Pi­o­neer bike course re­vealed

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - STAFF RE­PORTER

The course for the six day 2018 Pi­o­neer Moun­tain Bike Stage Race has been an­nounced, with Queen­stown, Alexan­dra, Ban­nock­burn and Ar­row­town host­ing the event.

The 450km back coun­try race starts and fin­ishes in Queen­stown.

En­tries open on Novem­ber 24. The course in­cludes a 22km pro­logue at Coronet Peak, with five longer stages tak­ing the two per­son teams to Alexan­dra and the Clutha River be­fore fin­ish­ing in Queen­stown.

There is 15,500m of climb­ing. Race di­rec­tor Bec Wil­liams said much thought and plan­ning had gone into the course to en­sure the event’s long-term sus­tain­abil­ity.

It will be the third Pi­o­neer race.

The first two races were be­tween Christchurch and Queen­stown.

‘‘Riders can look for­ward to a course that will boast plenty of sin­gle track and will de­liver a grand tour of the most stun­ning back­drops you could ask for.

‘‘[They] will be sent deep into re­mote back coun­try New Zealand, where they will really dis­cover what it means to be a Pi­o­neer,’’ Wil­liams said.

It was ‘‘a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity’’ to gain ac­cess to trails across pri­vate land, she said.

Although the event has been re­vamped, there had been no com­pro­mises to the qual­ity of the rid­ing or the ex­pe­ri­ence, which would chal­lenge ev­ery rider.

‘‘Ter­rain will vary each day, but in­cludes a mix of lo­cal trails, farm track, NZ Cy­cle Trails and sin­gle track – so riders should be pre­pared to really see what they (and their bikes) are really made of.

‘‘Over­all, the course is non­tech­ni­cal, so a good set of lungs will be the most im­por­tant as­set,’’ Wil­liams said.

Five age group win­ners, five age group run­ners up and five lot­tery win­ners will be able to se­cure a place at the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa for 2019.

The 2017 Pi­o­neer saw 338 riders take part (286 males and 52 fe­males).

Most (151) came from Cen­tral Otago. There was also a strong con­tin­gent of Aus­tralian riders (95) at the event.

The Pi­o­neer 2017 win­ners were Otago cy­clists James Williamson and Scott Lyt­tle.

Can­ter­bury cy­clists Dan McCon­nell and An­ton Cooper won the 2016 Pi­o­neer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.