Complete NZ Enduro Results and Race Report 1

Three days of incredible riding and challenging conditions at the 2019 Santa Cruz NZ Enduro conclude with fun stages and many failed creek-hucking attempts..

Complete NZ Enduro Results and Race Report

Final Stages, Day 3

Every cloud has a silver lining. Clouds, there were just too many of them about this morning. Patches of blue sky teased racers and organizers alike, but the designated helicopter shuttle landing zone remained socked in, not allowing the flying window needed to uplift 160 riders. The original plan of riding the legendary Wakamarina had to be put on ice for another year. Perhaps it was never meant to be, as our back-up bad weather venue turned out to be a huge success and a barrel of laughs. When you just had two full days of riding incredibly wet slippery, rooty, muddy and technical trails, it turns out skipping another day of the same (helicopter or not) goes down pretty well.

Today's racing and festivities were held at Jentree MTB, which has an interesting story. It is now the home and property Kiwi legend, Justin Leov. It’s where he learned to ride, where he won his first national junior title and his first pro elite DH title. Now Justin is developing the land and hills with a gnarly DH track and a super fun trail network. He delivered a fun mix of short, flowy challenging trails that were visible from the arena-like race village finish area - perfect for spectating between runs.

The crowd favorite was the end of stage three. We say crowd favorite because the racers weren’t so sure about it. The organizers cruelly placed the finish line of the final stage of the three-day race on the “other” side of a freshly flooded stream. It was about 15 feet wide and about two feet deep. Being a blind race, no one knew how best to cross this obstacle. Many techniques were tried but few worked at speed. The huck-to-flat-to-scorpion, the manual-to-bar-fold-over-wobble and the finish-line-thrust approach-to-break-the-water-surface-tension-then-glide-over were all tried with different levels of success or failure. In the end it took Steve Peat with a monster hop-n-pop to prove the creek could be cleared in one single leap, which inspired a few others to give it a go. Some made it, but none looked as fast and stylish as Peaty.

As is tradition at the NZ enduro final day, there are lots of beers to drink, prizes and raffles to be won and yarns to be told. Mexican-sytle tacos went down a treat, and the party continued until the last keg ran dry and final Moa sunk.

It is a bike race after all, even though it feels nothing like one, which is the beauty and appeal of this race.

The were no major change-ups in the results from Day 2. Ines Thoma and Dimitri Tordo took home the hand-carved NZ Greenstone and Silky Saw Trophies in Pro Men and Women. But it was really the Amateurs and Masters who were the real winners, taking bags and bags of swag and prizes home thanks to super supportive sponsors. Cam Bisset, Cindy Chantreux and Max hides won their respective categories after three days and nine stages of racing.

A big congratulations goes to all the racers who battled and survived three brutal days of racing. It was high fives and big smiles as Anka Martin handed out the well-earned Santa Cruz NZ Enduro finishers patches.

Complete Day 3 Race Photo Gallery

Final Race Results

View this post on Instagram

You won't believe what happens next! #clickbait

A post shared by NZ Enduro (@nzenduro) on

 

Day 2

Santa Cruz NZ Enduro Day Two: Gnarly Nydia

What a difference a week makes. Last week, for perhaps the first time in Nydia track's history, the entire track's race stages were 100% rideable by a couple of skilled riders. It has been hot and dry here for three months and even the sketchy-at-the-best-of-times south-facing stages were running amazingly grippy. Then the rains came. The riders who braved and battled under today's wet conditions will say impossible grippy conditions a week ago were impossible. Even the best riders in the world were slipping, sliding and scooting alongside the less experienced. Let's just say the weather forecast was a little bit more optimistic than reality today.

With shuttles starting at 8:45 and riders only arriving back to their cars as late at 6pm, it was a nine-hour day for some. There was some respite from the elements though. Riders were able to shed their cold and wet layers and get some hot chili and coffee at the beautifully situated On The Track Lodge, which sits midway on the Nydia Track between stages two and three. It's an off-grid eco-lodge you can only reach by boat, bike, helicopter or on foot. All in all, it is a 35km day with four descents but only three climbs; 1162m climbing and 1580m descending. Don't let the stats fool you though, it’s a BIG day.

