UK mountain biking sensations give Queenstown the thumbs up

[Destination Queenstown press release] The New Zealand lake and alpine resort town of Queenstown has been given the ultimate seal of approval by international mountain biking sensations the Athertons. Gee Rachel Dan Athertonon Skyline track above Queenstown The UK brother/sister trio of Dan (29) Gee (26) and Rachel (23), who have a string of world cup victories between them, arrived ‘Down Under’ in March for two months of pre-season training. They have been making the most of Queenstown’s world-class tracks which range from backcountry trails, serious downhill rides, a jump park and heli-biking to short scenic trails, road rides and New Zealand’s only gondola-assisted bike lift. Launched in January this year, the lift allows riders of all abilities to load their bikes onto the Skyline gondola and transport them to the top of Bob's Peak for easy access to million dollar views and a myriad of trails down to the town centre. Gee Atherton on Skyline track above Queenstown Queenstown has provided the Athertons with a unique opportunity to hone their competitive edge both mentally and physically. Not only have they been improving their physical fitness at Queenstown Events Centre’s highly regarded gym and aquatic facilities, they’ve also pushed their personal limits by bungy jumping, an adventure activity Queenstown is famous for. Gee Atherton says training in Queenstown has exceeded the family’s expectations. “We just don’t want to leave – this place has everything! Not only does it have a great mix of downhill and cross-country trails, it has the most spectacular scenery, the gym facilities we need to keep us physically strong and a huge range of activities to keep us busy when we’re not riding.” Whilst in town, the Athertons are also filming for reality podcast series The Atherton Project which features on Gee got a taste for Queenstown and its biking potential last year while filming adventure bike movie Follow Me. He believes it’s the best training ground in the Southern Hemisphere and could be “the next big thing for the mountain biking fraternity”. Queenstown’s growing reputation as a must-visit biking destination will be further enhanced this Easter with the highly-anticipated inaugural Queenstown Bike Festival on 16 -25 April. Headlining the festival will be the three day Ben Lomond Dirtmasters Downhill, a challenging three kilometre course in the Ben Lomond Forest open to elite riders only and the Outside Sports Brake Burner a six hour non-stop tag team or individual mountain bike Super D. The progamme also caters to all ages and abilities with rides for kids, a social wine-trail and coffee rides. For more information about Queenstown visit ENDS

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