Video & Race Report: Trans NZ Days 5 & 6 - Hard Yakka

Mar 4, 2019
by Yeti TransNZ Enduro  
Views: 6,466    Faves: 5    Comments: 0


The final days of the Yeti Trans NZ Enduro presented by Shimano rewarded racers with the best conditions of the week – sunshine, hero dirt, and nine stages that put racers through the paces in Alexandra and Queenstown. It was a tight race until the very end – within seconds separating the podium and locals pushing the pace for the top riders.

The hills of Central Otago around Alexandra are gloriously covered in thyme flowers. Two theories exist about how thyme came to Central the most common is that it came with goldminers but it is also thought to be brought by French miner horticulturalist and winemaker Jean Desire Feraud who had an estate near Clyde in the 1860s and 70s.
The hills of Central Otago around Alexandra, are gloriously covered in thyme flowers. Two theories exist about how thyme came to Central: the most common is that it came with goldminers, but it is also thought to be brought by French miner, horticulturalist and winemaker Jean Desire Feraud who had an estate near Clyde in the 1860s and '70s.

“Despite so many variables thrown at us, it was an incredible week, and things ran really smooth compared to previous years. The riders were all super understanding on conditions and changing routes for their safety and made the most of it and an enjoyable for everyone involved,” Rose said.

Taking a thyme out from the physical six stages on Day 5.
Taking a thyme out from six physical stages on Day 5.

The multi-tool multi-tasking at what he does best - followcam banter and looking damn good while doing it.
The multi-tool multi-tasking at what he does best - #followcam, banter and looking damn good while doing it.

After Day 4 was canceled due to winter flurries, Alexandra brought a breath of fresh air to racers and the 20 guest riders who were eager to share their local lines. Phil Oliver, owner of Altitude Bikes, has worked with Megan Rose for the last five years on creating an unrivaled day of racing in the semi-arid desert of New Zealand.

Nestled in a large river basin at the junction of the Manuherikia River and the mighty Clutha River. Alexandra is surrounded by a distinctive moonscape where Trans NZ riders got a distinct taste of something different.
Nestled in a large river basin at the junction of the Manuherikia River and the mighty Clutha River. Alexandra is surrounded by a distinctive 'moonscape' where Trans NZ riders got a taste of something different - perhaps a little piney and peppery with slight minty notes.

“We introduced one new stage and a few different alternative lines at the bottom of a few stages to keep things interesting,” Oliver said. “The terrain is a bit different than the rest of the Trans race – very few trees and just some bush bashing and pink dots to follow.”

Phil Oliver brings the passion the drive and the trails to life at Martangi Station in Alexandra New Zealand. If you re ever curious to check out the trails give him a shout at Altitude Bikes.
Phil Oliver brings the passion, the drive, and the trails to life at Martangi Station in Alexandra, New Zealand. If you're ever curious to check out the trails, give him a shout at Altitude Bikes.

The literal translation of following the pink dots.
The literal translation of following the pink dots.

When you don t follow the pink dots.
When you don't follow the pink dots.

One of the many fast local kids who took the day off from school to race their their trails and put down some lightning fast thymes.
One of the many fast local kids who took the day off from school to put down some lightning fast times on their home turf.

Six stages ranging between sub-2 minutes to five minutes still felt like a long day with all liaisons pedal-powered. With names like Supercharger, TT, On the Rocks, End Trails, Hazard and Fifth Amendment, racers were dealt a full house of rock features and formations. The key to surviving: follow the pink dots – even when they seemed to lead you astray, they are always the safest lines.

“It was hard to keep focused on the pink dots and look ahead to stay on the line. But all in all, it was a super fun day. I felt a little bit rough out of the gate, but I managed to stay on my bike on all but Stage 4,” said James Weingarten (Denver, CO) Master Men 40+. Weingarten went on to win four and tie one of the stages.

Jamie Weingarten chases Nate Hills down the trails. Not too much different than their casual FollowCamFriday episodes.
Jamie Weingarten chases Nate Hills down the trails. Not too much different from a casual day out filming #FollowCamFriday episodes.

A course hold on Stage 2 resulted in the Open Women’s leader, Sarah Rawley (Golden, CO) pulling out of the race after a crash severely dislocated her elbow and she took an ambulance trip to the Dunstan Hospital.

Sarah Rawley was having a great thyme out there before she stuffed her arm between two rocks on Stage 2 resulting in a dislocated elbow. Bad thymes.
Sarah Rawley was having a great time out there before she stuffed her arm between two rocks on Stage 2 resulting in a dislocated elbow. Bad thymes.

