Australian Mountain Bike - - Fast Track - the­p­i­

There was a fair bit of dis­may when The Pi­o­neer an­nounced in May that the 2018 event wouldn’t be run­ning in Fe­bru­ary as ex­pected. But Dave Beech, Ocea­nia CEO of Iron­man, the own­ers of the race, con­firmed it wasn’t a can­cel­la­tion – just a post­pone­ment.

After two years of run­ning from Christchurch to Queen­stown, cov­er­ing over 500km and 15,000m of climb­ing, The Pi­o­neer needed a bit of a change. A touch less slog, a bit more shred. So they have an­nounced new dates, and a new stage out­line for 2018.

From 25-30 Novem­ber, rid­ers will tackle a six-day race in pairs - start­ing and fin­ish­ing in Queen­stown in New Zealand. The course is not yet of­fi­cially re­leased but will take on some of Queen­stown’s clas­sics and some of the finest trails in Cen­tral Otago.

“The team has done an amaz­ing job in cre­at­ing a new course that will be as chal­leng­ing as ever and with more sin­gle­track to en­joy. There will be some in­cred­i­ble climbs that will see our rid­ers find­ing char­ac­ter for sure, with stun­ning views to take in along the way,” said Beech at the launch. “Spend­ing six days with your mate rid­ing in the back coun­try is a huge part of the ex­pe­ri­ence, so we have stayed true to that ethos of the event; this is some­thing to be shared for sure.”

We’re ex­cited, as a start and fin­ish in Queen­stown makes lo­gisitics from Aus­tralia eas­ier, as does a six-day for­mat. It means you can fit the race and travel days more eas­ily into a week off work. The Pi­o­neer will still of­fer a way to se­cure an en­try to the Cape Epic – you just have to win your cat­e­gory. Get the full de­tails on­line.

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