About 130 riders were very happy to end on a high note in Queenstown for the Trans NZ enduro.
The day had riders get to the top of the bike park under their own steam before plowing down some of the best technical trails on offer within the boundaries of the park.
A second trip up in the Gondola was a welcome relief, but it was followed by a massive push to the Ben Lomond saddle. The descent was one of the best of the week, mixing alpine ridge riding, flowing corners and nuggety native bush.
The timed racing ended on a high when riders rolled down a flatter but fast stage filled with slippery tree roots through beautiful native forest.
Back at base camp it was a lively scene, with riders tucking into many well earned beers.
Jerome Clementz was too quick for the rest of a classy field, winning the last day and the whole event.
Clementz said the event was more about enjoying the stages and having a beer with the other racers than the time between the tape.
“It’s not about who is winning the race, it’s about who is having the most fun.”
He said the event was special because every day of riding was so different.
Jonas Meier slotted into second, about a minute and a half off the pace overall, with Brady Stone riding into third.
Emily Slaco ended up with a comfortable lead in the women’s field despite having not ridden much recently, as it’s winter for her back home in Pemberton, BC Canada.
Slaco said she liked meeting loads of people and riding all of the different tracks through the event.
“It doesn’t really feel like a race, like you’re just riding around and hanging out and drinking beer after the day. That’s cool.”
Renee Wilson was comfortable in second, about 4mins 30secs back overall, with Harriet Beaven taking out third.
As it should be clear, the race is more about exploring new trails and making friends over a beer at the bottom than putting up a good time on the clock.
Lifelong friends have been made over the last five days, with those here having one of the best weeks of their lives.
The race couldn’t happen without a huge effort from organiser Megan Rose and her huge crew of dedicated volunteers, who have given their time to make a truly special event which showcases the best of New Zealand.
The hordes of riders are about to fall upon downtown Queenstown. It will no doubt be a night to remember.
Thanks for following along with the coverage, we will see you next year for another addition.