Yeti Trans NZ Enduro Presented by Shimano: Day 4, Alexandra

Feb 28, 2017
by Yeti TransNZ Enduro  


Day four of the Yeti Trans NZ presented by Shimano teleported racers to an entirely new world, where roots were replaced by rocks, the dense canopy of the beech forest evaporated into thin air, and pink dots were the key to survival in the desert.

Someone was moaning in the comment section yesterday that the trails don t look steep enough. Happy now
Someone was moaning in the comment section yesterday that the trails don't look steep enough. Happy now?

Speed tuck for the win.
Speed tuck for the win.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

bigquotesThis is a completely unique riding zone to New Zealand— the most arid, hottest in the summer, and coldest in the winter. We’re the closest thing you’ll get to Kamloops, B.C., Colorado, or Utah, but you can also drive a couple of hours and end up back in the West Coast bush.Phil Oliver, trail boss, and owner of Altitude Bikes

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Oliver is involved in all aspects of the mountain bike community in Alexandra, between his guiding business, which operates out of Henderson Cycles, building new trails with the local bike club, and sparking momentum for the next generation of shredders.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

“We’ve got nine young locals as guests today, and this is an opportunity to promote them in their riding community,” Oliver said. “I’m trying to help them get into racing and trail building. They see the value of contributing to their trails, and working in the same direction as the local club.”

Jake knows that tyres don t where down if there not on the ground.
Jake knows that tyres don't wear down if they aren't on the ground.


The landowners grant special access for local trail builders and the community to construct trails on their property. Two months out of the year, the trails are shut down for lambing season, but there are three other areas on public land that are provided additional mountain bike trails. If visitors are keen to check out the area, just swing by Altitude Bikes for more info.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Spanning 24 kilometers, 1000m climbing, and 1235m of descending, six stages were characterized by schizophrenic rock features, loose turns and wild thyme covering the landscape. Two theories exist about how thyme took over Central Otago— the most common is that it came with gold miner's to flavour their rancid meats. But it could have also been brought by French miner, horticulturist, and winemaker, Jean Desire Feraud who had an estate near Clyde in the 1860s and ‘70s.

Looking out over Alexandra
Looking out over Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

bigquotesI love those trails so much! I wish I had known better what was coming up. I just listened to Phil’s advice and followed the pink dots. I’m from the desert of Western Colorado, so I am used to wide open, rocky and technical riding. You just have to trust the rocks and let it roll.Sparky Sears (Fruita, Colo.) Open Women

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Oliver and Megan Rose, founder and race director of the Yeti Trans NZ, have worked together for three consecutive years to conjure up a new route every year. The theme for this round was quality over quantity, adding in steep and deep sections in the pines, and even more committing rock maneuvers. The day began by shuttling racers up to a centralized location in the spiderweb of trails, trimming 340m of climbing from last year.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

“We thought we’d ramp it up a little bit this year, and keep it fresh by cutting out a bit of the pedaling. We added in an additional stage, so we tried to shorten the liaisons to compensate for more efforts,” Oliver said.

A few riders came unstuck on the steep rocky corners. Jose Iniguez nailed it though.
A few riders came unstuck on the steep rocky corners. Jose Iniguez nailed it, though.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Stages 1 and 2 eased into the technicality of the day on Deep Purple and TT with an introduction to rock rollers, pedaly bursts, and sideways skids into the finish lines. These trails were new and properly bedded in for the Linger & Die MTB Race Series last September, and used for the first time this year in the Yeti Trans NZ.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

bigquotesThe first stage was the most challenging for me. It was pedaly, and I had no energy because I had just woken up. I thought I was familiar with the trails in Alex, but clearly I wasn’t. Every blind crest I came off on the wrong side. But other than that, I held it together, put my foot out and made the rocks my bitch.Mike Cowlin (Nelson, NZL) Open Men

Mike won the day over Paul van der Ploeg (Melbourne, AUS) by 10 seconds.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

By sheer numbers, local pinner Bradley Harris, at 15 years old, won the day by 11 seconds over Cowlin with a total time of 19:40. “I was feeling pretty smooth all day,” Bradley said. “Me and my friends help tidy up and mark the trails with Phil. Today was pretty mellow compared to some hidden features out there.” Bradley and his friends were given the day off from school to participate in the race. Stages 3, 4 and 5 ratcheted up the pucker factor with rowdier lines, rocky chicanes, and more blind rolls down steep rock slabs.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

From the top of the final stage, riders could view the Clutha River and Monteith’s Pub in the distance. The only thing between them and a cold beer on tap was Resurrection, the longest stage of the day. Immediately off of the start line, a hard and chicken line presented the opportunity for racers to choose their adventure— a sweeping go-around with a quick climb back up to the direct route, or down the main line on Lemon Rock, a 13m rock roller that catapulted riders into a pedalfest towards the finish line.

