The Newcastle Buzz Is Spreading Worldwide

Not long now until the inaugural event of the Qashqai Urban Challenge, the first mountain bike urban

Take a look at this North Shore

Not long now until the inaugural event of the Qashqai Urban Challenge, the first mountain bike urban freeride series of its kind. This morning [Friday], the top 25 riders in the world will unpack their bikes and begin to practice on a new, never-before-seen course that combines urban style with wooden North Shore elements.

Riders have already begun to show up in Newcastle, UK for the first stop of the tour and they are excited, sending messages to the other riders who are still preparing for their flights overseas. The course builders are working hard to build a world-class urban North Shore-style course, which will be the first challenge the riders will face.

The riders are in Newcastle early to get acclimatised to the area and prepare themselves mentally for the five-event urban mountain bike series. Ben Boyko came to Newcastle two days early, and emailed his impression of the course back to the North American riders: "This is definitely North Shore style. It's all wood roller-coasters, possibly going to be a fair sized drop with a wood landing in the start. I like it."

The North Shore Qashqai course is set in the Centre For Life Plaza in downtown Newcastle. The course features a ten metre wooden step down start ramp into a maze of ladder bridges, drops, wallrides and big jumps, weaving around the existing urban architecture.

Stay tuned for more updates as the rest of the riders show up and practice begins. The first round of qualifying begins on Friday at 11am, it will be interesting to see which of the fifteen tour riders will handle this discipline the best. It will also be a treat to see the additional ten specialist riders give the tour pros a run for their money.

Confirmed rider list:
Aaron Chase (USA)
Amir Kabbani (GER)
Andreu Lacondeguy (ESP)
Ben Boyko (CAN)
Cameron McCaul (USA)
Darren Berrecloth (CAN)
Darren Pokoj (AUS)
Grant Fielder (UK)
Greg Watts (USA)
Jamie Goldman (USA)
Kyle Strait (USA)
Lance McDermott (UK)
Paul Basagoitia (USA)
Ryder Kasprick (CAN)
Trond Hansen (NOR)
Brandon Semenuk (CAN)
Chris Smith (UK)
Christopher Hatton (F)
Gee Atherton (UK)
Lluis Lacondeguy (ESP)
Phil Sundbaum (USA)
Dan Atherton (UK)
Robbie Bourdon (CAN)
Sam Pilgrim (UK)
Thomas Vanderham (CAN)

Visit the new Qashqai Urban Challenge website with information about each city, the events, rider bios about the invited tour riders and also the listings of the specialist riders for each discipline.

See below for more pics:


He's enjoying playing with his wood


Clock tower-to-wood transfer?

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