By MATTHEW MCKEW
What better way to celebrate the new Hot Rod mountain bike trail than by christening it with a race series.
Queenstown Mountain Bike Club was over the moon last year to finally connect trails that descend the 1200 metres from the apex of Coronet Peak to the valley floor.
Now it’s getting serious about riding it with the three-stage CORO1200 series.
The first leg started last Saturday with about 90 riders.
Sam Blenkinsop finished fastest down the course, which consists of the Coronet XC, Rude Rock and Hot Rod trails.
Blenkinsop nailed his run in 23min 46sec, while Louise Ferguson was the fastest woman in 27min 47sec.
Club top dog Chris Conway says it was a great day out.
‘‘It started on intermediate trails, and they’ll become progressively more advanced through the series and as the summer goes on.
‘‘People will feel more confident on their bikes and stay involved.’’
The next round of CORO1200 is on February 27.