Pi­o­neer 2018 race on hold

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - MAR­JORIE COOK

Iron­man Ocea­nia is re­view­ing the dates and race for­mat for the Fe­bru­ary 2018 edi­tion of the Pi­o­neer moun­tain­bike race through South Is­land back coun­try.

The com­pany an­tic­i­pates reschedul­ing it to late 2018 or early 2019.

Manag­ing di­rec­tor Dave Beeche said the com­pany was com­mit­ted to the race but wanted to make sure it fit­ted the com­pany’s global strat­egy for moun­tain­bike events.

‘‘The re­al­ity is we don’t know yet [what the new for­mat will be]. That’s why we have post­poned it. We need more time to de­cide on the di­rec­tion we need to go,’’ Beeche said.

Iron­man is part of the Wanda Sports Hold­ings group of sports events and brands, with its head­quar­ters in Guangzhou, China.

The group owns the mul­ti­stage Cape Epic moun­tain­bike race in South Africa and has just pur­chased two Aus­tralian mul­ti­stage en­durance moun­tain­bike events, the Port to Port and Cape to Cape.

The seven-day, 545km Pi­o­neer race from Christchurch to Queen­stown was founded in 2016 and has been held twice. The 2017 race at­tracted about 350 en­tries.

Beeche said ‘‘it wouldn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to work out with Cape Epic, the Port to Port, Cape to Cape and the Pi­o­neer, that is quite a lot of ac­tiv­ity’’.

The com­pany was con­sid­er­ing a se­ries and how that might work.

PHIL WAL­TER/GETTY IMAGES

Dou­gal Allan gut­ted with Chal­lenge Wanaka de­ci­sion.

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