Because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, it will now be early next year before the New Zealand Cross-country Championships can be staged again. Photo by Andy McGechan,

New Zealand, as a country, has coped remarkably well with the COVID-19 pandemic and many motorcycle events are now up and running again, but unfortunately not all of them can get the green light.

Flow-on effects from Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic have forced at least one major dirt bike competition here to be cancelled – the 2020 New Zealand Cross-country Championships will now not happen because, in this mid part of the year, suitable venues are simply not being offered up to the biking community.

“Due to COVID-19 and the lock-down in mid-March, we have been unable to run the scheduled cross-country events,” explained Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ) cross-country commissioner Chris Smyth.

“It has now become too late in the year to get suitable venues, due mostly to land owners being too busy lambing, calving and so forth,” he said.

“As a result of this, we have decided to cancel the 2020 New Zealand Cross-Country Championships. Next year’s championships will start on February 28, 2021, at Cam Smith’s farmland property near Marton and the series will run through March, April and May.

“Many thanks must go to sponsors such as Northern Accessories and Yamaha New Zealand for their ongoing support of our sport.”

Before the pandemic struck and the nationwide lock-down forced, the 2020 series had been scheduled to run its fourth and final round at Taupo on May 23, but rescheduling the series to begin in July is simply not possible.


Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,