DERBY'S new status as the host venue of the Australian Cross Country Marathon Mountain Bike Championships has the capability to turn the town, and the North-East of the state, into a "mecca for mountain bike riders".
That's the opinion of former national champions Ben Mather and Rowena Fry, who use that area as their own training ground.
The two are part of the Launceston Mountain Bike Club, which has joined forces with Mountain Bike Australia and the Dorset Council to bring the championships to the town for the next two years.
It will use the Derby MTB Trails, which are part of the $4.6 million North-East Mountain Bike Trail Project, which is under construction, with the first section due to be open in December.
The first of the events will be held on May 16 and 17 and is expected to attract more than 300 competitors from every state and territory across all age groups.
"It's fantastic and I think really well deserved as we are the most active clubs [with over 250 members]," Mather said.
"To think there's a national championships of any sport travelling to the North-East of Tasmania, that's pretty exciting."
Fry believed the courses competitors encounter will be "first class".
"The people who are building the trails have built trails all over Australia, including some of the trails in Cairns that were used in the recent world cup event, which have obviously had the world's best on it, and they think the trails in Derby could be some of the best in Australia," Fry said.
"In terms of competing, I've never done a national championships in my home state before, so it is really amazing a little state like ours can put this on and attract the best riders in the country and hopefully home course advantage will be on our side."
Tourism Northern Tasmania chief executive Chris Griffin, said the event would be a boost for the region.
"This is a big boon for the Dorset Council's efforts to win this before the trails are open, which are testament to the quality of trails being built in Derby," he said.