THERE is an obvious link between Fairfax Media and the seven Evocities of New South Wales, and that’s exactly why they have come together to establish the Evocities Mountain Bike Series.
The Evocities MTB Series was launched on Thursday at Kinross State Forest just outside Orange, and the seven-leg competition proper begins in February next year.
Orange hosts the first leg on February 15, while five of the other six Evocities - Bathurst, Albury, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga and Tamworth - will each host a race of their own, along with Wylde in western Sydney.
Fairfax’s support - to the tune of $35,000 - has helped make the Evocities MTB Series the most lucrative mountain biking competition in the country, with over $80,000 in prize money.
Fairfax NSW Central business manager Sally White said the potential benefits of the partnership made the decision an easy one.
In particular, catapulting the Evocities brand in the spotlight nationwide.
“For Fairfax Media, sponsoring the Evocities MTB Series is really a natural fit,” she explained.
“Evocities is about showcasing the lifestyle and opportunities of some of the state’s key regional centres like Orange, and they’re the same traits our newspapers and websites celebrate in our communities.
“All seven races in this series will be held in communities where Fairfax has a long and proud history of covering the news.
“On behalf of Fairfax and our many teams in this region, I’d like to say how pleased we are to support the Evocities MTB Series. We hope it gives riders and supporters from across Australia an introduction to some of the great communities we already call home.
“And I think you’d all agree the advent of a new mountain bike series - the richest in Australia and one that will hopefully encourage more people to visit our communities is a good news story and one we’re looking forward to telling.”
Orange mayor John Davis echoed Ms White’s sentiments, and said Orange as an Evocity will see the advantages on and off the track.
“This is a positive outcome of Evocities thinking about economic development in rural areas as a whole,” Cr Davis said.
“It’s a wonderful partnership between local governments we haven’t seen for years ... having the first race here in Orange I think is just fantastic.”