Published on : Wednesday, December 13, 2017
The new Pioneer course now starts and finishes in Queenstown, with stop offs in Central Otago towns Alexandra and Bannockburn taking place in between.
Riders will start their six days of riding with a 22km prologue at the iconic Coronet Peak, with five longer stages following, taking riders as far south-east as Alexandra and the Clutha River, before returning to the finish line in Queenstown. Once over the finish line, participants will have completed 450km of riding, including 15,500m of climbing.
The course will touch on three of the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s Great Rides including the The Pioneer Mountain Bike Race returns in 2018 with a completely revamped course taking in Queenstown and Central Otago.
The Otago Central Rail Trail. Riders will also get to experience sections of the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, The Queenstown Trail as well as access to trails not open to the public.
Much of the course crosses private land which can only be ridden while racing The Pioneer, so the event offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain access to some of New Zealand’s best riding.
Race Director Bec Williams says much thought and planning went into the course announcement, to ensure the long-term sustainability of a race that was quickly established as a world leading event after its first two editions.
“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. Riders will be sent deep into remote back country New Zealand, where they will really discover what it means to be a Pioneer.
The Queenstown Trail (stages one and six), Otago Central Rail Trail (stage two) and Roxburgh Gorge Trail (stage three) are part of a network of 22 trails spread throughout the country, known as the ‘22 Great Rides’, which collectively make up the New Zealand Cycle The Pioneer 2018 will include sections of the Queenstown Trail, part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network.