The diverse mountain bike trails of the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region have been given the thumbs up by the battle weary Crocodile Trophy competitors.
Almost 100 riders from 17 countries have experienced world-class mountain biking in the tropics as they raced through rainforest to the outback and back to the shores of the Great Barrier Reef over the past week.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the world's most gruelling mountain bike stage race held on the trails marketed through the Ride Cairns brand had attracted world-wide media coverage.
"Events like the Crocodile Trophy add to the reputation of Ride Cairns, positioning the region as a world-class mountain biking destination and inspiring recreational riders to discover the region," he said.
Crocodile Trophy organiser Gerhard Schoenbacher said the competitors were extremely happy with the course.
"The challenge is in the different riding experiences including single track, flat, hilly and purpose-built trails which the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region offers and this perfect combination of trails presented one of the toughest races for these riders," he said.
Endurance cyclist Andrew Hall who wears the Amateur Leader Jersey after Stage 6 at the 20th Crocodile Trophy was impressed by the race track composition.
"The first few days were a lot of fun – those trails in Cairns and Atherton have really enriched the Crocodile Trophy track portfolio," he said.
Mr de Waal said the international competition presented the opportunity to show the media some of the newest trails in the network of more than 550km of mountain biking trails which are marketed through the Ride Cairns name.
"The journalists were impressed with the incredible dirt jumps under construction at the Smithfield Region Park where the 2014 UCI World Mountain Bike Cup was held and watched the Crocodile Trophy competitors tackle the latest "stairway to heaven" addition to the Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park.
"They also experienced riding through the World Heritage forest in the national parks of the Cassowary Coast.
"The Crocodile Trophy is a great example of how events attract people to experience a destination and fits with Tourism and Events Queensland launch this weekend of It's Live!, a campaign showcasing Queensland's events."
Photo: Kenneth Lorentsen
Caption: Greg Saw and Ramses Bekkenk in the Herberton Range Stage Forest on the Atherton Tablelands in the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region.