Africa beck­ons for Pioneer rac­ers

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - STAFF RE­PORTER

Par­tic­i­pants in this year’s Pioneer Moun­tain Bike Stage Race have more to race for than just brag­ging rights.

A to­tal of ten en­tries to the Cape Epic in South Africa in March 2018 have been set aside for Pioneer rid­ers, with five go­ing to cat­e­gory winners and five more be­ing awarded in a draw for all other par­tic­i­pants.

Billed as the ‘‘great­est moun­tain bike stage race of them all’’, rid­ers will want to win their cat­e­gory in the sec­ond an­nual Pioneer, which runs from Fe­bru­ary 5 to Fe­bru­ary 11 be­tween Christchurch and Queen­stown.

Pioneer cre­ator and Iron­man Ocea­nia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Dave Beeche said he was thrilled at the con­nec­tion be­tween the two events.

‘‘The Cape Epic is un­doubt­edly the pinnacle of moun­tain bike stage rac­ing in the world, and to be able to of­fer our Pioneer rid­ers the op­por­tu­nity to qual­ify for a race that is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to get into, adds pres­tige and ups the stakes for the Pioneer.

‘‘For those who are chas­ing a podium fin­ish, this adds real spice.’’

The Pioneer cov­ers 549km through some of the most stun­ning parts of New Zealand, Beeche said.

Teams of two could par­tic­i­pate in the seven-day Pioneer event or solo par­tic­i­pants could race the four-day event.

SUP­PLIED

Scenery par­tic­i­pants can ex­pect in the Pioneer moun­tain bike race.

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