Organiser thrilled with early interest in Pioneer race

The new-look Pioneer mountain bike race is  proving  popular. It will return in  November  in and around Queenstown. 

Already entries  are more than  70% sold and exceed  numbers from the previous two editions of the multi-stage  event.

Race director Bec Williams has taken huge confidence from the entries so far, and from  feedback following the announcement that the event would return this year in a six-day format.

"It was our goal to ensure the long-term sustainability of the event, without losing the characteristics that made the first two editions so special," she said.

"The conversations we have had with riders directly and online have given complete backing for the changes we have made. It  is going to be a very special event in November this year, one that is fresh for returning riders, and a stunning challenge for everyone."

Among the changes is a Queenstown start and finish to the event.  Riders will take  in six days of  pedalling with 450km of riding in total. Williams  said the event would be  as challenging as ever. The first two y editions of the race started in Christchurch and ended in  Central Otago.

"One thing that was made clear was riders did not want us to soften this event too much. They want and expect to ride over terrain that will take them to their limits, and with over 15,000m of climbing, this course certainly ticks that box."

Entries are coming in from all around the world too, with 21 countries represented.  The biggest numbers are coming from Australia, United States, and Singapore, while, of course, New Zealand  has the most entrants. Riders in the event team up in pairs and  must not separate throughout the whole six days of riding.

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