From Africa, to Europe to the Antipodes… Epic Series wraps up 2018 with Kiwi stunner

The 2018 Epic Series races have taken riders from rugged South African countryside to the stunning Swiss Alps to the beautiful snow-covered peaks of New Zealand’s South Island.

 

On Friday tired yet excited riders crossed the line in Queensland, Otago, to earn their finishers’ medals in New Zealand’s The Pioneer, the third and final Legend event of the series in 2018. The Pioneer finishers had covered 424 km in six days of racing and ascended a formidable 15,124m during that time.

 

Among them were the first three people to have completed all three of the Epic Series races in one calendar year – South Africa’s Tim Hammond, New Zealander Haley van Leeuwen and Chak Shing Cheng of Hong Kong.

 

The eight-day Absa Cape Epic in the Western Cape in March is the pinnacle event of the Epic Series. The five-stage Swiss Epic is next up in August and then The Pioneer over six days in November, with both Epic Series Qualifier Races giving riders the chance at a guaranteed entry to the South African event.

 

“This is our first year in which we have hosted all three Epic Series races and are more than delighted by the way they have been received,” said Epic Series CEO Kevin Vermaak. “Congratulations to everybody who has managed to join the Epic Legend’s club and get a Legends medal – that’s an amazing achievement,” he said.

 

A rider who finishes all three events earns the title of Epic Legend and receives a special Epic Legend medal – already one of the most sought after in the mountain bike stage racing.

 

Hammond finished second at The Pioneer with fellow South African partner Alan Gordon (Team SPOT Africa/Insect Science) after he had notched up a 19th place finish in the Absa Cape Epic, riding with Arno du Toit. Hammond and Gordon finished 20th in the Swiss Epic.

 

“That’s a lot of racing kilometres in the legs this year,” said 30-year-old Hammond at The Pioneer’s final awards ceremony in Queenstown. “The Pioneer sent us to some of the most remote, exposed and scenic trails I’ve ever found myself on and doing all three events back-to-back can only be described as a true mountain biker’s dream.”

 

The Epic Series is a global portfolio of best-in-class mountain bike stage races. Epic Series Qualifier Races offer riders the chance to guarantee their slot in the Absa Cape Epic, the most prestigious mountain bike stage race in the world. Category winners in the Epic Series races are among those who get a guaranteed entry into the Absa Cape Epic, an event that traditionally sells out in seconds.

 

The Pioneer winners Michael Vink and partner Tim Rush (ONYA Bike), both New Zealanders, have therefore qualified for the Untamed African MTB race. The women’s event was won by another Kiwi pairing, with Kate McIlroy and Amy Hollamby (Wellington Airport) winning by 20 minutes from Aussies Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (Shimano).

The event began with a Prologue on the snow-covered Coronet Peak in the Southern Alps before moving on to Central Otago for four stages and then to Queenstown and the finish on Friday.

Vink and Rush generally dominated the men’s open event, leading from the Prologue. Their finish time of 20 hours 28 minutes and 25 seconds was more than an hour quicker than their nearest competitors.

“What a week, it has been tough and character building, but we have learned so much and have improved throughout the week… and that is what we wanted,” said Vink.

The Pioneer takes place in the southeastern region on New Zealand's South Island. The terrain includes snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and a peninsula renowned for its sandy beaches. Queenstown, where the race finished, is a mecca for adventure sports enthusiasts.

At the finish, former Hong Kong champion Cheng reflected on earning an Epic Series Legend medal: “As a rider, I gained a lot of insights into multi-day stage races, especially different racing styles in multiple continents. The Absa Cape Epic is definitely the toughest as it’s the longest in days and distance. Between the Absa Cape Epic and Swiss Epic, the terrain is so different – the wild nature of South Africa compared to the steep descents and rocky trails among the Alps and glaciers. The Pioneer to me is sort of a mix of the other two!”

 

The Pioneer, 2018
FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
Prologue and 5 Stages of racing
424km and 15,124m of climbing

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 20:28:25
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SA), 21:43:57
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL) 22:01:13

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 25:27:11
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 25:54:52
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 27:34:06

Mixed
1 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 24:08:35
2 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 24:11:43
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 25:12:57

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 22:51:01
2 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 24:13:56
3 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 24:27:10

Womens Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 27:57:26
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 31:03:47
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 35:02:39

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 23:44:34
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 24:51:35
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 25:09:20

 


Hammond and van Leeuwen make Epic Series history – six new Epic Legends at The Pioneer 2018

It was celebrations for all who crossed the line today in Queenstown, New Zealand as 505 riders collected their The Pioneer 2018 finisher’s medals after 6 days and 424km of challenging trails in the Southern Alps. Tim Hammond (RSA) and Haley van Leeuwen (NZL) had even more to celebrate, becoming the first to complete all three Epic Series Legend Races in one calendar year – the Swiss Epic, The Pioneer and the pinnacle of the Epic Series – the Absa Cape Epic. Joining them as one of only three riders to have ever achieved this was Chak Shing Cheng (HKG).

