Today’s stage from Alexandra to Bannockburn looked a little innocuous on paper. 79km, with a couple of big climbs – but all farm track. That’s over 20km shorter than Stage 2, but similar climbing, but no singletrack – so it should be faster. And I think for many people, they probably liked it. And deep […]
Queenstown rocks The Pioneer’s first stage
Sure, we all raced a prologue yesterday. We did 20km, got a bit muddy and had some fun. And while it gave us our start position, and settled some nerves, it was but a drop in the ocean for what lay ahead. All that would start this morning. My pet hate at any stage race […]
Pioneer Prologue-2018 event kicks off in challenging conditions
Cold. It was cold. We got up at 5:10am, which if you’ve just arrived from Australia feels a lot like 2:10am, and bolted some breakfast before heading for the first shuttle up to Coronet Peak, the ski station that towers above Queenstown and just happened to be under a whole lot of snow just a […]
The Pioneer 2018 course is revealed!
After postponing the 2018 Pioneer in May 2017, many feared the worst. Had a new, epic marathon stage race landed in the Oceania region to only run for 2 editions? Having raced both editions it was clear – they were hard. The climbing, the surface, the conditions – it was a true challenge to get […]
After the dust has settled – Looking back on The Pioneer
It has now been a month since the now well known stage race, The Pioneer, has been run and won. I thought with the exhaustion and pain of the event now settled, it would be a good time to reflect on what I really experienced and witnessed during one of the most gruelling events I […]
The Pioneer stage 7- One last push to Queenstown
Riders took joy at crossing the finish line after 7 days of exhausting, stunning, character building and painful mountain bike miles across the Southern Alps of New Zealand in The Pioneer stage race today. On the menu for the final stage was far from a cruisey parade into town. Although the stage profile suggested 59km […]
The Pioneer Day 6 report- Penultimate punishment
Day 6 of The Pioneer gave rider’s a welcome shorter stage of 64km today. However, initial excitement of a significantly shorter day in the saddle was quickly put to rest with a look over the course profile. The stage beckoned 64km of pretty much entirely uphill riding to the XC ski village of ‘Snow farm’. […]
The Pioneer Day 5- Queen stage tests all riders
The Pioneer MTB stage race has now reached Lake Hawea close to Wanaka, New Zealand. The riders have now have close to 450km in their legs and some serious tales of struggle, suffering, spectacle, disappointment and victory up their sleeves. Today’s stage was suggested to be the ‘Queen Stage’ of this tour with 112km and […]
The Pioneer stage 3 report- Weather BOMB!
After a scorching day 2 with many riders experiencing sunburn and heat exhaustion, in typical New Zealand style the weather for day 3 took a severe turn for the worse. With wind chill temperatures of well below zero and gale force winds expected on the planned route the organisers took the very smart decision to […]
The Pioneer Day 2 report- The reality sets in.
After a relatively tame first day in Christchurch for the 2017 Pioneer stage race yesterday, today was when the real business got underway for the hardy competitor’s of this truly epic race. A pleasant 8am roll out from the polite town of Geraldine began relatively conservatively with a moderate pace across the first 15km of […]