The World Famous Mops of Wanaka shares her spunk and spirit as a local guest rider for three days of the Trans NZ. After winning the EWS Women Master Championship in 2018 she returned home to clean up at local races for the kiwi summer. Newell won every stage she moonlighted in at the Trans NZ and will return to the full EWS circuit in the Open Women s category.
The World Famous Mops of Wanaka shares her spunk and spirit as a local guest rider for three days of the Trans NZ. After winning the EWS Women Master Championship in 2018, she returned home to clean up at local races for the kiwi summer. Newell won every stage she moonlighted in at the Trans NZ and will return to the full EWS circuit in the Open Women's category.

“The medic crew was incredible out there – especially Zoe who stuck with me for the rest of the afternoon through all the highs and lows of getting it reset and reunited with the rest of the race crew,” Rawley said. “Definitely bummed not to be finishing out the race, but happy they could pop it back into place, and I could hike up and cheer everyone on day six!”

Mark Nickolls Queenstown NZL has more passion for mountain biking in his one finger that most have in their entire being. He had to pull out of the entire race due to injury but showed up in Alexandra to give his best push.
Mark Nickolls (Queenstown, NZL) has more passion for mountain biking in his one finger that most have in their entire being. He had to pull out of the entire race due to a lingering injury, but showed up in Alexandra to race as a guest rider for the day.

Frenchie makes crossing the suspension bridge full of suspense.
Frenchie classing up his crossing of Shaky Bridge - a very old wooden suspension bridge originally built in 1877.

Local shredder Bradley Harris swept all but Stage 3, putting over a minute into Tom Sampson (Boulder, CO) who was steadily clawed back 46 seconds from Jordan Powell (Melbourne, AUS) and 22 seconds from Nate Hills (Dillon, CO) throughout the day.

From High Above in Alexandra.
From High Above in Alexandra.

Steeper than it looks.

The final day of the week crowned the Yeti Trans NZ with three queen stages that wove in and out of Skyline Bike Park, to the top of the Ben Lomond Saddle, and back down to town to celebrate with beer, high fives and recounting stories and forging new friendships over the past week.

On Stage 1, ear to ear grins sent it down the newly adopted Squid Run – the little brother to the infamous Salmon Run that drops off of the summit of the Fernhill trails. Purpose-built to shred, Squid Run was recently constructed by the Queenstown MTB Club volunteer crew. Known for their hard-earned reputation to GSD (get shit done), QMTBC works closely with the Department of Conservation the local council and landowners in building new trails and maintaining the existing trail network.

Invasion of cephalopods Squid Run
Invasion of the cephalopods – Squid Run

“I had a bit of a get off on Stage 1 and lost from time,” said Jordan Powell (Melbourne, AUS) Open Men. “I know I lost some time and the final standings are one second between the top three Open Men. I’m quite nervous to see who’s won. Guess we’ll find out at the pub.”

Jordan Powell rode strong all week and seemingly had the week wrapped up going into the final day. Some bad luck on Stage 1 and good karma for fixing course tape dropped Powell out of the lead and into third place by three seconds. That s trans racing...
Jordan Powell rode strong all week and seemingly had the week wrapped up going into the final day. Some bad luck on Stage 1 and good karma for fixing course tape dropped Powell out of the lead and into third place by merely three seconds. That's trans racing...

Climbing to their final summit of the week to the Ben Lomond Saddle at 1,326 meters, riders soaked in their surroundings and all of the hard yakka (kiwi translation – hard work), tired legs, sore arms and every bump and bruise that accumulated from the week melted away.

Jawdropping views of the Remarkables named allegedly because they are one of only two mountain ranges in the world which run directly north to south.
Jawdropping views of the Remarkables named allegedly because they are one of only two mountain ranges in the world which run directly north to south.

“Nobody got a little bit mad for the hike a bike, the views looking at Lake Wakatipu were completely worth it,” said Cody Marshall (Edmonton, CAN) Open Men. “The last stage down was the best. I went into the thicket and did a little brush cutting for the team. I sasquatched the bike to the trail and am now drinking beers in the sunshine. All in all, an incredible week with my mates!”

Cody Marshall - father of Jet purveyor of rooftop tents trendsetter of the Canadian Tuxedo.
Cody Marshall - father of Jet, purveyor of rooftop tents, trendsetter of the Canadian Tuxedo.

