10 February 2017


IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings Company, announced today that the 2018 Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race scheduled to take place from February 11-17 has been postponed. Event organisers plan for the event to return with a new format in a yet to be confirmed window during the busy Central Otago events calendar.

Managing Director for IRONMAN Oceania Dave Beeche says there are numerous factors at work in making the decision to postpone the third edition of the race.

The growing reputation and interest in this event made this a very difficult decision. In two short years, the race has already garnered a great deal of positive global attention and while this is challenging in the short term, the postponement will help the event for the long-term. We felt it necessary to take a step back to fully investigate the optimal format of The Pioneer and find that date that works best for our competitors and importantly, for the local communities that host us throughout the event. As IRONMAN reviews the direction of its global mountain bike strategy and builds a global calendar of complimentary events in stunning locations, this was the ideal time to look into these formatting improvements.”

The Pioneer started in 2016 to rave reviews, taking riders from Christchurch to Queenstown, across and around the Southern Alps in a 7-day journey taking in stunning landscapes and scenery along the way, testing riders throughout its 545km journey and 1500m of climbing.

IRONMAN remains committed to mountain bike stage racing, as highlighted by the recent acquisitions of the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa, and the Port to Port and Cape to Cape events in Australia.

Beeche says The Pioneer remains very much in those plans.

While this may be disappointing to those who have already expressed their interest in the 2018 event, as organisers we want to ensure that The Pioneer is given the best possible chance of following in the trail of the highly successful Cape Epic. We anticipate a return in late 2018/early 2019 and have no doubt that The Pioneer will go on to become an internationally recognised event that truly puts New Zealand on the map within the mountain bike community.”

As well as posting to the website and social media, organisers will continue to update those that have expressed their interest via www.thepioneer.co.nz with further information as to the format and timing for the next edition of The Pioneer.



A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 44 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Holdings
Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.