Sadly Martin Maes had to skip today's racing. He received a deep-to-the-bone gash yesterday that required on-track stitches from our amazing mobile doctors. He wanted to ride, but a long muddy day in the saddle would not be the smartest thing, risking infection with the EWS season only ten days away.

Dimitri Tordo increased his lead today with three stage wins, Guy Gibbs (A Norweigen, Welsh racer based in NZ) moved into second Fabien Barel is creeping closer to Brady Stone in third.

In the women's Ines Thoma leaped Ella and Anja into first, winning every stage today. Masters class shredder, Matt Patterson, had a better day moving into second behind Cam Bisset, who does a lot of trail building in this area. Max Hides led the Am Men's class ahead of Todd Balance and Pete Robinson with Renee Wilson leading the Am Women's category while on her honeymoon! Her new husband is not doing too badly himself, sitting in 5th place Pro men just behind Fabien Barel. Are they NZ’s fastest couple?

One of the reasons we began this NZ enduro adventure was to bring attention to this part of the world and this style of natural, native, bush riding and going hand-in-hand with our trail advocacy initiatives. We raise thousands of dollars each year through raffles and that money gets put back into the trails the race uses along with developing future trails for route tweaks (Like Pukaka Valley trail yesterday). Normally anywhere else, under these conditions, racing would be canceled to preserve the trails, but luckily for us, the native NZ bush trails are incredibly hardy with a solid base of roots and rocks. With no man-made features or digger-built sections, the trails can be ridden in both the wet or dry.

Fingers crossed there is silver lining on the clouds and flying weather for the helicopters which will be used to uplift 140 racers to the top of the final day of racing. If not, we have something else equally fun planned for everyone. We also have a lot of Moa beer left to finish!

View the Complete Day 2 Photo Gallery (128 photos)

After Day 2 Results

Day 1

Santa Cruz NZ Enduro Day One Report: Wet and Wild in Whites Bay

If your country is suffering from the worst drought in recent memory there is a simple solution. Hold a bike race. After almost three months of no rain and sunny weather, campers woke up to rivers raging through their tents. The first day of racing at the 2019 NZ Enduro took place at Whites Bay. At the North Eastern tip of the South Island in Marlborough Sounds, Whites Bay is known for its wine, beaches, fishing and, of course, mountain biking. 140 riders from 15 countries make up this year's NZ Enduro race field including a couple of top EWS racers shaking off the off-season rust.

words by Anka and Sven Martin with photos by @maddogboris, Digby Shaw and the rest of the NZ Enduro crew

There was some good news and bad news for the riders at the introduction briefing.

The bad news was that one stage (Double Eagle had to be cut). This was also the good news. Double Eagle is a clay-based trail and it would have been carnage. The organizers had another surprise for the racers today. A secret, new stage; Pukaka Valley trail. After a short root-littered, high-speed stage one, the riders turned right off the ridge from the beach and into a seldom-ridden technical wonderland. An off-camber, rooty start and then a a mix of greasy turns, root chutes and wild terraced, multi-line, old-growth forest greeted the tires. Despite it being the most technical stage in the race's five-year history, and in the worst of conditions, riders loved being thrown into the unknown.

The amateurs who were fighting for survival seemed the most pleased and were all smiles at the finish line with shouts of “best day of racing ever,” while the pros, who are generally going a little quicker, with a lot more on the line, found it a much more difficult challenge. By the time the pros took the start, all the lines were blown and the roots were caked in mud. It didn’t seem to slow down Canyon’s Dimitri Tordo though, who had the day's fastest time. The real story was the grit of the Kiwi racers who snatched a number of the remaining top spots ahead of the visiting pros. Second, third and fourth were all Kiwi men and Juliana rider, Anja Macdonald, took a convincing win in the Pro Women's field. The Kiwis are used to wild, native back-country riding. Tracks you would never find in any other race. They just crack on, sweet as bro!

A shuttle took everyone back to the race village where burgers and beers went down with a setting sun. For day 2, the riders will be skirting the Marlborough Sounds on a 35KM point-to-point adventure ride with four natural, but extremely technical and slippery, stages. They will break for a Kiwi BBQ at an eco-lodge situated on beautiful Nydia Bay, only reached by boat, bike or foot.

View the Complete Day 1 Photo Gallery (79 photos)

Day 1 Results

Create New Tag
1 comment
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment