Video & Race Report: Trans NZ Days 3 & 4 - Into the Alpine

Feb 26, 2019 at 23:30
by Yeti TransNZ Enduro  
Views: 7,340    Faves: 9    Comments: 0


Days 3 and 4 of the Yeti Trans NZ Enduro presented by Shimano brought racers out of the forest and into the alpine for two days of riding above treeline on classic tracks and new-school trails flowing from the summits of Coronet Peak and Cardrona Bike Park.

Ten dirt bag racers follow the Trans NZ around providing their own accommodations and meals. The kiwi campervan is a quintessential method of transport.
Ten "dirt bag" racers follow the Trans NZ around providing their own accommodations and meals. The kiwi campervan is a quintessential method of transport.


“The stoke levels are at an all-time high out here with amazing people from all around the world. The weather was better than expected on Day 3, and the trails are running mint,” said James Cooney (Wellington, NZL). “The first two stages off of Coronet Peak were a lung buster. You had the be on the pedals, fast and furious to the very bottom.”

The entire field marched in a conga line to the top of Coronet Peak for the morning briefing and heckling at the start of Coronet XC track. Traditionally the route has started at the top of Coronet DH, but due to construction, Stage 1 started slightly below the summit missing the tight wheel-grabbing chicanes.

Loading up for Day 3 in the sunshine - a nice change of pace from Craigieburn.
Loading up for Day 3 in the sunshine - a nice change of pace from Craigieburn.

A quick 10-minute liaison brought racers to the start gate of Rude Rock, the most photographed trail in New Zealand and hero dirt to boot.

“I started my day with a flat about a minute in on Stage 1. I fixed my issue with a candy wrapper boot and a tube,” said Tom Sampson (Boulder, CO) Open Men. “Things only went up from there. The dirt on Stage 2 down Rude Rock into Skipper’s Canyon was all time – every corner the bike was hooking up. It definitely felt faster than last year.”

Coming from a high-altitude environment the longer the stages the better for Sarah Rawley out of Golden Colorado.L
Stage 2 was the longest special stage of the day. The fastest time of the day was a long and hard 12 minutes 20 seconds.

Did the media squid ride this out
Did the media squid ride this out?

Railing the berms on Rude Rock.
Railing the berms on Rude Rock.

Fourteen women are racing the Trans NZ and finally by Day 3, they banded together to party train throughout the day. “Cruising around with the other ladies is super fun. We’re listening to music, taking photos, cheering each other on at the start line, and jumping into stages together. It’s been a fun way to meet and ride with other ladies,” said Ashley Watley (Denver, CO).

Ladyshred squad - top of Stage 1 Coronet Peak.
Ladyshred squad - atop of Pride Rock in Skippers Canyon. Check out their story in the next video recap on Days 3, 5 & 6.

The steady grind out of Skipper’s Canyon provided ample opportunities for selfies and majestic views of the Crown Range. Stage 3 was a fast 2 – 4-minute sprint down Zoot where racers juked left to right on zigzagging line choices and small drops.

Driver Tom Cappleman chases down a racer in between shuttle laps on Day 3.
Vollys have their fun too. Driver Tom Cappleman chases down a racer in between shuttle laps on Day 3.

Ben Wurcker aka Wolverine was quite chapped that Chops was already taken on the volly name plate list.
Ben Wurcker aka Wolverine was quite chapped that "Chops" was already taken by another volly.

If Ronja Wurcker were racing instead of volunteering chances are she d be leading the pack.
If Ronja Wurcker were racing instead of volunteering, chances are she'd be leading the pack.

Despite Megan Rose’s reputation for putting riders through the paces, occasionally she surprises them with a shuttle bump. Instead of hitting the pavement, racers were dumped back in the base area of Coronet Peak to return to the initial liaison. The final stage of the day – and steepest of the week – down Slip Saddle aka Corotown gave riders a dose of adrenaline as they plummeted 500m in 1.8 kilometers.

Emersons throwing down beer for all your racing needs.
Emersons throwing down beer for all your racing needs.

James Eves (Gilroy, CA) of Team Midpack ripped his derailleur off on the first stage of the day. “I picked up my bits and walked, pushed, ran and scooted anyway I could to get through the day. I was glad I did - the steeper, the better for me.” Eves went on to win Stage 4 and took 34th in the day despite not having a drivetrain.

Photographers heckled the riders riding in the pinch.

Remarkable views abound, Day 3 gave racers reprieve from wintry conditions, but Day 4 threw them back into the ringer with rain and snow, eventually forcing the day to be canceled – the first in the history of the Trans NZ and Trans BC.

Loam Warrior Nate Corrigan drops in behind Ashley Watley. Follow the ladysquad in the latest video.
Loam Warrior Nate Corrigan drops in behind Ashley Watley.

When things don t go your way.
When things don't go your way.

“Many things factored into canceling Day 4 of the Trans NZ. The weather is the biggest. It was great to have the professional opinions from the patrollers and weather forecasters who work up there year-round,” Rose said. “Knowing this system is coming in from the West Coast for the next two hours and the freezing level is lowering, they expect to see snow in the base area shortly. We’re exposed up here, it’s not like in Craigieburn where we’re at in the woods and moving around. We’ve got lifts involved and volunteers standing around for hours. It’s too risky to keep people out in the elements.”