 

“That’s a lot of racing kilometres in the legs this year!” said a tired but satisfied Hammond at The Pioneer’s final awards ceremony. He was to take multiple trips to the stage: once to be awarded his Epic Legend Medal and also for his second place on general classification. A top 20 finisher at the 2018 Absa Cape Epic, Hammond is an experienced mountain bike stage race campaigner (and member of the Amabubesi Club having completed three untamed African editions). “The Pioneer sent us to some of the most remote, exposed and scenic trails I’ve ever found myself on and doing all three events back-to-back can only be described as a true mountain bikers dream!”

 

Haley van Leeuwen was also the first rider to receive the Epic Legend Medal when she finished the 2018 Swiss Epic. She completed her first The Pioneer in 2017 and is a local. Partnering with husband Johnny, The Pioneer route is virtually in their backyard, “I felt apprehensive at the start, I don’t know why – we know all the trails! We had a couple of dark moments and the Queen stage was one of the toughest we’ve ever done. But we pulled through and I got on ‘the Johnny train’ and we brought it home.”

 

Former Hong Kong champion Chak Shing Cheng reflected on the year’s experience. “As a rider, I gained a lot insights into multi-day stage race, especially different racing styles in multiple continents. The Absa Cape Epic is definitely the toughest as it’s the longest in days and distance. Between the Absa Cape Epic and Swiss Epic, the terrain is so different – the wild nature of South Africa compared to the steep descents and rocky trails among the Alps and glaciers. The Pioneer to me is sort of a mix of the other two!”

 

The Epic Series honoured six more intrepid athletes at the final awards ceremony – each earning the coveted Epic Legend Medal, having just completed all three of these full-length, week-long races. Joining Tim Hammond (RSA) and Chak Shing Cheng (HKG) were Alan Gordon (RSA), Peter Felber (CZE), David Wright (RSA) and Enrico Theuns (NED). “These adventurous, determined and skilled riders can all consider themselves exceptional athletes – complete mountain bikers,” said Kevin Vermaak, founder of the Absa Cape Epic and CEO of Epic Series.

 

The next Epic Series Legend Race on the calendar is none other than the Absa Cape Epic. Expect to see more of these special riders up on stage to receive the coveted Epic Legend Medal at the end of raceweek at Val de Vie in March 2019.


Vink in unique double, McIlroy and Hollamby fend off Aussies, new mixed champions at The Pioneer

Leading New Zealand road cyclist Michael Vink notched up a unique double today, adding The Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race to the 2018 Tour of Southland title, and hinting that he might not yet be finished on the dirt.

 

Kate McIlroy showed her potential to add another sport to add to her national representation in athletics, triathlon and road cycling, winning the Open Women’s category with Amy Hollamby (Wellington Airport), while in the Mixed Category, former triathlete Josie Wilcox and Joe Skerman (New Zealand) won the final stage to surge ahead of defending champions and local Queenstown riders Mark Williams and Kate Fluker (team New World).

 

Vink and partner Tim Rush (ONYA Bike) dominated the six-day race that took riders throughout the Central Otago region, riding over 400km and climbing over 15,000m, taking on some of the toughest alpine trails and stunning single-track riding that the region has to offer.

 

Vink and Rush took out the final stage into Queenstown today, in the end winning the overall title by a whopping one hour and fifteen minutes and suggested that he and Rush might find other metaphorical and literal mountains to climb on the bikes.

 

“What a week, it has been tough, character building but we have learned so much and have improved throughout the week and that is what we wanted,” said Vink.

 

Category winners earn a guaranteed start at the renowned Cape Epic in South Africa, an event that traditionally sells out in moments, one regarded as the ultimate in mountain bike stage racing and an event that is on Vink’s mind.

 

“Cape Epic is something we have discussed, it is a different scale and we have a lot to improve on if we are to go, we don’t want to go just for the experience, we want to be competitive so we have to think about what we can do and what our goals are, it is on the table and up for discussion, at some stage it is an itch that will need scratching.”

 

The celebrations for Rush were made all the sweeter after the disappointment of 2017.

 

“I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder after last year’s DQ and I always wanted to come back. It was about two years ago when I first hit Michael up and talked about it, I needed someone decent and I knew he was up to it, I knew if I could get my body up to it we would have a fun week and we did, it was painful but we did it and I couldn’t have done this with a better partner, I am real happy.”

 

Vink and Rush dominated the week, from the moment they took out the prologue at Coronet Peak on Sunday, to the moment they rode into the Gardens today, the ONYA Bike riders won five of the six days after the early demise of the European challengers Vojomag, when Ismael Ventura Sanchez withdrew with illness.

 

Second home today and overall were the well credentialled South Africans, Timothy Hammond and Alan Gordon (team Spot Africa/Insect Science), they finished 17 minutes ahead of defending champions Jimmy Williamson and Scott Lyttle (Willbike/Mortgage Me, New Zealand).

 

The women’s title was very much up in the air heading into the final stage, with Wellington Airport’s Kate McIlroy and Amy Hollamby (New Zealand) holding an eight-minute lead over Brodie Chapman and Briony Mattocks (Shimano, Australia), but the Kiwis held their nerve to win the stage and stamp their name on the trophy.