The final turns down the old school Fernhill Roots into the bottom of Squid Run, capped the week with a super physical, rooty, arm-pump inducing descent. The top time was 9 minutes 40 seconds on the final stage, taking the seasoned trans racers off-guard with a much longer grand finale.

Tom Sampson throwing down the wattage. After a mechanical earlier in the week Sampson made up ground on Days 5 ad 6 to finish in second place by one second.
Tom Sampson throwing down the wattage. After a mechanical earlier in the week, Sampson made up ground on Days 5 and 6, winning the final stage of the race and finishing in second place, by one second.

“This was my second year of volunteering at the Trans NZ and the people, the variety of trails and being able to push yourself out there – whether you’re racing or volunteering – is what makes the experience so unique,” said Loretta Mitchell (Rotorua, NZL). “Spending six days with the same crew forges new friends and is what brings me back every year!”

For those who still hadn’t burned through their entire glycogen stores, more bike laps were in store before the festivities, debauchery and several rounds of “churrrrs” commenced in downtown Queenstown.

This year the Trans NZ crowd consumed three times the beer by Day 4 compared to previous years.
This year the Trans NZ crowd consumed three times the beer by Day 4 compared to previous years.

Weingarten had a commanding lead all week long and maintained his composure to finish Day 6 with a 3 minute 29 second margin ahead of Kashi Leuchs (Dunedin, NZL). A guest rider by the record of Sir Roy Gruenpeter, threw down the fastest times for the Master 40+ Men on Day 6, but for now, the sheep shirt wearing rider will remain a mystery.

Annelie Marquette (Brisbane, AUS) rode steady all week long, with a win on Day 3 and putting 3 minutes 57 seconds into the rest of her field. She flew the turquoise flag all week and proudly walked away with a Trans NZ emblazoned Silky saw.

Chloe Quilliam allegedly the last woman on the Isle of Man has a loose and furious riding style perfect for blind racing.
Chloe Quilliam, allegedly the last woman on the Isle of Man, has a loose and furious riding style, perfect for blind racing.

The Open Men’s category left some surprises to be revealed. With one second separating first and second place, and one more second between second and third, three contenders nervously fidgeted with pints in hand. Like in a beauty pageant, second runner up, Powell gracefully accepted his unexpected boot from the top of the podium. Sampson came in as first runner-up, and Hills took the bouquet and gave the traditional speech, thanking all of the volunteers, racers, mountain bike clubs, and of course, Megan Rose for one helluva week.

When you ve got years of racing under your belt like Nate Hills you don t have to spend nearly as much time training to stay on top of the podium. Color coordination mustache grooming and YouTube edits can take priority.
When you've got years of racing under your belt like Nate Hills, you don't have to spend nearly as much time training to stay on top of the podium. Color coordination, mustache grooming, and YouTube edits take priority.

Full results can be found here.

These recaps wouldn’t be possible without the late nights and creative angles that the media team brings to the event each and every year, sacrificing life and limb to bring you photos, videos, and stories from ground zero.

Videographer Ben Duke finds his stride on Day 6 Stage 2 from the Ben Lomond saddle.
Videographer Ben Duke finds his stride on Day 6, Stage 2 from the Ben Lomond saddle.

Digby Shaw when he s not busy hustling around courses slinging shots wrangling the other media squids and translating the kiwi vernacular he shreds bikes and builds trail in Nelson New Zealand.
Digby Shaw, when he's not busy hustling around courses, slinging shots, wrangling the other media squids, and translating the kiwi vernacular, he shreds bikes and builds trail in Nelson, New Zealand.

The darker the loam the more alive JC becomes.
The darker the loam, the more alive JC becomes.

The elusive one-armed media squid.
The elusive one-armed media squid.

And most important a huge churrrr to all of the racers who rolled the dice and traveled from near and far to share their week and create experiences of a lifetime with other mountains bikers from all walks of life. When it comes to trans mountain bike racing, you can come to expect the unexpected. But one thing is for certain, you won’t return the same rider.

Registration will open for the 2020 Yeti Trans NZ in mid-September. The event will undoubtedly return as a six-day event and Rose is already scheming up plans to continue to shake things up. For more information email megan@ridingbc.com or subscribe to the newsletter at www.transnz.com.

