The latest phase of Derby’s mountain bike trails are hoping to get Olympic endorsement when they open next month.
Scott Bowden will be among the first riders to experience the Blue Tier Trail at an official opening on October 7, and the Rio Olympian said he can’t wait.
“I’m super excited and feel honoured and privileged to be included in the first riders group,” Bowden said.
The 21-year-old national series champion will travel up from his Hobart home to join a group of VIPS who will be the first to tackle what is being billed as the jewel in the crown of the Blue Derby mountain bike trail network.
Bowden said he had ridden a couple of the Blue Derby trails but was itching to tackle the Blue Tier.
He said he has been discussing Tasmania’s potential as a mountain bike destination with international riders who are struck by the stunning beauty of the Tasmanian trail scenery.
“The existing trails already offer a really unique experience from the beauty and diversity of the landscape and the close proximity to the airport and the East Coast,” he said.
“International riders are really keen to get over here and experience the trails and the Tasmanian landscape themselves.”
Bowden had an eventful and lengthy Olympic debut in Brazil, supporting fellow Tasmanian Richie Porte in the road race on the opening day and contesting the mountain biking on the last day of competition.
After a week of dusty conditions at Rio's Deodoro X-Park, heavy and persistent rain created plenty of mud which Nino Schurter, of Switzerland, conquered best to win in 1:33.28. Bowden finished one lap down as 36th of the 44 finishers, crossing the line alongside Slovakia's road race world champion Peter Sagan.
Break O’Day Mayor Mick Tucker said having Bowden at the opening was a real coup for the trails.
“We are really excited that a rider of Bowden’s skill and experience will be there at our opening and will be among the first riders to experience the trail,” he said.
“We hope that he will share his experience with international riders and be a real ambassador for the Blue Derby trails.”