 

“We have worked really well together, working out each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we complement each other really well. It has been a massive six days, I don’t know if either one of us expected to win it, so it is a huge surprise and we are absolutely stoked”, said McIlroy.”

 

“It is quite stressful having the yellow leader jersey on all week and to be honest we didn’t expect to have it so soon after the prologue and to keep it all week. There were some nervous moments but today was awesome. The last two hours were probably the longest of my life, the Queenstown Trail is not easy!”

 

Hollamby was third last year with Haley Van Leeuwen and has ridden and led the team superbly all week and was full of praise for McIlroy.

 

“That was unbelievable, this girl has some pure strength, I can’t believe how she rides, she has had me in the box all week,” said an exhausted but elated Hollamby.

 

Third home was team Madison of Erin Greene and Hannah Miller (New Zealand), Greene was the defending champion from 2017.

 

Closest of all categories was the Mixed, with two-time defending champions Mark Williams and Kate Fluker (New World, New Zealand), unable to defend a six-minute lead on the final day, with the hard charging Josie Wilcox and Joe Skerman (team JoJoe) storming to victory with a nine-minute stage victory into Queenstown.

 

“We got a five-minute penalty on Tuesday so were quite determined to get that back, it is our first stage race, so it was a learning experience, but we are really happy. I am so proud of Joe, he hung in and rode through some pretty dark places today,” said Wilcox

 

“I tried to go on the hill, but Joe had other ideas, Kate caught Joe on the hill and we worked together but then Joe told me Willy (Mark Williams) had a flat tyre and I knew we had to make the most of it, which is pretty awful and just really unlucky, I knew we had a good lead at the jet boat and then we pretty much time trial back into town.”

 

Skerman was his usual understated self as he contemplated putting the bike away for a while to get back to work on the farm.

 

“The tank is well empty now, that was a tough one today. It has been great racing, we have learned a lot.  Kate and Willy are awesome riders, we just wanted to keep the pressure on all week and we managed to get it today which we are pretty happy about it.

 

“That is very rewarding, I am proud of the result, but I will be happy to get back to my dairy farm and milk the cows again.”

 

Queenstown local Mark Williams was full of praise for Wilcox and Skerman, despite the disappointment of the untimely puncture.

 

“That is racing, hats off to Josie and Joe, they raced really hard all week, they deserve it and have been charging and been really strong. Some things happen for a reason, a staple through the tyre for me today just said it wasn’t meant to be for us this year.  I am happy, we raced well and gave it our all and have just come up a bit short, but we have still had a great time out there.”

 

Emphasising the quality of the Kiwis was the third placed team of Jean-Francois Bossler (France) and Fanny Bourdon (CZE), the 2016 Cape Epic winners loving their time in New Zealand.

The Masters division was taken out by the Australian SRAM team of Anthony Shippard and David Evans, the pair were dominant throughout the week to win by almost four hours from CyclingTips.com.au Wade Wallace and Allan Iacuone (Australia), with team Nutritec Nathon Wright and Gene Marsh (New Zealand) in third.

 

Equally impressive was team IMB in taking out the Women’s Masters by over three hours, with Kath Kelly and Peg Leyland (Australia) winning the final stage to wrap up a superb week of riding. Second were Emma McCosh and Marquita Gelderman (New Zealand), with Kylie Burrows and Sarah Kaehler (Australia) in third.

 

Burrows was one of the inspiring stories from the event as she returned having undertaken treatment to fight an aggressive breast cancer discovered just weeks after she rode in the 2017 Pioneer. In her own words she was not going to be beaten and returned to compete again in 2018, with a few less ‘free loaders’ on board.

 

The Grand Masters (both riders 50+) was won by Shaun Portegys and Tim O’Leary (2 Old Men, New Zealand), with today’s stage winners Blair Stuthridge and Neil Sutherland (New Zealand) coming home second overall, with Napier pair Kent Wilson and Chris Clark in third on GC.

 

The celebrations at the finish line in the Queenstown Gardens extended well into the afternoon however, with every rider welcomed as a hero as the scope of the accomplishment hit home for many. There were tears, hugs, cheers and smiles aplenty as exhausted riders enjoyed the moment with their team mates, other riders and the many family and friends lining the finish chute at the Ice Arena.

