and enduro events,” added Maffett.

It’s expected to be a jam-packed weekend with an emphasis on hard racing and plenty of fun off the track.

“We designed the Bike Buller Festival to be a super-fun mountain bike event for everyone. Racers can race, recreational riders can enjoy the trails and the scenery, non-riders can do their own thing and we can all get together to enjoy a good party on Sunday night,” said John Jacoby from Rapid Ascent.

More information and entries for the Bike Buller Festival can be found at BikeBuller.com. Competitors can still enter online or at race registration on Friday afternoon.

Picture Rapid Ascent