Natural Selection Proving Grounds Heads to New Zealand
Having searched the globe for the ideal location to evolve freeride mountain biking competition, Natural Selection Proving Grounds will land on New Zealand’s South Island. The world’s top male and female athletes will compete on a stunning, natural and naturally-enhanced venue on Mount Dewar (TreeSpace), 10 minutes from the heart of Queenstown, NZ.
Watch “Search for the Next Proving Grounds”: http://outside.watch/provinggrounds
Trailer here: https://youtu.be/NknYIKjKhu8
“The aim in New Zealand is to create the next evolution in freeride MTB competition, by choosing a location that uses the natural terrain to guide the design of the course, this will allow for limitless potential, with limited impact,” said Todd Barber, Founder of Proving Grounds Tour.
With three seemingly perfect locations to choose from in the Southern Lakes region, Reed Boggs, Casey Brown, Robin Goomes, Brett Rheeder and Carson Storch were torn. Weighing the more dynamic, natural terrain features above Queenstown, against a venue that could be ridden by the public in the Wānaka area they had to make a choice.
“The land here lends itself perfectly to freeriding with big open mountains and rolling terrain that’s asking to be ridden,” said Robin Goomes, professional mountain biker from New Zealand. “Having Proving Grounds come to NZ will be massive for the community and local riders looking to bridge the gap into the international scene.”
In the end, the riders choose the best location to: propel freeriding’s future, allow riders’ creativity to shine on natural terrain and ultimately inspire more up-and-coming riders.
Join the riders, as they explore idyllic settings with endless freeride possibilities in selecting the newest Proving Grounds venue in “Search for the Next Proving Grounds” directed by Jeremy Grant, now streaming on-demand on Outside Watch.
“The South Island of New Zealand has some of the best and most unique terrain in the world, as well as probably one of the strongest riding scenes that exists. The riding is so diverse, spanning alpine big mountain to the most fun and progressive bike parks with the biggest public jumps,” said Carson Storch, professional mountain biker. “Proving Grounds NZ will be something fresh for freeride MTB. I’m excited to be a competitor, but also can’t wait to see some local talent getting into this event, because some of the most insane underrated riders are thriving in the Queenstown scene. It’s going to be a hell of a time!”
Five years ago Proving Grounds debuted in Prineville, OR. The ground-breaking freeride MTB competition features the world’s top male and female athletes on venues that blur the lines between big mountain and slopestyle riding. As with Natural Selection snowboard events, athletes choose their line to best showcase their personal skill, style, and strengths. And men and women will drop in on the same course with equal riding and prize opportunities.
“The combination of the terrain at Mount Dewar and the team at TreeSpace, who not only understand our values, but also share them, is going to create an amazing venue” said Barber. “We’re working with Tom Hey at Elevate Trail Building to design a world class venue that is not only thrilling for the athletes, but also conscious of the natural landscape and our duty to preserve and also regenerate the area.”
About Natural Selection Proving Grounds
Now entering its fifth season, Natural Selection Proving Grounds provides freeride mountain biking a platform to evolve with natural and naturally-enhanced terrain blurring the lines between big mountain and slopestyle. In 2021, Proving Grounds became the first pro women’s freeride mountain bike event to have women competing on the same course, same day, same startline as the men and with equal pay. In 2024, Proving Grounds NZ will feature 32 of the world’s top riders from February 10-17 at Mount Dewar outside of Queenstown, New Zealand. Check out www.naturalselectiontour.com/proving-grounds for more!
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