 

The 2018 Pioneer
Stage five results
86km, Bannockburn to Queenstown

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 4:14:10
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 4:23:13
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL), 4:35:20

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 5:08:40
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 5:28:27
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 5:34:23

Mixed
1 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 4:47:09
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 4:56:28
3 Team Garmin, Yolandi du Toit & Ben Swanepoel (SAF), 5:02:29

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 4:36:30
2 Cyclingtips.com.au, Wade Wallace & Allan Iacuone (AUS), 4:46:22
3 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 4:57:08

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 5:42:42
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 6:20:51
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 7:01:25

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 Stutho and Sutho, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland, (NZL), 4:55:05
2 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 4:57:55
3 Beeej and Deeez, Richard Read & Brian John, (AUS), 5:07:00

 

The Pioneer
FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
Prologue and 5 Stages of racing
424km and 15,124m of climbing

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 20:28:25
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 21:43:57
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL) 22:01:13

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 25:27:11
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 25:54:52
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 27:34:06

Mixed
1 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 24:08:35
2 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 24:11:43
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 25:12:57

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 22:51:01
2 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 24:13:56
3 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 24:27:10

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 27:57:26
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 31:03:47
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 35:02:39

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 23:44:34
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 24:51:35
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 25:09:20

 


Vink on the verge of unique cycling achievement – women's race still up for grabs at The Pioneer

A fascinating final day lies in prospect as The Pioneer nears the end of a stunning week.

 

2018 Tour of Southland champion Michael Vink looks set to capture a unique double as he and riding partner Tim Rush (ONYA Bike) enter the final day of The Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race with a commanding lead on general classification, but the race is well and truly on in both the Mixed and Women’s categories with just 86km left to pedal into Queenstown.

 

Vink and Rush have had command of the race for most of the week and enter the finishing straight with a massive 1:06:29 lead over Spot Africa/Insect Science team of Alan Gordon and Timothy Hammond.

 

“I think we have found our rhythm this week and just settled into it,” said Vink. “Today was probably one of the more consistent days we have had, we were in the bunch more than usual and we just rode a steady pace up the climb, not trying to drop anyone and felt better for it.

 

“Tomorrow we just keep doing what we have been doing, don’t change anything, we will just do our thing, not take any risks and make sure we have good tyres on and that the chains aren’t worn. We just need to get it done and enjoy it as well.”

 

Second placed team Spot Africa/Insect Science have experience at some of the world’s big multi stage mountain bike races but were fulsome in their praise of The Pioneer.

 

“It has been awesome, there is no better way to see New Zealand than on a bicycle and it seems like there are mountain bike tracks everywhere in New Zealand, it has been great,” said Hammond.

 

Defending champions Jimmy Williamson and Scott Lyttle (Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown) kept the pressure on the South Africans for the minor placings, with a second-place finish on the stage today to edge to just over five minutes further behind in third.

 

The women’s race has been a stunner throughout the week, best highlighted by a sprint finish to the stage into Bannockburn today, won by Briony Mattocks and Brodie Chapman (team Shimano) by 4 tenths of a second, the Aussies just pipping team Wellington Airport’s Kate McIlroy and Amy Hollamby (New Zealand). The Kiwis however lead on general classification by 7:54.

 

McIlroy is a renowned competitor and is loving the battle with the Aussies but admits she has some learning to do when it comes to aid station etiquette.

 

“The Aussie girls are amazing riders and I think it is just cool that the top two teams are so close. Amy was awesome today for us, we were talking the whole way. It was an awesome day, the hardest day of the six, we weren’t feeling so great yesterday so went into today wanting to ride our own pace. Brodie and Briony were around us all day and helped us keep tabs on where they were at, it has made it really competitive, but that was an awesome day.

 

“The aid stations are a bit tricky, I have to apologies to the volunteers at the aid stations. I am not used to stopping in a race, it was panic stations and try and grab a whole plate of oranges and try and get them up my top, it is amazing what you can fit in!”

 

The Mixed Category is the closest of the big three, with New World’s Kate Fluker and Mark Williams (Queenstown, New Zealand) watching team Joejo Joe Skerman and Josie Wilcox (New Zealand) take four minutes off their overall lead today, leaving the Queenstown riding stars a perilous 6:11 in front with just the ride home.

 

“it was quite cool at the start of the stage which was quite nice, we cruised with Kate and Willy for the first 20k and then started the Carricktown climb,” said Wilcox.  “Carricktown was an epic climb, over an hour of climbing so it was about pace and not going too hard. We gradually got some distance and just increased and knew we had to get to the descent before them, and then managed to hang on.”

 

The Men’s Masters has been dominated by the impressive Australian pairing of David Evans and Anthony Shippard (SRAM), best underlined by a superb stage today that saw the Aussies extend their lead by an amazing 18 minutes on the 70km climb into the hills around Bannockburn.

 

Team IMB Kath Kelly and Peg Leyland (New Zealand) look set to make it a clean sweep in the Women’s Masters, claiming yet another stage today to lead on general classification by almost two and a half hours from Emma McCosh and Marquita Gelderman (team Pikelet and Blini, NZL).

 

Aptly named by age but not performance, 2 Old Men are in complete control of the Grand Masters, Shaun Portegys and Tim O’Leary (NZL) taking out the stage today by 18 minutes to bank a 1:38:49 lead over Peter O’Sullivan and Trevor Woodward (Crankit Cycles, NZL), with Kent Wilson and Chris Clark (The Hub Cycles/Napier Painting Contractors) in third on GC.

 

Riders can sleep easy tonight in their tent city and campervans at Andersons Farm in Bannockburn, knowing they have just the 86km ride back into Queenstown to finish an amazing week of riding, with Central Otago turning on a stunning week of weather and views, with promised thunderstorms largely skirting the stage today.

