BMW Motarrad‘s seventh edition of the International GS Trophy has kicked into life in Rotorua as the competing teams prepare to explore own back yard right here in New Zealand.
In total, 22 teams from around the globe have landed in Rotorua for the start of the International GS Trophy, with all but the AustralIan team enduring long-haul flights to get to the rider’s paradise that is New Zealand.
The teams from the Netherlands, Malaysia, North Africa and the Middle East are all first-time entrants and their finalists are naturally very excited by what lies ahead.
The seventh International GS Trophy consists of eight days and around 2400km of adventure riding traversing both the North and South Islands.
While the exact route is a closely guarded secret, we know the Trophy starts in Rotorua and finished in Queenstown. Some 60% of the route will be off-road with the remaining 40%, while sealed, set to take in some of the remote and brilliantly twisty roads NZ is famous for.
Each team also faces daily challenges that count toward the competition, whether it’s riding skills, machine knowledge or wilderness understanding – but as always with the Int. GS Trophy expect the unexpected, every time a new experience!
Chris Zimmerman is the course director: “New Zealand is the perfect off- road destination, it’s not only about the roads and trails, but the people here, with everyone you meet you discuss the off-road riding and they love it, you see it in their eyes. Everyone here is so supportive. So we have a great route awaiting and as ever we have that unique Int. GS trophy mix of riding and special stages, it’s going to be a brilliant ride.”
Overall director of the Int. GS Trophy, Ralf Rodepeter (head of brand and product at BMW Motorrad) is delighted with the venue and format of this year’s competition: “I love the Int. GS Trophy, it’s a wonderful ride and so much fun, but what I like most is seeing the people connect. Every day the teams are mixed so they ride every time with new nationalities and they’ll have an adventurous experience together, which creates this bond and understanding. Bringing in teams from North Africa and the Middle East this year is especially exciting, so we can honestly say we have riders from all over the world and all walks of life. And this is the spirit of the GS, bringing diverse peoples and cultures together, learning about each other and discovering and enjoying the nature, playing and adventuring. And all this is set in this most beautiful of countries – I know I’m looking forward to this as much as the participants!”