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Riders tuck in to post ride burgers and beer Thanks Monteiths
Riders tuck in to post ride burgers and beer. Thanks, Monteiths

bigquotesThis was by far the most challenging day for me. The rocks put up the fear factor, but I loved it. I had an epic fall on a rock slab.Sheila Hart (Wellington, NZL) Master Women 40+

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Melissa Newell (Wanaka, NZL) aka Mops cleaned up in the Open Women’s category and distanced herself from Sarah Rawley (Golden, Colo.) by an additional 26 seconds, steering the lead into the final day with 35 seconds overhead. Rose managed to get out on every stage in between her duties of running the show, and put down the fastest times on all but the last stage.

bigquotesI was consistent and had a ton of fun. The first few days were a bit rough with injury and trying to find my groove. I’ve only been peaking at a 5.7, and today I cranked it up to a solid 7.5 to 8. I couldn’t ask for a better crew to ride with. Eva inspired me with her big win yesterday. With heaps of support, good company, amazing chat and beautiful weather, the fizz factor was a solid 9 out of 10 for the day.Melissa Newell

Paul Van der Ploeg lost a bit of thyme on stage 5 knocking him back to 2nd place for the day. yes its a bad herb pun as the hills are covered in thyme
Paul Van der Ploeg lost a bit of thyme on stage 5, knocking him back to 2nd place for the day. (yes it's a bad herb pun as the hills are covered in thyme)

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

As we head into the fifth and final day of the Yeti Trans NZ, anything can happen. Twenty-seven seconds separate the Open Men’s podium including Cowlin, van der Ploueg and Pete Robinson (Queenstown, NZL). Twenty-six seconds divide Mops and Rawley, and another 41 seconds to Rachael Gurney (Nelson, NZL) who we’ve seen pull away on several descents. It could be anyone’s game tomorrow. Stay tuned for the final recap on the race, updates on Facebook and Instagram, and video recaps on Vimeo. Hashtag your photos #transnzenduro to make their way onto the live stream of the Trans NZ’s Media HQ. For more information email megan@ridingbc.com or visit www.transnz.com.

Whisky Mike on his way 1st place for day 4
Whisky Mike on his way 1st place for day 4

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

About Megan Rose— Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for 13 years and organizing bike events for the past six years. She splits her time between British Columbia, Canada, and New Zealand, running the BC Enduro Series and the new Trans BC for 2016, and running the Trans NZ race. Over the past two years, Megan has personally raced in over 24 enduro races, timed over 58 days worth of enduro races, and personally organized 22 enduro races. Megan and her team look forward to bringing you the best of the best from all of these perspectives.

About Altitude Bikes— Altitude Adventures, now trading as Altitude Bikes, was established in 2002 and was one of the first cycle companies on the Otago Central Rail Trail. We are a husband and wife team with a passion for cycling and mountain bike riding, particularly in our own “backyard”. We combine personal experience, local knowledge and attention to detail, so that we can provide you with the best experience possible. Whether it’s a trip on the Otago Central Rail Trail, Clutha Gold, and Roxburgh Gorge Trails or one of our Single Track Mountain Bike Adventures, we will take care of all of the organizing so you can enjoy genuine southern hospitality and the best cycling holiday possible.


DAY 4 RESULTS
Open Men
1. Mike Cowlin 19:51
2. Paul van der Ploeg 20:01
3. Jake Paddon 20:12
4. Matteo Iniguez 20:15
5. Pete Robinson 20:22

Open Women
1. Mops 24:19
2. Sarah Rawley 24:45
3. Rachael Gurney 25:03
4. Claire Bennett 25:25
5. Eva Dethlefsen 26:14

Master Men 40+
1. Jose Iniguez 20:31
2. Christian Wingate 20:54
3. Matt Patterson 21:20

Master Women 40+
1. Robyn Wong 29:12
2. Chris Bramwell 30:53
3. Sheila Hart 34:06

Local Pinners
1. Bradley Harris 19:40
2. Seamus Hart 21:18
3. Harlen Hancock 21:36

OVERALL RESULTS

Open Men
1. Mike Cowlin 1:33:09
2. Paul van der Ploeg 1:33:17
3. Pete Robinson 1:33:36
4. Nate Hills 1:35:57
5. Matteo Iniguez 1:35:57

Open Women
1. Mops 1:56:31
2. Sarah Rawley 1:57:05
3. Rachael Gurney 1:57:46
4. Eva Dethlefsen 1:59:18
5. Claire Bennett 1:59:20

Master Men 40+
1. Jose Iniguez 1:39:00
2. Christian Wingate 1:39:44
3. Matt Patterson 1:41:26

Master Women 40+
1. Robyn Wong 2:18:36
2. Chris Bramwell 2:22:44
3. Sheila Hart 2:34:53

Full Results HERE

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra

Trans NZ 2017 Day 4 Alexandra


MENTIONS: @TransNZ / @shimano




17 Comments

  • + 10
 Over the barsssss!
  • + 8
 The riding looks amazing in NZ!
  • - 4
flag Aaronhuang (Mar 1, 2017 at 10:47) (Below Threshold)
 Says no one ever?
  • + 9
 Nah, mate. It's really really really bad here. You wouldn't want to come here. Nothing but tarmac and concrete. All we have going for us is wicked skills with Photoshop that make it look like mountainbike trails.
  • + 3
 Love these tracks, completely different to anything else in NZ. Scorching hot in summer, super dusty and rocky. The climb up can be brutal in the heat but once you drop in there is not much that can beat it. The only problem is the dust, just like in Queenstown it is so fine that there is no where on the bike that it cant get. Have had to pull apart and lube up my m8000 rear derailleur twice in the last 4 months as the dust gets in and seizes it up.
  • + 1
 Did BC Secede From Canada while I was asleep?
???????????? ???????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????, ????????????????????????, ???????????? ???????????? ????????????????????????????
  • + 5
 Dam the secrets out on the Clock
  • + 5
 RIDERS OF ROHAN!
  • + 4
 Great pics!
  • + 2
 Love that stop action tire/wheel deforming pic.
  • + 1
 NZ riding looks sick. I'd go there. Heard the kayaking is intense also.
  • + 1
 I really hate when I lose thyme racing enduro.
  • + 3
 There was one thyme, at band camp...
  • + 1
 15 year old pulling away from the pro field?! Nicely done!
  • + 1
 Awesome effort!! Go the flying 15yr old!!
  • + 1
 C'mon Patterson!
  • + 1
 Superb trails and pics!

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