 

Riders will depart Bannockburn at 7am on Friday, and make their way home via the Kawarau Gorge, over Mt Michael in the final big climb of the week into the Pisa Range. It is then largely downhill or rolling country all the way home, interrupted by the famous river crossing with riders transported across the Kawarau on jet boats, coming home on the pristine Queenstown Cycle Trails, past wineries and the Bungy Bridge, with home almost in sight at the Ice Arena.


The 2018 Pioneer
Stage Three Results
79km Alexandra to Bannockburn

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 3:36:00
2 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL), 3:50:02
3 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 3:51:54

Open Women
1 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 4:24:05
2 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 4:24:05.9
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 4:59:53

Mixed
1 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 4:06:43
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 4:10:46
3 Team Garmin, Yolandi du Toit & Ben Swanepoel (SAF), 4:22:47

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 3:51:43
2 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 4:10:13
3 Rivet Racing, Gianluca Valsenti & Matthew Webber (NZL), 4:11:38

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 5:04:15
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 5:40:36
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 6:23:14

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 4:09:06
2 Crankit Cycles, Peter O’Sullivan & Trevor Woodward, (NZL), 4:28:02
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 4:35:18

The Pioneer
General Classification after the Prologue, Stage One and Stage Two

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 16:14:14
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 17:20:44
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL) 17:25:52

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 20:18:31
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 20:26:25
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 21:59:43

Mixed
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 19:15:14
2 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 19:21:26
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 20:04:58

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 18:14:31
2 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 19:16:47
3 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 19:21:20

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 22:14:44
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 24:42:55
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 28:01:04

 

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 18:46:39
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 19:56:29
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 20:01:18

 


Chapman & Mattocks make their move as Aussies close on Kiwis at The Pioneer

Team Shimano were the big movers on day four of The Pioneer as Central Otago turned on another stunning picture-postcard day, the Australian open women’s team of Brodie Chapman and Briony Mattocks won their first stage of the event and in the process took five minutes out of the lead held by Wellington Airport, Kate McIlroy and Amy Hollamby (New Zealand).

 

The men’s race was more to the script of previous days, with ONYA Bike Tim Rush and Michael Vink extending their overall lead to a massive 50 minutes over Spot Africa/Insect Science Alan Gordon and Timothy Hammond (South Africa), with Willbike/Mortgage Me’s Jimmy Williamson and Scott Lyttle (New Zealand) third on the day, and third on general classification.

 

On another beautiful warm day, it was the Aussie pairing of Mattocks and Chapman that made the biggest statement as the event rode 79km from Alexandra into Bannockburn, with Mattocks hinting that the best is yet to come.

 

“We are just chipping away at the time gap, after the prologue we started behind so our plan each day is to chip away. We know we are good for the week, everybody hurts but we will do the little things we can to maybe hurt a little less than everyone else and hopefully get there in the end.”

 

Chapman described a tough stage, but one they still were able to appreciate for the views and stunning scenery.

 

“It was long, anytime off the bike and walking takes it out of your body in ways you aren’t used to as a cyclist, but it was all made up for by the awesome landscape we were riding through, it was surreal and as much as we are trying to be on the pedals we are taking it all in and appreciating what an awesome opportunity it is to be riding here like this.

 

“There is no way you would be up on those mountain tracks without being in an event like this, it is really cool. But it is a race and since we lost time on that first day, we have been trying to make up time while riding our own race, knowing we have the whole week to get through so there is no point going too hard too early.”

 

McIlroy and Hollamby know they are in for a great scrap over the final two days, with Hollamby saying recovery is key to the days ahead.

 

“That was a tough day, those girls took it to us and rode great, but we will recover and come back again tomorrow. I just felt a bit flat today and was eating and taking on board anything I could, but we will be back and ready again tomorrow.”

 

Vink and Rush surely have one hand on the beautiful greenstone Pioneer trophy, winning today’s stage by 12 minutes over their nearest rivals. Vink is not taking anything for granted though, on a day when their margin might have been even bigger.

 

“We were aware that we had a gap, but we weren’t sure how big it was. We actually had a puncture in the last 10k, on an event like this it is always good to have that lead as you never know when you might need it, so we were riding hard even though we knew we had a gap as you never know what might happen.”

 

Queenstown riders Mark Williams and Kate Fluker (New World) sent an ominous message to their nearest rivals, winning yet another stage and extending their overall lead to just over ten minutes, with Fluker announcing that she had found her riding legs.

 

“We had a good day today, we were both feeling good today which is a nice change, the last few days I have been struggling a bit but got my legs back today, so I am happy,” said Fluker. “I have just been pedaling as hard as I can but going nowhere, that is pretty hard mentally but as we said yesterday, you just keep eating and drinking and you get through.”

 

12-time IRONMAN New Zealand champion Cameron Brown is loving his week, riding with good mate Andrew Smith in team Vital All In One.

 

“It is bloody hard, but I came here to see the scenery and see the different places that no one can ever get to, that is what is very unique. It is tough, very tough, but at the end of the day you sit down and just like an IRONMAN you forget how hard it is and regroup for the next day.

 

“We are just looking to get through it, enjoy it, stay upright and not break a collar bone. We have had some scary moments with the odd heart flutter, you have to be mentally on your game the whole time. If you have a slip up for a couple of seconds you will go down in a heap.”

 

It was a tough finish for team Tri Adventures NZ/TWC Racing, with Matt Bradbury having a smashed derailleur wreck his rear wheel, forcing him to run the final 11km of the stage.

 

“The derailleur came off on the last big downhill, must have got a rock into it and broke it and threw it into the spokes. I was lucky I didn’t come off with it, but I managed to get back here in an hour and eight. The legs feel good at the moment, but I will be knackered tomorrow. We tried to get rid of the bike but were told it was against the rules, so had to bring it with us!”

 

The Women’s Masters has been dominated throughout the week by team IMB, Kath Kelly and Peg Leyland (New Zealand), the Men’s Masters is led by the equally impressive SRAM team of Anthony Shippard and David Evans (Australia), and the Grand Masters is being bossed by Central Otago pair of Alexandra’s Shaun Portegys and Queenstown’s Tim O’Leary (2 Old Men).

 

Riders spend the night tonight in the village at Bannockburn, on Andersons Farm, with tomorrows stage another taste of the incredible beauty of the Central Otago Region, with a 70km loop stage that takes in 3,563m of climbing.

 

The stage presents the toughest climbing of the week and includes a climb to Pylon Track on the Nevis Range, a long climb on the historic Carricktown Trail with incredible views at the top of the Carrick Range.

 

The toughest part of the day is the aptly named climb of Mt Difficulty, with the reward being stunning views again to Nevis River Gorge and the Gibbston Valley, before descending to take in the Bannockburn Loop Track then home to Andersons Farm for a well-earned rest ahead of the final day’s ride back into Queenstown.


The 2018 Pioneer
Stage Three Results
79km Alexandra to Bannockburn

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 3:42:37
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 3:54:52
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL), 3:58:07

Open Women
1 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 4:27:23
2 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 4:32:20
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 4:59:51

Mixed
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 4:17:14
2 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 4:19:47
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 4:27:13

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 4:07:53
2 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 4:20:33
3 A21 Linc ‘n’ Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 4:21:00

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 5:03:17
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 5:31:15
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 6:17:45

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 4:16:41
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 4:26:07
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 4:28:36

The Pioneer
General Classification after the Prologue, Stage One and Stage Two

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 12:38:14
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 13:28:49
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL) 13:35:50

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 15:54:25
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 16:02:20
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 16:59:50

Mixed
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 15:04:27
2 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 15:14:43
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 15:39:12

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 14:22:48
2 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 15:06:34
3 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 15:07:13

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 17:10:28
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 19:02:19
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 21:37:50

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 14:37:32
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 15:08:10
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 15:26:00


Alexandra turns on the weather at The Pioneer's Queen Stage - Kiwi teams take control

Central Otago put on a picture-perfect November day for riders on the Queen Stage of The Pioneer, a 101km ride over some of the regions famous bike trails, taking riders on a mountain biking version of the regions greatest hits, and it was the Kiwis who dominated proceedings.

Team ONYA Bike won the stage and took a stranglehold on the open men’s general classification, with Tim Rush and Michael Vink all class as they completed the stage in 4:38:26, winning by an incredible 20 minutes from South African pairing Alan Gordon and Timothy Hammond (team Spot Africa/Insect Science).

Their general classification lead has ballooned out to 38:19, with the unexpected withdrawal of previous second placed team Vojomag/ESMTB with Ismael Ventura Sanchez unable to complete the stage due to a stomach bug picked up prior to arriving in New Zealand.

Vink and Rush were imperious though, with Rush describing a great day right from the early kilometres.

“We went on the first 5k single track climb, over Butchers Dam, it was the first time we have ridden it and we enjoyed it. I just rode tempo and we got into a good rhythm and the other guys dropped off. It was good to get that gap and then Vinky put it in the 38 on the downhill and spun her up and we were away.”

Vink described a much easier day when riding from in front early on.

“It was good even in terms of racing, the difference today is we were in front and not chasing, we got that gap early and that was the difference. Yesterday we were kind of chasing from the first difficult section which made it hard, but today we rode within ourselves and to our own tempo, I think that was the key.”

The 2018 Tour of Southland winner is loving his time in the dirt, hinting that he might return without a race number and timing chip.

“It was really fun, to be honest it would be nice to ride through here not racing and in quite so much pain, it would be nice to cruise through here and enjoy a bit more, but we are still taking time to take things in and share a few things on course, we are having fun, that is what it is all about at the end of the day.”

The mixed category continues to be dominated by defending champions team New World, Mark Williams and Kate Fluker (New Zealand), who made it two stage wins in a row today, but they know that their overall margin of just 7:41 is one that can disappear very quickly in a multi stage event such as The Pioneer.

“That was a great race, those guys had a great start and got a good gap on the first climb. We set off to to our own thing, regrouped and rode at our own pace. And then at the top of Fraser Weir Kate bounced back and started to push, and from there we started to pick teams off and caught them with about 10k to and got a little gap, but it is great racing and great to have those guys in the race.”

Fluker spoke of a tough day, one that tested her resolve and had her drawing on her previous two Pioneer wins to come through.

“Experience helped us today, Willy knows that I am always trying my best and when I am not going well there is a reason, so he sticks by me, and I did come right and got it going and made it to the finish.”

Williams says the formula is simple when either of them is having a tough patch.

“Just feed the machine, keep eating, keep putting fuel in the body and sooner or later you always come right.”

It was a similar story in the open women’s category, with Kate McIlroy and Amy Hollamby winning the stage by 3:23 to extend their general classification lead, but Aussie pairing Brodie Chapman and Briony Mattocks remain a threat, finishing second today to be 12:52 behind after three days of riding.

Chapman is loving the Pioneer experience and vows to keep fighting over the closing three days.

“That was a really long day on the bike, longer than I usually ever do, some super punishing climbs but the atmosphere and landscape made it doable. The aid stations absolutely saved us with that electrolyte and food ready to go, it was so good. The single track was fun, and you just have to keep turning the legs over.

“The other girls are very strong and we both have our strengths. We feel we excel in the single track and can look to make up time there, but when it comes to those super brutal climbs and long pulls you have to ride your own race, there is no point trying to hold someone’s wheel that you just can’t sustain.

“Briony has been awesome and is super experienced, she said to me today we are like Simpson and the Donkey, she is Simpson and I am the Donkey, which is actually very accurate, but we are super stoked at team Shimano.”

One of the more impressive pairings in the event is the Grand Masters pairing of Shaun Portegys (Alexandra) and Tim O’Leary (Queenstown). The two ‘locals’ lead the category by 21:11 with Portegys saying ‘so far so good’ between the good mates.

“What an awesome day, great weather, it never got really hot. We have just got back from Aussie last month and did an 8-day race over there in high thirties so today was perfect. It is going really well, I think we are going good, he (Tim) is still talking to me anyway, but there are a few days still to go.”

One of the more heroic stories on a day full of amazing tales was that of South African pairing Yolandi du Toit and Ben Swanepoel, the Team Garmin riders had to walk the final kilometres yesterday after du Toit injured a shoulder. After further treatment and a night’s rest, the pair continued on today, finishing in 6:30:09 in the mixed category.

Riders stay again overnight in Alexandra tonight, before taking on Stage Three on Wednesday, a journey on the way to arriving at the second remote race village at Bannockburn.

The stage is predominantly on farm track and will take riders deep into remote high-country stations along the way.  Riders will be exposed to spectacular views 1000m above sea level on the Cairnmuir Range.

After the extra helping of single track from yesterday, riders will be relieved to roll through town and onto the Alexandra - Clyde River Trail, a 10km section of wide and fast flowing track between the willows. In Clyde, the course joins the Fruitlands roads, what will be speedy section on tar seal blazing past apple, cherry and apricot orchards.

 

Stage Two Results

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 4:38:26
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 4:58:24
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL), 5:00:36

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 5:47:21
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 5:50:44
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 6:11:17

Mixed
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 5:39:39
2 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 5:41:44
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 5:47:32

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 5:21:41
2 CyclingTips.com.au, Wade Wallace & Allan Iacuone (AUS) 5:27:08
3 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 5:30:09

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 6:10:30
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 6:55:56
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 7:50:21

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 5:22:45
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 5:33:28
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 5:37:47

General Classification after the Prologue, Stage One and Stage Two

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 8:55:37
2 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 9:33:57
3 Willbike/Mortgage Me Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL) 9:37:42

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 11:22:05
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 11:34:57
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 11:59:58

Mixed
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 10:47:13
2 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 10:54:55
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 11:11:59

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 10:14:54
2 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 10:46:01
3 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 10:46:12

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 12:07:10
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 13:31:04
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 15:20:05

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 10:20:51
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 10:42:03
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 10:57:23


Vink in a Rush – locals lead The Pioneer after 2 days

Wet and slippery start for Epic Series Legend Race in New Zealand

The Pioneer mountain bike stage race in New Zealand’s Southern Alps – part of the global Epic Series that culminates in South Africa’s Absa Cape Epic – is now underway, kicking off with a 20km prologue in wet and slippery conditions.

New Zealanders Michael Vink and Tim Rush (ONYA Bike) made the best of the conditions on the Coronet Peak course to finish in 1:11:42 and carve out a commanding four-minute lead.

Vink was a little surprised at how well the day went: “It is hard to know what to read into it. You never know what to expect and it is only the prologue so we won’t read too much into it, but it certainly is a nice gap to have on what was one of the more technical stages of the race.”

Next home was the Belgian/Spanish combination of Sebastien Carabin and Ismael Sanchez (Vojomag ESMTB) with defending champions and Kiwis Jimmy Williamson and Scott Lyttle (Willbike MortgageMe Queenstown) in third.

