Video & Photo Story: Trans NZ - Days 1 & 2

Feb 16, 2020
by Yeti TransNZ Enduro  

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!

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Day 1

Breakfast discussions for Day 1 were all about the weather. Was the forecasted rain going to hit? The sky was looking very ominous as racers started the climb to Stage 1. Racers were dropped straight into the thick of it with the infamous Edge Track. A tight narrow trail left very little room for any passing and blind corners had racers on their toes the whole way. Dracophyllum Flat would be used as Stage 2 for both the first and second day. Connecting the two riding zones Craigieburn offers, the trail can only be ridden at one speed - mach chicken! It's wide and it's fast!

If the legs were still feeling good, the 400m, hour-long gruelling climb up the Cheeseman ski field access road would certainly see they weren't fresh for much longer. At the top is one of the most classic, well known Craigieburn trails, Cheeseman DH. This old school trail features a tasty collection of alpine high speed and classic New Zealand Beech forest. The wind arrived just in time for racers to drop, and with the alpine exposure to the element's it's far from friendly when the elements come in up there. Heading down through the tussocks into the tight woods riders had to be on their game. One misplaced front wheel and the unforgiving tussocks would stop you in a hurry.

A quick jaunt up the hill to Stage 4 for the Hogs back trail had the finish in sight. But this one hurts. by this stage racers have climbed around 800m for the day and the legs are hurting. But to stay in the hunt this stage requires pedalling. And lots of it! The burning sensation kicks in early and pedalling is the last thing you want to do but the beer is close! One last sprint back down to the nights accommodation and beer o'clock. Stage 5 points all downhill - the perfect finish to Day 1.

Trans NZ 2020
The crucial morning horn salute.
Trans NZ 2020
Fresh legs? Not for long.

Lets get this party started! Day 1, Stage 1 is on!

Cragieburn offers some of the most amazing New Zealand Beech Forest. Just don't look down, it's a steep drop off you don't want to have to try and climb back up.

Trans NZ 2020
Ryan Leutton(AUS) was hauling all day long, making light work of this awkward right-hander that caught many people off guard.

post race lunch stoke.
Riders had two massive climbs for Day 1. Snack stops were mandatory at every opportunity.

Trans NZ 2020
A little bit of seasonal summer confusion hit later in the day

Trans NZ 2020
Harriet Beaven(NZL) attacked the classic Cheeseman DH track. Riders have to watch those tussocks though. Get off line and they are not forgiving at all.

Trans NZ 2020
Did he ride it out though?

Keeping up with Charlie Murray(NZL) could be an issue this week. He's set the pace and put a target on his back for the rest of the week.

The media squids had an apprentice for Day 1. Young local Ben Ferrier helped out and put the squids to the test getting some bangers. Cheers, Ben!

Jordan Powell(AUS) ripping through the lush Craigieburn Forest. The Aussie contingent is out in force this week trying as always token up with the kiwis.

Wyn Masters jumped in as a guest rider for Day 1 and 2 putting some pressure on all the top riders.

One last dash through the tress for stage 5. The beer was calling by this point in the day.

Warp speed down Stage 5

Falesha Stocker has started the week strong and stamped her authority on the womens field. There's certainly no time to relax though with Harriet and Shantel not far behind. For the mens field, it was Charlie Murray who has put himself well ahead of the pack with a commanding lead of 1 minute 39 seconds. Guest rider Wyn Masters slots into second and Australian Paul Van der Ploeg into third. It only takes a second for it go sideways though. The battle will continue...

Day 1 Results
Open Men

1st. Charlie Murray - 00:25:09
2nd. Wyn Masters - 00:26:48 (Guest Rider)
3rd. Paul Van der Ploeg - 00:27:00
4th. Jordan Powell - 00:27:39
5th. Stu Cali - 00:27:44
Open Women

1st. Falesha Stocker - 00:34:08
2nd. Harriet Beaven - 00:35:25
3rd. Shantel Koenig - 00:38:33
4th. Tanya Sharp - 00:38:36
5th. Alice Foote - 00:38:45

On the climb to stage 3
Remember to stay stoked kids.

Trans NZ 2020
All eyes are on this man heading into day 2.

Writters Note: Spare a thought for this man! Mike, one of our epic medic crew took a big digger on the crews final run of the day and was airlifted to Christchurch Hospital. Stoked to see you back shredding soon dude! Healing vides coming your way.

