12 June 2018


The allocation of entries for the 2018 Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage race has been exhausted, with race organisers putting up the FULL HOUSE signs today.

It is a remarkable show of support for the third edition of the event and follows a significant revamp of the race that takes riders through stunning parts of the Central Otago region, with the 2018 edition moving to a November window, and changing to a six day format.

With over 300 teams signed up and ready to go, Race Director Bec Williams says organisers remain focused on delivering a stunning week in what is for many a life-changing experience, with riders setting off from Queenstown on November 25th.

“The response from the mountain bike community has just been amazing and reinforces not only the wonderful feedback we received from the first two editions of The Pioneer but endorses the changes and tough decisions we made to safeguard the long-term future of a remarkable event, one that is truly world class.

“The 2018 edition of The Pioneer is a mix of both point to point and clover leaf riding, starting and finishing in Queenstown, using fewer overnight locations which means the riders can actually settle into a location and not have to pack their bags and tents on a daily basis.

“It is also a much more user-friendly event for spectators, with family, friends and supporters of the event able to base themselves in one location for the week, and drive to spectator viewing areas or the event village on a daily basis and feel like they are part of the Pioneer spirit.”

What the event still promises amongst the changes is that riders will find stunning, character and welcome as they take on six spectacular days of riding, taking them over 430km and 15,500m of climbing in their teams of two.

While the event has warned for some weeks of this day, there will still be some who are left disappointed at missing out. For those still hopeful of riding in 2018, a first in first served wait list has been established, in the event of any teams withdrawing and opening room on the start line this November.

Williams says the key to further growing the event and attracting even more international and domestic visitors to the Central Otago region is to make every moment memorable.

“We have made the decision to put up the sold-out signs today with the experience of our riders first and foremost in our minds. There is no doubt that The Pioneer will grow in capacity and attract even more riders from here and overseas, but we will do that within our means, always protecting the things that make the event special to each and every rider on a very personal level.”

Following on from today’s news will be a rollout of further information, including the publication of the start list on Wednesday, and the latest information on the course on Thursday, following another round of reconnaissance riding by the event team. This will include the posting of the latest stage maps and course overview.

The 300 plus teams confirmed for the 2018 Pioneer sees representation from 21 countries, throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania, including:

United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, United States, South Africa.