Photo Story: Days 1 & 2 of the Yeti Trans NZ

Mar 2, 2021
by Yeti TransNZ Enduro  

We're stoked to bring you the 2021 Yeti Cycles Trans NZ Presented by RideWrap featuring six days of epic riding and racing across the South Island of New Zealand. Catch all of the action right here, all week long.

New Zealand recently went into 'Alert Level 2' for coronavirus, which limits large gatherings, but luckily the Yeti Trans NZ could take place with fewer than 100 riders.

Day 1

There really is no better place to start a six-day mountain bike adventure. Year after year Cragieburn delivers an epic introduction to the YETI TRANS NZ. Riders tackled five classic stages, including The Edge and Cheeseman DH, along with two gruelling climbs. Those fresh legs wouldn't be feeling fresh for long.

Not a bad morning commute.

A rider heads towards the start of Stage 1 - The Edge. You can see where it gets it's name.

Racers get their precious bikes a Custom Trans NZ RideWrap before throwing their bikes into the big 6 days of riding!

The Edge trail is a real test of riders nerve. With absolutely zero room for error, how fast are you prepared to go?

At numerous points the trail crosses these challenging scree slides. Keeping your momentum is key to getting through without a problem.

Ben Friel pedalling his way over one of the many scree slides through Stage 1. This is not somewhere you want to catch a pedal.

Don't miss that turn!

Foot out, Flat out.

The bottom half of the trail opens up a little bit and Matt Breen took every opportunity to get a few pedal strokes in.

The smile says it all. Craigieburn is pretty freaking rad!

Riders headed to Dracophyllum Flat for Stage 2. A wide open, incredibly fast stage. Quite a shock after the tighter, narrower Stage 1.

There's only one speed on Stage 2. FAST!

No gloves, no worries. Bradley Harris took several stage wins on Day 1 to finish up in 2nd overall, only 5 seconds back.

The climb up to Cheeseman DH for Stage 3 was the biggest of the day but the most rewarding. For those that hadn't ridden Cheeseman DH yet, they were in for a treat.

No knee pads, no worries? Brave man!

Bradley Harris in a sea of tussock through the top section of Stage 3. They might look like not much, but get off line and they will stop you in a hurry.

The final sprint through the open top section of Stage 3.

If in doubt, pull up!

Will Johnston rode solid all day to find himself in 4th overall at the end of Day 1.

Pro Tip: Bring two pairs of shoes. No one likes wet feet!

The final big climb of the day took riders up to the Hogs Back trail for Stage 4.

How good is the Cragieburn landscape?

Christian Wingate heading into 2nd for the Master's category at the end of Day 1.

Lean er' in and commit.

A quick pedal over to Stage 5 and the end was in sight.

It's almost beer o'clock!

All eyes are on Ben Friel after a full day of charging hard landed in him in the overall lead.

Day 1 Results
Overall Men

1st. Ben Friel - 00:26:27
2nd. Bradley Harris - 00:26:32
3rd. Daniel Ellison - 00:27:48
4th. Will Johnston - 00:28:03
5th. Matt Breen - 00:28:11
Overall Women

1st. Ronja Hill-Wright - 00:31:58
2nd. Melissa Newall - 00:34:41
3rd. Julie Greenslade - 00:36:13
4th. Karolyne Dunn - 00:41:42
5th. Ann Hunn - 00:42:53

Cheers mates!

Day 2

Day 2 marks moving day. But before tackling the nearly 7 hour drive through to Queenstown, The Luge, Dracophyllum Flat and Cuckoo Creek would form the base for three classic Cragieburn stages to see the riders off. All be it a shorter day, it was by no means less physical.

The early bird gets the worm. The marshals are the first and last on track every single day.

The Luge has to be another rider favourite. The fast and flowy nature of the trail makes it a blast to ride.

No pressure, but don't mess it up!

Beech Forest cornflakes for breakfast anyone?

Stage 2 was a re-run from Day 1. Second time through and it's even faster and even scarier!

Bradley Harris turned it up a notch to finish the day in 1st overall and push himself into the overall lead.

Some people just like to do things a little different....

Marshal party train.

This hairpin on Stage 2 has caught many a rider out over the years.

Melissa Newall went on to finish the day in 2nd overall for the women. This Ex Enduro World Series Master's Champion certainly knows a thing or two about speed.

The final climb of the day up to Cuckoo Creek for Stage 3.

There's nothing better than dropping in right behind your buddy and heckling them the whole down the trail.

Raise it up!

Game face on and focused.

Ben Friel couldn't quite hold onto the lead but with only seconds separating the top two, it's all still to play for.

I can tell you from experience there is a real art to clocking in and clocking out for each stage. It's usually the very last stage, on the last day before you nail it.

Chefs cooking up a storm for the hungry riders

Day 2 Results
Overall Men

1st. Bradley Harris - 00:11:59
2nd. Ben Friel - 00:12:06
3rd. Daniel Ellison - 00:12:49
4th. Matt Breen - 00:12:52
5th. Will Johnston - 00:13:12
Overall Women

1st. Ronja Hill-Wright - 00:14:48
2nd. Melissa Newall - 00:16:18
3rd. Julie Greenslade - 00:16:29
4th. Karolyne Dunn - 00:18:50
5th. Ann Hunn - 00:21.50

A huge thanks has to go out to the volly crew. The week wouldn't be possible without them. Cheers guys!

See you all in Queenstown.

About TRANS NZ / Megan Rose - Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for more years than we count. She moves between New Zealand and Canada organising not only Trans NZ but also Trans BC and now the brand new Trans Tasmania kicking off in 2021. She has over 15 years of racing and riding experience and no stranger to some epic full-day missions. Over the last 7 years Trans NZ has evolved into New Zealand's premier multi day Enduro event. Covering 6 days of only the best riding New Zealand's south island has to offer from Craigieburn to Queenstown.

MENTIONS: @yeticycles / @ridewrap


  • 19 9
 I don't want to be that guy, but the Yeti TransNZ watermark in every single photo felt kind of excessive.
  • 5 1
 It was probably just a Lightroom export preset. Pretty common practice for stuff like this.
  • 10 0
 Pretty sure that's an alchemy in one photo... Snuck through.
  • 2 0
 Slayer at the top too. Tut tut.
  • 9 1
 Stir fried beard hair coming up.
  • 7 0
 *grumbles jealously in murican*
  • 3 0
  • 5 0
 Looks like some good times in the beech! Great bit of visual story telling guys
  • 2 0
 Those pics really make me want to go back to Craigieburn. No interest in racing (more of a smiles-per-hour rider) but had a long weekend riding those trails for my 40th and want an excuse for another.
  • 3 0
 Great pics, especially the Edge. A 7 hour drive between stages...hope no one falls asleep at the wheel.
  • 2 0
 The Good Old Days: No masks, booming economy, bike races, card games, cold ones with a crew, and you can actually see if she's laughing at your joke or just yawning
  • 2 0
 Looks awesome.
  • 1 0
 The 16th photo looks like Gordon Ramsay
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