The Yeti Cycles Trans NZ Presented by Shimano
is on for 2020. Covering 6 days of New Zealand's most epic South Island riding. Keep up to date with the coverage all week right here!
Ahh Queenstown. How good! All distractions aside, racers had a job to do. 4 stages over 10km of timed trail and a chairlift. Before anyone could get too comfy, racers started the day with a climb into the clouds to reach the peak of Coronet Ski Field. The peak was the start for stage 1 and 2 with racers tackling the National DH track first up. Stage 2 was a stark contrast to the first of the day: Coronet XC is quite similar to Rude Rock in some aspects. Fast, flowy and damn hard on the lungs if you're going for it. It simply wouldn't be Trans NZ without these stages.
Racers headed to stage 3 for what's possibly one of New Zealand's most well known trails, Rude Rock. Let's be honest, it's quite the masterpiece and is a hectic track to race. Especially so if you haven't ridden it before - which is the case for most of the riders out here. It's super fast with blind turns, a couple of flowing ridge lines, and if you're keen enough there's a few doubles hidden in there. Normally this stage would take racers right to the bottom of Skippers Canyon but with its current state, the woman-in-charge and our fearless leader in this southern land, made the call to finish it a little early near the top of Pack Track. Count yourself lucky riders, that climb is less than pleasant. One final sprint down Zoot track to see who could stay off the brakes the longest and the riders were headed back to town for beers and high fives.
The women's field saw a bit of a shakeup. Harriet Beaven had a strong day and pulled some time back on Falesha Stocker who charged home to second. Times are getting tight between the top women, but it's sweet to see the whole women's field absolutely ripping! Local legends Eddie Masters and Matt Walker made light work of the day's trails and took the top 2 spots. Charlie Murray came home in 3rd for the day, extending his overall lead but a charging Hayden Lockhart was hunting him down all day. Can Hayden grab an overall day win from Charlie?
Day 3 Results
1st. Eddie Masters - 00:19:10 (Guest Rider)
2nd. Matt Walker - 00:19:45 (Guest Rider)
3rd. Charlie Murray - 00:19:57
4th. Hayden Lockhart - 00:20:14
5th. Calum Wilson - 00:20:22
1st. Harriet Beaven - 00:25:01
2nd. Falesha Stocker - 00:25:33
3rd. Caitlin Dore - 00:26:07
4th. Shantel Koenig - 00:26:52
5th. Genevieve Kayat - 00:27:44
Alexandra has been a fixture on the Trans NZ calendar since the very first year and for a very good reason. The man, the myth, the legend, Phil Oliver always puts the racers to the test under the Alex sun. The hills in which the Alexandra trails are located have slim to zero shade. It gets hot, like really hot.
All of the stages have one thing in common. Rocks, and a ton of them. I should know, I got two punctures just squidding around all day. Racers tackled Panhead for Stage 1, Orange Roughy and Super Charger for stage 2 and 3 respectively. I could write something about all three, but I'd just be repeating myself. They are all rad trails, all have awkward janky sections and all have wheel eating rocks. But we all live for this right?
Stage 4 had a slight reprieve from the sun. A fast bobsled like section of trail running tight between the only wooded section of the day. It's not always about the racing so it was rad to see riders dropping in in big trains for party laps. Entrails into Appendix was the route for Stage 4 before the last climb of the day and more importantly the last time past the feed station. Phil always manages to throw in a little surprise and a new rock slab section in Stage 5 did a great job of catching even the locals off guard. A long, upper body physical stage to finish the day before heading back to Monteiths for a bevy.
Four days in and the legs are starting to get tired. Harriet Beaven scratched up another overall day win but Falesha still holds the overall. There's a pattern emerging here, Charlie Murray notched up another overall win for day 4. Max Hides stormed into second place and Mitch Codner ended the day in 3rd. While Charlie is pulling further and further ahead of the field the places behind are becoming hotly contested. 2 more days, and so much that could still happen.
Day 4 Results
1st. Charlie Murray - 00:18:09
2nd. Max Hides - 00:18:51
3rd. Mitch Codner - 00:18:58
4th. Jordan Powell - 00:19:01
5th. Calum Wilson - 00:19:11
1st. Harriet Beaven - 00:26:29
2nd. Falesha Stocker - 00:26:36
3rd. Caitlin Dore - 00:27:23
4th. Genevieve Kayat - 00:28:46
5th. Alice Foote - 00:28:47
Alongside the Trans NZ, Phil runs a local shredders race. The men's category was taken out by local Bradley Harris, in a time almost 2 minutes quicker than any other rider across both events. Keep an eye out for this kid at some EWS events this year! The ladies was won by Wanaka rider Phoebe Coers, also taking out the fastest overall time of the day.
Local Shredders Results
1st. Bradley Harris - 00:17:19
2nd. Thomas Begg - 00:19:04
3rd. Sam Paris - 00:19:46
1st. Phoebe Coers - 00:22:04
2nd. Robin Pieper - 00:22:20
3rd. Nicole Mesman - 00:23:21
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. Over the last 6 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 Cragieburn to Queenstown.