Fresh energy infused Days 3 and 4 of the Yeti Trans NZ presented by Shimano
with local riders joining the race. Local legends Wyn Masters and Eddie Masters threw down remarkable times across all four stages on Day 3 off of Coronet Peak and young Bradley Harris, born and raised in Alexandra beat the entire field by 27 seconds on Day 4.
In this report, we’ll follow locals to shed light on the perspective of racing familiar terrain.
“It looked like a good time and a good bit of training for us leading into the upcoming EWS season,” said Wyn Masters (New Plymouth, NZL), who is affectionately known for Wyntv and #wynswheeliewednesday. The Masters incorporated the 38-kilometer route into a 50-kilometer training day by pedaling back to town after racing through four physical stages including the famous Rude Rock and Skippers Canyon.
Eddie Masters (Queenstown, NZL) joined the Trans NZ last minute after winning the New Zealand Mountain Bike Downhill Championship two days prior. Eddie Masters won every stage except for Stage 3 – Zoot – where the Masters brothers tied, in which only their distinct styles could set them apart.
“Wyn’s a bit of a seagull on the bike, and I push the supermarket trolley down the track. If I had to choose, I wouldn’t have either,” Masters said.
Amy MacKenzie (Wellington, NZL) entered the Yeti Trans NZ as her first enduro. “I love adventure riding and being on my bike all day. I’m not much of a racer, but I love riding and challenging myself,” MacKenzie said. “Today was all about coming back happy, no crashes. I loved the last stage down Corotown – it was mentally challenging more than anything.”
Perspective is everything, and although local knowledge can have its advantages, pure speed can also succeed.
Charlie Murray (Christchurch, NZL) has ridden in Queenstown previously but none of the race tracks from Day 3. His affinity for cross country has paid dividends in the overall results with a third place overall after Day 3 and second on Stage 1 in the trans field. “I pedal whenever I can. I’m not so good on the steep, rough stuff. But when there’s climbing and flat stuff, I go as hard as I can.”
Murray was looking forward to Day 4 in Alexandra where staying active on the pedals could close the gap, but unfortunately a few mechanical plagued Murray’s day. “I broke two derailleurs today. Jerome Clementz had a spare, so let me borrow it after breaking mine on Stage 2. But then I broke the new derailleur on Stage 4.” As a result, Murray dropped down to sixth place in the overall after Day 4.
Yeti FOX Factory team rider Jubal Davis (Arvada, USA) joined as a local in Alexandra after spending his winter in Dunedin, NZL to train for the upcoming EWS season. “Alexandra was fun. I rode completely loose, especially on Stage 6 where you had no idea where you were going. It was like a rough pump track the entire way down.”
Racers pedal approximately 24 kilometers over six stages after a friendly shuttle pump to the day’s headquarters where they passed through after each stage to fill their stomachs with kiwi snacks – lollies, muesli bars, and the sort. Each trail took on a personality of its own and with names like TT, Supercharger, Appendix, Hazard and Fifth Amendment, you never what you’d be dropping into. As a guide, local trail bosses Phil Oliver and Dave Fearnley painted pink dots on the rocks for riders to follow.
“I will be dreaming of little pink dots because you had to follow them exactly or you’d be off on a big drop,” said Harriett Beaven (Auckland, NZ) Open Women. Formally, a Cross Country Junior National Champion, Beaven has consistency taken third place throughout the week in her first enduro. “My favorite stage was Stage 4 – On the Rocks – it was very physical and aggressive. I am excited and exhausted for the final day.”
Phil Oliver, owner of Altitude Bikes, was excited to run all six stages. “Everyone loved the wild stages. I have been trying to run them for years, but wet conditions have made them diabolical at the Linger and Die race. On a day like today, they were perfect and everyone loved the tight, techy runs.”
Oliver’s prediction was right for 16-year old Bradley Harris (Alexandra, NZL), who smashed the entire field on his home tracks.
“I wanted to back up last year’s result. I did my best to keep it smooth and consistent, smooth, with no mechanicals,” Harris said.
Pete Robinson (Queenstown, NZL), the winner of the 2017 Yeti Trans NZ, raced as a local for the day. “I felt some FOMO from missing out from the rest of the race. It felt good to be amongst the group with fresh legs,” Robinson said. Robinson and his fiancée, Eva Dethlefsen spent the last living aboard while guiding in Finale Ligure and racing select EWS events. Robinson and Dethlefsen each took fourth in the day in their categories.
The 2017 Yeti Trans NZ Enduro Open Women’s winner, Melissa Newell, aka the World Famous Mops out of Central Otago, was initially on the roster for the entire race but elected to cherry pick the last three days so she could race in the New Zealand National Championships over the weekend. After taking fourth place in both the Elite Women’s XCO and DH, Newell took second place on Day 3 and third on Day 4 in Alexandra.
“Stage 5 down Hazard was my favorite today with fast, flowy and drops with just a bit of gnar,” Newell said. “All of this racing is in preparation for the first EWS events in Chile and Columbia, and chasing the EWS Master Women’s title in 2019.”
With only one day left and a wet forecast slated for Queenstown proper, the race is far from over. The roots are precariously waiting to shake things up and the fatiguing field will have to give it one last push before celebrating at the pub.
2018 Yeti Trans NZ Results after Day 4. Full results can be found at www.transnz.com/results
1. Jerome Clementz 1:27:39
2. Jonas Meier1:28:57
3. Brady Stone 1:31:18
4. Paul van der Ploeg 1:31:56
5. James Hall 1:32:17
1. Emily Slaco 1:49:22
2. Renee Wilson 1:52:26
3. Harriet Beaven 1:59:18
4. Sarah Rawley 2:04:38
5. Alice Hawkins 2:06:30
Master Men 40+
1. Christian Wingate 1:37:14
2. Michael Ronning 1:39:15
3. Matt Harrington 1:41:38
4. Kashi Leuchs 1:41:47
5. Bruce Chick 1:47:49
Master Women 40+
1. Anna Hamden-Taylor 2:11:32
2. April Bedford 2:39:41
3. Elizabeth Clement 2:45:55
4. Robyn Hawkins 3:08:17
5. Nicole Goebel 3:31:02
Follow the action on Pinkbike for updates @transnz. The Yeti Trans NZ will be posting regular updates on Facebook and Instagram throughout the week, and video recaps on Pinkbike. Hashtag your photos #transnzenduro
to make their way onto the live stream of the Trans NZ’s Media HQ. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.transnz.com.
ABOUT MEGAN ROSE — Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for 13 years and organizing bike events for the past nine years. She splits her time between British Columbia, Canada and New Zealand, running Trans BC 6 Day Enduro, and running the Trans NZ 5 Day Enduro race. Over the past five years, Megan has personally raced in over 40 enduro races, timed over 60 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.
ABOUT YETI CYCLES — Founded in 1985, Yeti Cycles make race-bred, obsessively engineered, masterfully crafted mountain bike proven by the fastest riders in the most demanding conditions. Based in Golden, Colorado, Yeti is owned and staffed by riders who are more likely to be out riding the company’s latest creation that sitting in a conference room. Visit www.yeticycles.com
to learn more.