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Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival Attracts Top International Mountain Bikers

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The Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival, a week-long mountain biking extravaganza highlighting the island’s breathtaking trails and vibrant culture has this year attracted some of the world’s top mountain bikers. Among the international riders participating in this year’s festival are pro mountain bikers Katie Holden, 2010 Pan-Am Downhill Champion and Rowan Sorrell, former UCI World Cup Downhill Racer.

“We are pleased that this event has grown over the years, and is now attracting some of the world’s top riders from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom,” said Jamaica’s Director of Tourism John Lynch. “The destination is truly blessed because we can present a variety of events showcasing our cuisine, our culture and opportunities for adventure, all of which highlight the diversity of our unique product offering.”

Both Holden and Sorrell are looking forward to the experience and adventure of the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival. In 2009, the Californian-born Holden, who has landed a backflip, topped the Pro Gravity Tour and a year earlier the Fluidride Cup, both held in Washington. The 31 year-old Sorrell who hails from the United Kingdom has competed on the UCI World Cup circuit as a Downhill racer and is the author of a guide book on European riding resorts “Mountain Biking Europe”.
The week-long festival kicks off on February 18 with a welcome and registration party at John Crow’s Tavern, located in the heart of Ocho Rios. This will be followed the Jamaica Bicycle Bash titled “A Celebration of Jamaican Bicycling Culture” on February 19, where Jamaicans can showcase their own riding skills.
During the following days, riders will experience a variety of riding trails in Ocho Rios and St. Mary, including activities at a number of popular community spots and well-known attractions such as Dunn’s River Falls.
On February 22, the group will make its trek to the “Top-Secret” location in the Blue Mountains for the two-day Ken Klowak Memorial Ride.  The late Ken Klowak was an avid Downhill biker who was responsible for building the trail at the site. Riders will celebrate his legacy by “ripping” the trail in his memory.

The festival will culminate on Saturday, February 25 when the riders travel downhill from the Blue Mountains back to Ocho Rios, via the Red Light trail, which takes riders from Newcastle all the way to the edge of Kingston.
“With the support of the Jamaica Tourist Board, the festival has attracted a wide cross-section of riders which add value. In fact, this year’s event has been oversubscribed and a number of international participants have been unable to take part,” said Executive Director of the Oracabessa Foundation Jonathan Gosse.

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