Race Report: Emerson's 3 Peaks Enduro Kick Starts Summer in Style

Dec 5, 2018 at 1:51
by Matt Wood  
After Dunedin experienced the wettest November in recorded history, the sky cleared for the first weekend of December and the seventh annual Emerson’s 3 Peaks Enduro. 280 riders descended on the city to enjoy riding, tasty beers and big yarns. The race took place over two days with the first day racing through loamy pine forest and then down from the skyline of the city through dense native forest. The second day was held in hero dirt conditions at Signal Hill, the easily accessible bike park in the city.

Day one featured three new stages with some raw slippery loam and roots for riders to negotiate. The conditions were very moist with the dirt almost at saturation point. It is fair to say that many riders struggled with the combination of slippery clay, roots, and rocks. Despite the wet trails, spirits were not dampened and all riders were grinning ear to ear after having their skills tested all day long.

Riders lining up to start the event, it was a real treat to see the sun shining for the first official day of summer.

Emerson 39 s 3 Peaks Enduro 2018
Cassius Kitchen of Christchurch throws in a cheeky bar turn mid race run.

Tom Bradshaw full speed tuck. After an absolute balls up on stage two landing him face first in a ditch, He kept it consistent for the rest of the event finishing in 13th in the senior men.

Alfie Simmons decided it was too risky to try ride the greasy chute after it claimed so many before him, so he hucked to the road and it worked out real good...

Anton Cooper takes a break from world cup XC racing to dabble in a little enduro.

Emerson 39 s 3 Peaks Enduro 2018
Emerson 39 s 3 Peaks Enduro 2018
With a stacked women's field competition was fierce.

Jenna Makgill of Auckland was unfazed by the slick conditions and was the quickest woman over the weekend.

Stage four sent riders up the Pineapple walking trail and in to the cloud layer. The fast open (and mostly dry) sections of the Pineapple track were quite the contrast to the tight slick pine forest trails of the morning. The reprieve was short lived as riders then dropped into even tighter and slicker NZ native bush.

Kieran Bennett winding it right out on the fast walking trail.

Slick moss covered rocks proved too tricky for some.

Emerson 39 s 3 Peaks Enduro 2018
Mitch showing off to Jemma's camera.

Rumble in the Nichols Creak Jungle

An Ebike category was introduced for the first time this year. Love them or hate them they are not going away, mainly because they're way too much fun to hate on. Go on try one before whinging in the comments.

Best part of the day, all the smack talk with your mates about how much quicker you were after day 1

After a big first day riding tracks that were slipperier than the onions on a Bunning's snag, most riders tripoding their way down. The end goal was a sausage from the BBQ and some crafty tins from the boys at the local Emersons’s brewery. To wind up the first days racing for the men: Matt Lombardi put in a solid effort over 5 stages for a time of 23.46; Charlie Murray in second 10 seconds back (23.56); and Jonas Meir in third (24.11). The fastest women on day one was ex-courier bike world champ, Jenna Makgill with a time of 31.22 closely followed by Melanie Bloomfield (32.22) and then Phoebe Coers (32.29).

Day 2

The second day was based at the newly built carpark at the bottom of Signal Hill with a selection of the downhill trails to race. Once again the sun was out at the trail conditions had benefited from a windy evening and were running fast and grippy with the occasional mud patch to keep riders on guard. The tracks were in high contrast to the mud and creek like tracks from day one.

Mountain Biking Otago have built fresh purpose built event area at the Signal Hill trail head

Day Two - Signal Hill
Riding dry roots was a bit of a treat after the moist roots from the previous day.

Local girl Sam Hope was a bit off the pace but that didn't dampen her smile,

Day Two - Signal Hill
Cati Pearson is today's panshot superstar.

Day Two - Signal Hill
Guy Gibs looking pinned and composed all weekend.

For a world cup XC racer Anton Cooper is not short on bike handling skills, putting in a respectable 7th place finish.

John Butler of Nelson looking majestic behind the flowers.

Day Two - Signal Hill
Spectators sinking tins and dishing out heckles.

Day Two - Signal Hill
Flying of Phoebe Coers of Wanaka quickest of the senior woman.

Queenstown ripper Sam Robbie shows this corner who's boss.

Sam Shaw looking surprisingly composed for someone who managed to put away his entire crate for national crate day the previous day.

What better way to finish a weekend of racing then some cold crafty bois from the local brewery?

After the first day of racing with dirt that often resembled racing in porridge, day two was filled with hero dirt, slippery roots, rock gardens, and few nasty pinch climbs set by ex-cross country Olympian Kashi Leuchs. The three laps of the 300-metre high hill were seeded based on the results from day one which allowed a solid crowd to build up. The tracks are great for spectating with features and sections to test the best riders and entice the best local heckling squads.

Once again the day finished with burgers and light tinned refreshments from Emerson’s brewery.

Local Josh McCombie made an impressive return after a long hiatus from gravity racing. He stepped up to take the overall win for the race with a time of 35.56 and beating second place rider Charlie Murray by 13 seconds. In the women's race, Jenna MakGill put in some solid riding on what she described as a very challenging course with a total time of 46.59 and was followed by Phoebe Coers with a 48.51.

Overall results

Mens Results
1 - Josh McCombie 35.56
2 - Charlie Murray 36.09
3 - Matt Lombardi 36.22
4 - Jonas Meier 36.46
5= Sam Shaw 36.57
5= Loui Harvey 36.57

Womens Results
1 - Jenna MakGill 46.59
2 - Phoebe Coers . 48.51
3 - Melanie Blomfeild 49.42
4 - Melissa Newell 50.11
5 - Cindy Chantreux 52.30


  • + 5
 Can't wait for the E-CRF250 class. Always wanted to see if an E Moto was quicker down Student Track than an Acoustic.
  • + 3
 Thanks to @kanefleury for the words, at some point the credits got edited out.
  • + 1
 Good effort Woodster ! That man deserves a DB
  • + 1
 Looks like some mad times!
Are these trails open to ride outside of races?
  • + 1
 All but one are public bike trails.
  • + 1
 Dunedin delivering as always

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