Despite the rain forecast for Rotorua, the Crankworx World Tour is set to go! The international mountain bike festival has more than 1,000 international and local competitors and first began in Rotorua in 2015.
The face behind bringing the festival to Rotorua is Takurua Mutu (Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa). He says "it's just massive for our town if you haven't seen the effects of it, then you've had your eyes closed. We see 15,000 people come into the town to check out all these crazy mountain bikers from all around the world."
Last year the event was five days long and in that period $8 million was injected into the town's economy. This year there are more athletes, the tracks have slightly changed but that standard is world class.
"This first weekend is actually the Enduro world series. We kick off with a giant tour challenger enduro which is an amateur race on Saturday followed by the enduro world series proper which is where we see over two hundred pro athletes descend over Rotorua for an enduro race like no other."
60,000 visitors are expected to attend the event over the next coming days.
"The thing that rates us truly unique is our culture. We can't even debate that there is nowhere in the world that has Māori like us, the community and the culture of this town are so different. I have been lucky enough to travel to a branch of different places in this world and the thing that has made our event so successful is the people that are involved with it."
The nine-day event officially starts tonight.