Cardrona Alpine Resort Webcam Timelapse

Tomorrow s A New Day - with more time for beer.
Tomorrow's A New Day - with more time for beer.

Racers were granted a free day to run amuck around Queenstown. After 28.5 kilometers and 1370m of climbing the previous day, some took it as a rest day with a pub crawl on their bikes while others had barely unloaded their bikes from the trailers before zipping off to catch some laps at the Queenstown Skyline Bike Park or tag team the luge.

Jordan Powell (Melbourne, AUS) took the lead over Nate Hills (Dillon, CO) after Day 3 by 34 seconds. Coming from a background of motorbikes, Powell has been racing mountain bikes for two years and had never ridden in snow prior to Craigieburn. “I’m disappointed not to be racing today. My snow training from three days ago was going to pay off on racing these tracks blind. My goal is to keep pedaling hard and stay smooth for the win this week.”

Jordan Powell overtakes the Open Men s category on Day 3.
Jordan Powell overtakes the Open Men's category on Day 3.

Annelie Marquardt (Brisbane, AUS) is closing the gap on Sarah Rawley (Golden, CO) in the Open Women’s category. Jamie Weingarten (Denver, CO) maintains a nearly 2-minute gap over Kashi Leuchs (Dunedin, NZL). With two more days of racing, including Alexandra and the queen stages on Day 6 in Queenstown, there is still plenty of time left on the clock for fields to get mixed up.

Overlooking Queentown Lake Wakatipu and Ferry Hill.
Overlooking Queentown, Lake Wakatipu and Ferry Hill.

Follow the action on Pinkbike for every other day race and video recaps @transnz. The Yeti Trans NZ will be posting social updates on Facebook and Instagram continuously, and daily #FollowCamFriday edits. 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.

RESULTS DAY 3

Open Men
1. Jordan Powell (AUS) 26:09
2. Nate Hills (USA) 26:44
3. Zac Williams (NZL) 26:57
4. Tom Sampson (USA) 27:13
5. Mark Frendo (AUS) 27:17

Open Women
Guest Rider Mops Newell 32:19
1. Annelie Marquardt (AUS) 34:42
2. Jasmine Swanson (CAN) 35:40
3. Ashley Watling (CAN) 36:04
4. Sarah Rawley (USA) 36:06
5. Margaux Elliott (USA) 36:16

Master Men 40+
1. Jamie Weingarten (USA) 27:25
2. Kashi Leuchs (NZL) 28:27
3. Karl Peel (AUS) 29:01
4. Ali Quinn (NZL) 29:15
3. John Cobb (GBR) 29:17

Media squid in training Tom Sampson tries his hand with the timing system to see if admin is more up his alley.
Media squid in training, Tom Sampson tries his hand with the timing system to see if admin is more up his alley.


RESULTS DAYS 1 – 3 OVERALL

Open Men
1. Jordan Powell (AUS) 1:00:04
2. Nate Hills (USA) 1:00:38
3. Tom Sampson (USA) 1:01:31
4. Mark Frendo (AUS) 1:01:54
5. Zac Williams (NZL) 1:02:17

Open Women
1. Sarah Rawley (USA) 1:22:54
2. Annelie Marquardt (AUS) 1:24:11
3. Margaux Elliott (USA) 1:24:43
4. Ashley Watling (CAN) 1:25:27
5. Shantel Koenig (CAN) 1:27:57

Master Men 40+
1. Jamie Weingarten (USA) 1:04:02
2. Kashi Leuchs (NZL) 1:05:54
3. John Cobb (GBR) 1:06:47
4. Ali Quinn (NZL) 1:06:55
5. Karl Peel (AUS) 1:07:53




MENTIONS: @TransNZ



22 Comments

  • + 16
 Ah crap, I’m seeing massive penises again.
  • + 11
 End the contest! There’s your photo of the year right there.
  • + 4
 That's rude rock
  • + 9
 I think someone forgot to include the viddy...?
  • + 2
 2018 video by the looks
  • + 1
 @hayden4x: ...yup, plus wasn't included in the original post.
  • + 1
 Looks like they finally made it. Smile
  • + 7
 Stage 2 Rude rock was "Long and hard". Haha nice one!
  • + 2
 I'd like to point out that Jasmine Swanson has been killing it in the women's. Folded her front wheel on the first track of the first day but won day 2 and 2nd overall day 3. Yewww
  • + 1
 Anyone know what red Arcteryx jacket Nate Hills is wearing? I kinda want a dual purpose biking/hiking rain jacket and if Nate approves...I guess I have to buy it, right?
  • + 2
 Where do I got a large glossy poster of Corrigan pounding beer!? Legend Status!
  • + 2
 James Eves with the chainless stage 4 win!!!
  • + 2
 Jordan powell you fucken pinna
  • + 1
 Fuck yeh Jordy
  • + 2
 Wait... what is that on stage 2?
  • + 4
 Something big is lurking at the background????.
  • + 2
 Nate Hills... enjoying the wine to a 2nd overall! Good on ya mate!
  • + 2
 Yeah Jamie, Nate and Sarah, crushing it!
  • + 2
 always fun times when Nate is following hahaha no pressure at all!
  • + 1
 Ashley Watling not Ashley Watley just FYI (photo caption)
  • + 1
 Thats last years video, guys.
  • + 1
 Go Colorado crew!

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