Words: Sebastian Jayne                                                                 Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith

The final stage of The Pioneer MTB Stage race for 2019 has been run with an epic 75km back-country epic marking the final stage of The Pioneer to be run in the Central Otago region, for now.  Next year The Pioneer will head from the South Island of New Zealand to the North Island for a fresh start and to explore a new region.

The exact course of the 2020 Pioneer is yet to be announced but with the MTB playground of Rotorua announced as the setting for the next edition, it will likely have a very different feel to the ride. Before we start getting too excited about what's to come, take a look back at the 2019 edition by clicking on the links below to relive the race through insights and amazing photo galleries.

Prologue 26km - A fast look at what's to come!

Prologue descent down Phoenix Track. Lake Wakatipu below.


Stage 1 80km - A bad day doesn’t have to be a bad day in a pairs race.

Stage 1 - Descending Coronet Peak via the Rude Rock descent


Stage 2 102km - The queen stage lives up to the name!

Stage 2 - The Queen Stage loop of Alexandra's finest trails


Stage 3 61km - A shortened stage but no shortage on drama and action!

Stage 3 - Fraser River, the mid race ice-bath


Stage 4 63km - Another shortened stage but another intense fight for The Pioneer!

Stage 4 - Fast roads and tactical racing


Stage 5 75km - A true alpine backcountry adventure for the final stage!

Stage 5 - A real back country ride