Giving back: Local pros George Brannigan, second left, and Eddie Masters, second right, with, from left, Queenstown's Toby Meek, 17, Wānaka's Nico Arnold, 18, and Alex Wyman, 17, from Christchurch


New Zealand’s next wave of top downhill mountain bikers blasted down a Queenstown Bike Park trail last week as part of a two-day training camp.

About 10 Junior World Cup riders, bolstered by up-and-coming young local riders, were
instructed by experienced Queenstown pros George Brannigan and Eddie Masters, with support from Queenstown Mountain Bike Club (QMTBC).

The pair marked out a bike park trail in pouring rain last Thursday, with Vertigo Bikes’ Paul Angus providing the bike club’s timing system so the riders could do timed runs in a mock practice run for World Cup racing.

Brannigan and Masters also conducted a question and answer session on the mental side of racing.

QMTBC committee member Donna Meek says the camp filled a gap because Cycling NZ no longer provides a performance hub for juniors coming through the ranks.

Masters notes there’s a lot of talent coming out of Queenstown, and NZ.

‘‘We just want to try and get onto that early, like help out where we can, because  mountain biking’s been awesome for us, and we want to try to pass the torch on a bit.’’