The Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race is by its very name an event that breaks boundaries and takes riders into stunning parts of the Southern Alps that they might otherwise never ride through. It seems fitting then that the 2017 Pioneer will help officially open the amazing new Christchurch Adventure Park when riders set off on the prologue for the event on February 5 2017, taking many on to the world class trails for the first time.

Pioneer Race Director Bec Williams says they have been talking about the new Adventure Park ever since last year’s inaugural event. “We have known about the Adventure Park for some time and have worked closely with them for close to two years now to include the amazing facilities as part of The Pioneer. This highlights the ongoing rebuild of Christchurch and will showcase some amazing trails to the world and encourage visitors to come down and sample the riding themselves at some time in the future. But from a purely selfish point of view we are just so excited to put our competitors on world class single track riding through the Adventure Park to being The Pioneer, we know riders are going to love it.”

The Pioneer sets off on Sunday February 5, with the prologue through the Adventure Park before riders are then transported to Geraldine for their first overnight stay in the event village that follows them across the Southern Alps to Queenstown.

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While it might have been easier to start the event closer to the mountains and avoid the need for a bus ride to the first night of camping, Williams says they never considered leaving Christchurch out of the event.

“We are honoured to have such an opportunity. For the best part of a year now we have been showing off a little that we will be the first event to be hosted by the Christchurch Adventure Park, in fact we were telling our competitors in last year’s event that this would be the case and that they should come back to experience a wonderful opening day prologue.  As event organisers though if we can help promote and build the profile of the Park and the wonderful facilities on offer, then we have an obligation to do that and leave a legacy beyond the one day that we will be riding.”

After just one year the event has already established a strong reputation amongst the global mountain bike community and with locals, with numbers up by 20%, with entries open for both the 7-Day-Epic and 4-Day-Traverse categories until midnight this Thursday.

The Park will continue to be open to the public on the morning of the 5th, and both The Pioneer and Adventure Park teams are encouraging the community to come out and celebrate the occasion and see first-hand what has been built for their community. What better way to see it in operation than to have riders from around New Zealand and all around the world enjoying what is a world class park with tracks and trails for people of all ages and abilities.

Entries for The Pioneer remain open until midnight this Thursday (January 19), with organisers expecting a final influx from those riders who have been training hard through the spring and summer for either the 7-Day-Epic (teams of two) or the 4-Day-Traverse (solo).

For more on The Pioneer, CLICK HERE

For more on the Christchurch Adventure Park, CLICK HERE

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