Day 2

Moving day. With a nearly 600km drive down to Queenstown racers faced a slightly shorter day. Three stages with the repeat of the Dracophyllum Flat stage. There were some tired legs heading up the hill towards another Craigieburn classic. A short hike-a-bike brought the riders to the start of the Luge trail. Year after year after year it seems to be a rider favourite and for good reason. The trail drops from an open ridge into the familiar Beech forest. Long straights with some handlebar grabbing branches for good measure. The damp ground had the trail running at an all-time condition, roost being spit up everywhere. The trails in the area link up incredibly well, with the bottom of the stage only a quick 5-minute pedal to the start of stage 2.

A quick repeat of Dracophyllum Flat for stage 2 and the racers headed up for the final stage of the day. Ascending the Cheeseman ski field access road for a second time just to double-check everyone had exhausted legs. Cuckoo Creek is a full workout. The compressions at the top, a creek crossing with a punchy climb, there is not a bone in your body which isn't put to the test on this trail. Once done, the show must move on. The pack up, which happens while the racers are on course, moves further down the island to Queenstown, is it time for the bike park yet?

Not a bad place to start the day aye. And of course, the compulsory morning horns salute.

Settling into Stage 1 of the day and getting the nerves out of the way.

Riders got the chance to watch the first part of stage one as they hiked up to the start.

Charlie Murray(NZL) made light work of the damp trails today.

The iconic Luge trail. If you don't ride this while you're at Craigieburn did you really actually go?

Wyn's final chance to try and topple Charlie from the top of the result sheet.

A little overnight rain and some slick roots didn't stop Harriet Beaven(NZL) putting down another killer run.

Slick roots? Ryan Leutton didn't think so, riding the trail as if it were completely dry.

There will be no shortage of this going on this week.

Check those lines on the way up. but make sure you heckle at the same time.

How good are these conditions?

Dark and Damp was the name of the day.

Falesha Stocker and Charlie Murray both added to their first-day leads. But there was a good shake-up behind. Calum Wilson had a stunner of a day to ride into 3rd, with Caitlin Dore doing the same. We are in for an exciting 4 more days. For the Master 40+ Men, Christian Wingate took top honours and in doing so pulled back the time he lost on day 1 to find himself in first overall. Michael Ronning certainly won't give up without a fight though.

Day 2 Results
Open Men

1st. Charlie Murray - 00:12:28
2nd. Wyn Masters - 00:13:01 (Guest Rider)
3rd. Calum Wilson - 00:13:14
4th. Paul Van der Ploeg - 00:13:21
5th. Max Hides - 00:13:24
Open Women

1st. Falesha Stocker - 00:17:03
2nd. Harriet Beaven - 00:17:37
3rd. Caitlin Dore - 00:18:08
4th. Shantel Koenig - 00:18:41
5th. Mindy McCutcheon - 00:19:53

Keep up to date with all 2020 Trans NZ recaps and videos right here on Pinkbike! Follow @transnzenduro for updates throughout each day. Tag #transnzenduro on your posts.

About TRANS BC / 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. She has over 10 years of racing and riding experience and no stranger to some epic full-day missions. Over the last 6 years, she has evolved Trans NZ 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.

Its been RAD Craigieburn, Chur! Next stop, Queenstown...


  • 16 2
 Dat cleat position, my knees are hurting even more...
  • 11 0
 A read clit and it still made sense.
  • 1 0
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: beat me to it
  • 3 0
 @colincolin: You had it right the first time. I don’t bite, haha.
  • 1 0
 I really enjoyed riding the trails when I visited Craigieburn a couple of weeks ago, Luge was so much fun and the tech fest of Cuckoo Creek was really good too (just as well, after the fire road slog up to the trail head). I enjoyed the fast flowy downs of Dracophyllum Flat (don't let the name lull you into a false sense of security), but didn't have the legs for some of the uphill sections.
It was bone dry when I was there, but the wind was savage, decided The Edge could wait for a calmer day.
  • 1 0
 You're a jinx on the weather Megan! It was bloody beautiful up there on Saturday, ha-ha ;-)
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah, so bummed I couldn't make it this year. Weather looks sooo much better too.
  • 1 0
 looks very beautiful, congratulations!
  • 1 0
 What travel bikes are folks running?
  • 1 0
 Every year I say "ok next year"...Next year is getting closer lol
  • 1 0
 TransBC? I think you mean TransNZ!
  • 1 0
 Looks epic!

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