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The Pioneer

Bike 424km
Event details
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The Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race through NZ’s Southern Alps has proven to be a true pioneering race. All those who compete love the stunning scenery, the brutal nature of the challenge, and they leave heaping praise on this epic event through New Zealand’s pristine high country.

Many riders push themselves to their absolute limits and then ride beyond to discover new limits for themselves and their teammate. The level of camaraderie that develops amongst the riders around the social lounge in camp every day is staggering and heart-warming. We don’t exaggerate when we say life-long friends are made on this journey.

Find your riding partner today and become a Pioneer.

How to enter the The Pioneer

  1. The Pioneer

    Bike 424km

Event Details

What’s Included

Race Village Services

The Pioneer Race Village located at each Host Town will contain everything you need post ride each day within easy reach. It will offer full service facilities for you and your bike so you can quickly recover each day before relaxing and socialising with fellow riders.

On arrival you will receive your recovery bag, be able to access bike mechanic services, bike wash and secure storage (plus medical services should you need them!). After you have collected your gear bag you will be able to easily locate your tent in Marmot Tent City and set yourself up for the night. Showers and plenty of toilets will be available for your basic needs. Once you are refreshed you will be able to make use of the social lounge, where you can sit back and relax with mates and other riders to reflect on the days ride and share your experiences. You can also get a massage (must be pre-booked), check the race results, find out any info you need to know and charge all your electronic devices. Dinner & daily awards will be held at the same time each day.

Aid Stations

There will be up to three aid stations (which will also be checkpoints) on each stage. We recommend you bring your own supplies to compliment what is offered at the Aid Stations.

Aid Stations will provide:

  • Water (note that while there will be sufficient water for athletes to re-hydrate and fill bottles, we are in remote mountain environments and will be trucking all water into aid stations, therefore we will not be allowing any water usage for non-essential needs)
  • Fruit
  • Cake
  • Pretzels
  • Lollies
  • Basic mechanical support/bike repair
  • Full first aid box
  • Radio access to Ambulances
  • Cold boiled potatoes with salt flakes
  • Vegemite sandwiches
  • PURE electrolyte

Race Village Locations

The race will start in Queenstown on Sunday 25 November 2018 and finish in Queenstown on Friday 30 November 2018.

Bag Storage

All Pioneer riders can drop 1 bike box or bag and 1 personal bag at Queenstown Athlete Check In (Saturday 24th November). These items will be securely stored for the entirety of the event and available for collection at the conclusion of the event only.

Dining Hall

All meals provided will be served by Moveable Feasts in the Race Village dining hall.  As riders cross the finish line they will be given a recovery bag including a piece of fruit and muffin or similar, plus a hydration drink will be available, but no formal lunch will be provided. However you will be able to visit the local town or take advantage of the food vendors in the Race Village.

Race Village Food Vendors

Each race village will provide a different local experience as we traverse the back country of the South Island, and the locals are very excited to welcome us to their towns.

As they are small communities with limited outlets, we have organised some fantastic food vendors to be on-site at the race village to ensure you are well feed.

Please ensure you have cash or NZ Eftpos with you to purchase from these vendors.

Bike Wash and Storage

No need to worry about keeping your bike clean! You must wash it down at the end of each day in the designated Bike Wash area.

You can then place your clean bike in a bike park, monitored by security overnight. Riders only are allowed into the bike park, and are responsible for collecting their own bike should maintenance or repair work be required.

The bike park is not covered, therefore bikes are not protected from the rain.


A team of qualified masseuses will be on-site at The Pioneer Race Village in Queenstown, Alexandra and Bannockburn from the afternoon of Sunday 25 through to the evening of Thursday 29 November. The Massage package includes 5 x 25 minute massage appointments and must have been pre-purchased.

Riders who have pre-purchased a massage add-on package must book a time slot for each race day. This booking can be done either at the Info Desk in the Social Zone before the race starts, or at the massage tent within the social zone once you have completed the stage. We strongly recommend booking a time slot in as soon as possible when crossing the finish line to ensure riders do not receive a late massage service.


The laundry package includes a large sized washing bag and two services where we collect your laundry at the Pioneer Race Village and return it back to you clean the next evening.

2 x laundry drops available:
– Drop off at the Alexandra Race Village Monday evening (26th November,) Pick up at Alexandra Tuesday evening (27th November)
– Drop off at the Bannockburn Race Village Wednesday evening (28th November), Pick up at Bannockburn Thursday Evening (29th November)


As much of the Pioneer course takes you through quite remote parts of NZ there will be times when you will not have access to WIFI and therefore internet services. In some extreme circumstances there will be NO PHONE OR DATA COVERAGE at all.

International competitors should consider purchasing a local NZ Sim Card to get 3G data. These can be purchased from SPARK (formerly Telecom) or VODAFONE stores as outlined below.

Raceday Logistics

Athlete Registration

All riders must register as a team at the Queenstown Ice Arena, on Saturday 24 November, between 9.00am – 3.00pm. Here you must have your bike, helmet and mandatory gear checked, and will receive your race packs.

Please ensure you bring along Photo ID to registration.

The Pioneer weather forecast

Foggy throughout the day.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows
IconLight breeze possible, up to 5mph

Meet the organiser

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"Swim 2.4 Miles. Bike 112 miles. Run 26.2. Brag for the rest of your life." - John Collins, IRONMAN co-founder Since its inception, IRONMAN has been represented by ambitious and courageous people who aren't afraid to push their limits. Take a walk through history with us, through some of the finest and most memorable moments in IRONMAN racing.

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