BIG TIME mountain bike racing is set to come to Bathurst and with the support of the Fairfax Media organisation it will give the sport a huge boost in the region.
The wheels were put in motion for the Evocities MTB series with an official launch at the Kinross State Forest near Orange in early November.
It will be the richest MTB series in Australia.
Orange will be the host for the first of the seven race series which will see events held in Orange; Albury; Western Sydney; Bathurst; Dubbo; Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.
Mayor of Bathurst, Cr Gary Rush, said Fairfax Media's support as the major sponsor of the Evocities MTB Series is great for the sport and will ensure maximum exposure for everyone concerned.
"Bathurst is well-known as being a city where cycling is huge," he said.
"We have the Blayney to Bathurst Cyclo Sportif race which is the biggest event on the Cycling NSW calendar.
"Now we have a round of the Evocities MTB Series coming here and no doubt the mountain bike track at our new bike park on the Vale Road will provide a testing course for the riders.
"I know a lot of work is being put into getting it right and by the time Bathurst gets to host its round on May 31 it should be in great shape.
"It will be a great opportunity to showcase all that's good about the Bathurst region as well as promoting this new facility."
It is expected the seven races will attract over 4,200 participants and visitors across all events and the high number of participants in each event as well as supporters, spectators and other visitors will generate major economic benefits for each of the seven race locations, which include six Evocities.
The first race of the series will be in Orange on Sunday 15 February 2015. Other events in the series include: Albury on 14 March; Wylde MTB Park in Western Sydney on 12 April; Bathurst on 31 May; Dubbo on 12 July; Tamworth on 8 August with the series finale to be held in Wagga Wagga on 6 September.
Apart from Fairfax Media as the major sponsor, other sponsors include Fly Orana; Maas Group Properties; NAB; QantasLink; Sydney University School of Rural Health and Prime 7 as a Media Partner, the combined prize money offered will be over $80,000.
The variety of races also means the series winners can legitimately claim to be Australia's best marathon MTB riders.