Views: 7,326    Faves: 9    Comments: 0


RESULTS DAYS OVERALL RESULTS

Open Men
1. Nate Hills (USA) 1:40:54
2. Tom Sampson (USA) 1:40:55
3. Jordan Powell (AUS) 1:40:57
4. Zac Williams (NZL) 1:42:49
5. Mark Frendo (AUS) 1:42:52

Open Women
1. Annelie Marquardt (AUS) 2:18:11
2. Margaux Elliott (USA) 2:22:08
3. Ashley Watling (CAN) 2:23:48
4. Chloe Quilliam (GBR) 2:26:43
5. Jasmine Swanson (CAN) 2:27:11

Master Men 40+
1. Jamie Weingarten (USA) 1:46:19
2. Kashi Leuchs (NZL) 1:49:48
3. John Cobb (GBR) 1:50:30
4. Ali Quinn (NZL) 1:50:54
5. Karl Peel (AUS) 1:50:59

###

ABOUT MEGAN ROSE — Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for 14 years and organizing bike events for the past 10 years. She splits her time between British Columbia, Canada and New Zealand, running Trans BC Enduro and Trans NZ Enduro races. Over the past six years, Megan has personally raced in over 40 enduro races, timed over 65 days’ worth of enduro races, and organized 30+ enduro races. Megan and her team look forward to bringing you the best of the best from all of these perspectives.

A proper churrr to Megan Rose the mastermind behind the Yeti Trans NZ.
A proper churrrr to Megan Rose, the mastermind behind the Yeti Trans NZ.

A huge churrr to Kashi Leuchs and Mat Wright form Yeti NZ who have supported this event starting in 2016. Even cooler to see them out racing the event.
Give Kashi Leuchs and Mat Wright a high five the next time you see them! Thanks to the support of Yeti NZ, the Trans NZ will push on to six years of producing premiere enduro mountain bike stage racing.

Writer's Note: As they say, you win some, you lose some. Despite not finishing my fourth Yeti Trans NZ due to dislocating my elbow on Day 5 in Alexandra, this past week will be a highlight of the year, surrounded by some of the most incredible humans you'll ever meet on a bike. Every day I pedaled with new friends, was challenged by the conditions and terrain, and got to dive into the depths behind the scenes of what makes this event tick. Despite the media team's 30 percent attrition rate this week, we managed to churn out recaps and squeeze out every ounce of sunrise and sunset shooting in addition to running around the course all hours of the day. A huge churrrr to Digby Shaw, Dane Cronin, Ben Duke, JC Canfield, Nate Hills, Kristina Vackova and of course Megan Rose and Nate Corrigan for your tireless efforts. See you on the next round, limbs intact and ready to shred!
~ Sarah Rawley (Golden, USA) Open Women

At least it s not another selfie.
Not a bad place to be a gimp. At least it's not another selfie.



15 Comments

  • + 7
 Yeah, Jamie! All that (non-existent) training paid off. #justmackthatshit
  • + 3
 Following the EWS and the World Cup gives me such a buzz, but then you get events like this that totally inspire. Seeing riders that I can relate too (skills wise) struggling/riding on the edge makes me thing, yeh, I can do that (whether I can or can't is a debate for another time). Great piece, loved the vibe. Thanks to PB for giving an event like this air time. Just makes me wona get out there and ride............. once the snow has gone!
  • + 3
 Best thing about these types of races is the work-a-day riders (shout out to my homies Agnes, Yuri, Jessica and Erik!!) are head to head with some of the fastest people in the game and everyone has fun together. I flamed out hard on my first (and I still say last) blind international enduro but the experience of hanging out with a crew of like minded folks for multiple days in the woods was totally worth it.
  • + 6
 Dang Tom! Looks like Nate got the faster chip! LOL... #morethanamyth
  • + 2
 That guy with the to to ,handlebar makers please start putting an emergency button on the bars so they could shrink in that situations ,thanks.great days when you have fun like that
  • + 4
 Now that looks like an awesome event. Hope to be able to do stuff like this one day!
  • + 3
 ????????Loose and furious! ???????? Chloe Quilliam Well done !! Love from The Isle of Mann????????
  • + 3
 Tom races fast but shotguns beers slowwwwwww
  • + 2
 Good work James Eaves! Riding blind from the other side of the world to a 9th place.
  • + 2
 Looks like such a great event.. Does PB have coverage of round 3 NZDH at Cardrona??
  • + 1
 I do....
  • + 1
 GO TWIGGY!! U b kill n it!! Making the old dawgs proud.. Nice work!!
  • + 1
 Frenchie?? Dammit all these years I thought he was Spanish.
  • + 1
 Ahahah, not that far off Smile ! Frenchline is not a myth anymore for you...
  • + 1
 cracker photos and captions digby shaw looks like a rad event!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.056187
Mobile Version of Website