Shimano MTB GP transforms to 4-hour Series

Established with Shimano Australia in 2009, the Mountain Bike Grand Prix has its roots in the traditional lap-racing cross-country scene! Did you know that the name was inspired by our founders’ passion and interest in Formula 1 racing? They remain inspired by the constant thrive towards excellence, innovation and more recently entertainment, elevating the top drivers and their teams into the media and public spotlight.

And that attitude to keep evolving has been very noticable (for us as entrepreneurs, event people and riders) and it’s what has inspired the transformation of the Shimano MTB GP to a 4 Hour “only” racing format for Solos and Pairs. We believe it will allow us to create more noise about our racers, re-launch a more realistic and rewarding category structure based on the riders we have been seeing at the start lines these past 2 years.

With the positive and inclusive atmosphere we’re known for, this is ideal for keen XC riders, pros and hobby riders alike. It’s for thriving mountain bikers of all ages, who seek the community spirit and thrill of classic XC racing – those who take their racing ‘seriously’ and the ones who enjoy an awesome personal challenge or day out with the mates.

Where we’ve come from

In most recent races the 6-hour had a too quiet event centre with less than 25% of the field in those classifications – whilst the achievements and displays of sports performance of the competitors was awe-inspiring just as much, it was tough to provide them with the exciting and thrilling atmosphere that we thrive for. It’s also been tough attracting new racers and particularly juniors into the XC side of things.

As with all disciplines of riding, GP/XC has changed, and we are aligning with those changes. The Olympics saw much shorter, punchier short course and marathon has trended toward faster courses.

​We also want to shine more of a spotlight on people that do this sport well, as its equally important as descending a million miles a hour.

Where we’re headed

With the 4-hour, we are taking a more focused approach to our XC lap racing events, which will challenge the pros and rewards the personal bests of ambitious and passionate Rocky Trail racers. We will deliver the most expansive 4-Hour XC Series with events in NSW, ACT, QLD and VIC. Key elements and drivers are:

4 hours of racing – Solo or in Pairs.

Lap-based race on 8-10km circuit.

Race day Saturday – Race & Play

Challenges the pros, rewards personal bests

Our goals include:

  • To create/re-create the format that’s specifically targeted at re-invigorating the existing the 4-hour cross-country market’s love for racing. Rocky Trail has very intentionally created events that are inclusive for a broad skill level across all our types of races. We have created a community and we “Race the way we Ride” – we go hard, challenge ourselves, thrive for those rewards, but it’s still all about the love of the sport, our mutual passion for mountain biking and the encouragement of less experienced riders to give racing a go… with LIVE timing 😉
  • The long-term goal is also to focus our resources to identify and foster a solid emerging talent base for people to use our events as launch pads to XCO racing and as a training ground for marathons – juniors and adult racers alike. Brisbane 2032 is only 10 years away!
  • We are offering a more realistic category offering, which we based on the types of riders we see at the start lines again and again.
  • It also allows us to offer a cool rewards/special classification offering like KOM/QOM, best junior, best sprinter etc. at the events with special number plates, series leader accolades etc.

Each race offers official winners race plates, which is a set of special additional classifications:

  • KOM/QOM with a polka dot race plate,
  • Junior Sprint Winner (male/female U18 fastest lap time) in white,
  • Best Sprinter for the fastest adult lap time (male/female) and a
  • Solo GC Winner plate in yellow for male and female outright solo winners.

The events are all promoted as stand-alone races, as well as part of State and outright series, and participants accumulate points toward their series ranking, encouraging participation in all series events.

Most races will offer auxiliary events and activities in the afternoon, including our new Pumptrack Shootout race.

Our cheeky vision is also to launch an “aprés-racing” atmosphere with social rides and opportunities for coaching, trail exploring and get-togethers depending on the individual venue infrastructures.

In this spirit, we trust that our cross-country riders will embrace this Season and we’ll keep listening and evolving what we offer you out on those ‘rocky trails’. We can’t wait to blast photos and videos about our #shimanomtbgp racers out – and get to have a social ride and a relaxed post-race chat without the mad-rush to get out of the venue right after podiums.

Do you have any questions?

Talk to us via our online chat – click on the orange circle symbol on your bottom right screen corner and we’ll be right with you! (We always love talking bikes, racing and riding!)