One of the rare cloudless blue skies of the summer greeted the racers in the Torpedo7 Coronet Enduro on Saturday. Sixty racers from around the world lined up at the top of Coronet Peak for the first Coronet Enduro of 2014 with racers from Australia and France adding to the strong Kiwi field.


Enduro racing which is a relatively new format style of racing for mountain biking. It comprises ‘race stages’ with liaisons between which are untimed. The Coronet race involved 4 stages. The old Downhill trail on Coronet Peak. the Rude Rock and Skippers tracks and a newly created trail down the front face of Coronet Peak below the road known as Deer Lane.

Some course taping problems in the first stage caused a missed turn for a few racers. Tom Lamb (Wanaka) who was affected by the taping said at the end of the day “Even though the taping caused me a problem on stage one the actual course was fantastic and the last stage (brand new for enduro racing) was awesome”.


The racers were released from the starting line every thirty seconds for each stage with some of the faster racers requesting larger gaps so as not to catch the rider in front and be slowed during a passing maneuver. Most of the fast racers stayed near the front of the field during the day but Wyn Masters (Nelson) chose to race near the back. He was in no hurry to enter each stage and ensured that the gap from the previous racer was big enough.


This may have proved decisive in the end as over the 4 stages Masters proved too consistent for the competition with a fifth, two firsts and a third place. His winning time was 20mins and 54 secs, just 11secs faster than second place Justin Leov (Christchurch) in 21mins and 28 secs, with 3rd place Joseph Nation (Christchurch) 26 secs back on 21mins and 28 secs.

In the open women’s field Queenstowner Bob (Harriet) Latchem was super consistent with two firsts, a second and a third across the four stages, to finish just over a minute ahead of Anja McDonald (Dunedin) with Erin Greene (Wanaka) third just 5 secs back.

Andrew Ballantyne (Invercargill) won three stages to take out the Masters mens category from Tim Oleary (Queenstown), while Ben Friel and Georgia Petre claimed junior men’s and women’s honors, respectively.

While the winners were racing for glory, many of the competitors were there to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this style of racing. Social riders mixing with fast world class competitors and enjoying a mix of challenging courses with some technical sections and some sections that require pedaling to maintain speed. Almost everyone was riding a ‘enduro bike’ which typically would offer 160mm shock absorbtion front and rear and a 1 x 10 drive chain.


Enduro racing looks set to become a major fixture on the Southern Lakes mountain biking calendar with the next event scheduled for the 18th April as part of the Queenstown Bike Festival. Entries are open!

Words & Photos: Southern Traverse

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