The Pioneer was officially launched today in Christchurch, an audacious seven-day mountain bike stage race for elites and amateurs alike that takes riders (in teams of two) through the best of New Zealand’s spectacular landscape along trails that few ever get to enjoy, following in the footsteps of New Zealand’s early explorers.


The Pioneer will take place from Sunday 31 January to Saturday 6 February 2016, taking riders through outstanding terrain, with great climbs and descents on New Zealand Cycle Trails, farm tracks, DOC trails and along world class single tracks between Christchurch and Queenstown, traversing the stunning Southern Alps.

The Pioneer came out of a simple idea. Ride beyond. The idea of creating a uniquely New Zealand event that took you through the parts of the country that few will ever get to enjoy. To ride to the remotest parts of the Southern Alps. To push yourself beyond your comfort zone. To get you far away from familiar trails and in to the unknown. And you do it all for seven days straight in teams of two.

The spectacular Lake Ohau.
The spectacular Lake Ohau.

Key Stats

7 DAYS OF RACING – Lose yourself in mountain bike nirvana, Jan 31 to Feb 6, 2016
8 HOST TOWNS – Enjoy the legendary hospitality of the South.
568 KMS OF RIDING – Through New Zealand’s untouched Southern Alps.
23,000 METRES OF CLIMBING – With pleasure also comes the pain.


The Pioneer is an awe inspiring seven day mountain bike stage race through New Zealand’s pristine Southern Alps. The first race of its kind to link together over 500kms of farm tracks, NZ Cycle Trails, double track and single track riding in a very special part of the world where soaring mountain peaks, crystal-clear blue lakes, and golden high country await. If you’re looking for a mountain bike race to get you inspired again, this is it!

What to Expect

· Find Stunning – A rare chance to journey through a pristine and untouched part of New Zealand – riding through the some of the most awe inspiring scenery on earth.

· Find Character – An epic challenge that will push you to the edge and have you digging deep.

· Find Welcome – Discover New Zealand’s legendary warm kiwi hospitality…with a super-friendly race vibe to enjoy at the end of each day. You’ll have earned it!

CEO of Event Organiser Lagardere Oceania Unlimited- Dave Beeche spoke of the truly global and national appeal of a unique event in this part of the world.
“The Pioneer will become an iconic ‘brand New Zealand’ event that will feature the best of our beautiful country across a variety of amazing terrain including our stunning new bike trails, well graded tracks, single track and ‘off the beaten track’ trails through New Zealand’s back country, many that have never been ridden before.

“This will appeal enormously to not only international visitors but also to New Zealanders of all abilities. There will be an elite division but this race is also about everyday New Zealanders who love mountain biking as a social event, to come and take part in a challenging but achievable event and to enjoy the camaraderie at the end of each day to ease away the aches and pains while the memories of each day’s riding and socializing will live long beyond the event itself.”

Words & Photos:

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.