However the Europeans pulled back on the Kiwis’ advantage on stage 1, a testing out-and-back loop of 69km with 2245m of climbing, starting and finishing at the Ice Arena in Queenstown. They showed that they will be a genuine threat for GC victory as the week unfolds, especially on the more technical single-track riding. Two-time Absa Cape Epic top ten finisher Carabin and teammate Sanchez took the stage from prologue winners Rush and Vink, with Spot Africa/Insect team of Alan Gordon and Timothy Hammond (South Africa) taking third.

 

Amy Hollamby and 2018 Commonwealth Games road cyclist Kate McIlroy (Wellington Airport) were first home in the women’s race-against-the-clock in 1:39:19, but only have a 12 second lead over fellow New Zealanders Nina McVicar and Mary Gray (New World St Martins).

“That was definitely hard,” said Hollamby afterwards. “We were a bit apprehensive with the amount of mud out there given (that) we are primarily roadies. We were outside our comfort zone, but we had a plan and stuck to it and it went well.”

The Kiwi pairing made it back to back stage wins with a repeat performance on stage 1, gaining another 5:18 on their rivals and firming their early grip on the overall classification in the open women’s category.

 

For most others in the 560 strong field – with 23 nations represented, including South Africa – it was a longer but, by all accounts, enjoyable opening day.

For stage 2, the event shifts to an overnight camp in Alexandra (Molyneaux Park) as The Pioneer moves into Central Otago for three stages before heading back to Queenstown and the finish line on Friday.

The Pioneer is one of three Epic Series Legends events – along with the Absa Cape Epic and the Swiss Epic – and part of Epic Series of global mountain bike races.

 

The 2018 Pioneer

Provisional Prologue Results

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 1:11:42
2 Vojomag ESMTB, Sebastien Carabin (BEL) & Ismael Sanchez (ESP), 1:15:56
3 Willbike MortgageMe Queenstown, Jimmy Williamson & Scott Lyttle (NZL), 1:16:57

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 1:39:19
2 New World St Martins, Nina McVicar & Mary Gray (NZL), 1:39:32
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 1:39:53

Mixed
1 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 1:28:37
2 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 1:29:51
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 1:34:38

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 1:23:52
2 Rivet Racing, Gianluca Valsenti & Matthew Webber (NZL), 1:28:10
3 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 1:28:47

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 1:25:39
2 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 1:25:51
3 Crankit Cycles Specialized, Peter O’Sullivan & Trevor Woodward (NZL), 1:31:22

 

Stage One Results

Open Men
1 Vojomag ESMTB, Sebastien Carabin (BEL) & Ismael Sanchez (ESP), 3:03:41
2 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 3:05:28
3 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 3:18:34

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 3:55:24
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 4:00:43
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 4:08:48

Mixed
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 3:37:43
2 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 3:44:34
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 3:49:50

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 3:29:20
2 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 3:43:41
3 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 3:44:17

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 4:12:03
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL) 4:39:47
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 5:13:16

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 3:32:15
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 3:42:56
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 3:47:48

General Classification after the Prologue and Stage One

Open Men
1 ONYA Bike, Tim Rush & Michael Vink (NZL), 4:17:11
1 Vojomag ESMTB, Sebastien Carabin (BEL) & Ismael Sanchez (ESP), 4:19:38
3 Spot Africa/Insect, Alan Gordon & Timothy Hammond (SAF), 4:35:33

Open Women
1 Wellington Airport, Amy Hollamby & Kate McIlroy (NZL), 5:34:44
2 Shimano, Briony Mattocks & Brodie Chapman (AUS), 5:44:13
3 Madison NZ, Erin Greene & Hannah Miller (NZL), 5:48:42

Mixed
1 New World, Mark Williams & Kate Fluker (NZL), 5:07:35
2 JoJoe, Josie Wilcox & Joe Skerman (NZL), 5:13:11
3 Niner Bikes/Kappius Components, Jean-Francois Bossler & Fanny Bourdon (FRA/CZE), 5:24:28

Masters (Both riders 40+)
1 SRAM, Anthony Shippard & David Evans, (AUS), 4:53:14
2 A21 Linc’n’Lister, Lincoln Carolan & Peter Lister (AUS), 5:12:29
3 Nutritec, Nathon Wright & Gene Marsh (NZL), 5:15:52

Women’s Masters (both riders 40+)
1 IMB, Peg Leyland & Kath Kelly (NZL), 5:56:40
2 Pikelet & Blini, Emma McCosh & Marquita Gelderman (NZL), 6:35:07
3 Cable Geraldine Logging, Kylie Burrows & Sarah Kaehler (NZL & AUS), 7:29:44

Grand Masters (both riders 50+)
1 2 Old Men, Shaun Portegys & Tim O’Leary, NZL), 4:58:06
1 Stutho & Sutho Protocol, Blair Stuthridge & Neil Sutherland (NZL), 5:08:35
3 The Hub Cycles/Napier, Kent Wilson & Chris Clark (NZL), 5:19:37