Rider Support

Ride Guide

This is the ultimate guide! Outlining everything you need to know for the week, the event and the logistics. 

Download here - low res (13MB) version to read on your computer

Note: We will have a printed copy for each athlete to collect at Athlete Registration in Christchurch on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 February.

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.

Race Village Services        Included in Entry Fee        Add-on Available
Marmot Tent City  
Social Lounge  
Bike Wash Service and Security  
Phone Charging Services  
Dining Hall  
Medical Services  
Basic Mechanical Services (details below)  
Campervan Parking Site  
Massage Services  
Laundry Services  
Supporters Accommodation and Meals  


Christchurch: Hagley Park, Park Terrace

Geraldine: Hislop Street

Fairlie: 1 Gillingham Street

Tekapo: Lilybank Road

Ohau: Lake Ohau Road (next to Lake Ohau Lodge)

Hawea: Timaru River Road

Snow Farm: Cardrona Valley Road

Queenstown: Queenstown Events Centre, Joe O'Connell Drive, Frankton


All meals will be served 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 GU isotonic 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. 

Breakfast will be served in the Dining Hall 6:00am - 7:30am every day, except Thursday when breakfast will be served 5:00am - 6:30am due to the earlier start time.

Breakfast options will include;
- Cereal/Muesli
- Bread/Toast
- Porridge
- Spreads (jam, vegemite, honey, peanut butter)
- Fresh fruit
- Tea and Coffee
- Hot options: bacon, sausages and eggs

Dinner will be served from 6:00pm - 7:30pm each day in the Dining Hall and will include;
- red and/or white meat
- carbohydrates
- dessert
- vegetables
- salads
- fresh fruit

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 can wash it down at the end of each day in the designated Bike Wash area. A huge thanks to SQUIRT who have come on board as our Bike Wash and Lube product supplier!

You can then place your 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.
The Massage package for the 7 Day Epic includes 7 x 15 minute massages (1 per day) and must have been pre-purchased. The Massage package for the 4 Day Traverse includes 4 x 15 minute massages (1 per day) and must have been pre-purchased.

If you haven’t pre-purchased and there is an available booking you may be able to make a booking on the spot or for later that evening. This can be made at the Info Desk in the Social Zone.


There will be two opportunities to have your laundry done. 
The drop off and collection point for all laundry will be at the Info Desk, located inside the Social Zone at the Race Village.
Your pre-paid laundry package includes one laundry bag: 47cm x 60cm with zip top.

The laundry timetable is as follows:

• competitors must drop off laundry by 6.00pm Monday 6 Feb at Fairlie Race Village
• laundry pickup from 7.00pm Tuesday 7 Feb at Lake Tekapo Race Village
• competitors must drop off laundry by 6.00pm Wednesday 8 Feb at Lake Ohau Race Village
• laundry pickup from 7.00pm Thursday 9 Feb at Hawea Race Village

If you have not pre-arranged this service you may organise it at Athlete Registration on Saturday 4 Feb in Christchurch. Please have NZD$25 to pay for this service.


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. Lake Ohau is one of those places that has very limited mobile or internet coverage.

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.

For SPARK/Telecom users, here is a link to use to test your phone compatibility -


SPARK Outlets    

Christchurch Airport
P: +64 3 357 2530 Open everyday: 8.00am - 6.00pm - 10.00pm -
Located on the ground floor of the airport, just past international
arrivals hall.


Moorhouse Avenue
70 Moorhouse Avenue, Addington, Christchurch
P: +64 3 366 9202 Open: Mon – Fri 9.00am - 5.00pm / Sat 10.00am
- 2.00pm / Sun Closed
Located at the Hagley Park

Shop 24, Westfield Riccarton Mall, 129 Riccarton Road, Riccarton
P: + 64 3 343 9888 Open: Mon – Sat 9.00am - 6.00pm / Sun
10.00am – 6.00pm
Located at the Pak’n’Save end of the mall (the Riccarton Road
entrance), next to ProfessioNail.
Vodafone Outlets  

Christchurch Airport
P: +64 3 353 1976 Open: everday - 8.00am - 6.00pm and 10.00pm
- 2.00am


Shop15, Westfield Mall, 129 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton
P: +64 3 348 1118 Open: Mon- Sat – 9.00am - 5.00pm / Sun –
10.00am - 5.30pm


South City
Warehouse South City, 535 Colombo Street, Christchurch
P: +64 3 366 6013 Open: everyday 8:30am – 8.00pm



Course Cut-off Times

  Course Cut-off Point (km) Cut-off Time Daily Course Closure
Stage One Three hours from start of last athlete   3:00pm
Stage Two 77km 6:30pm 8:00pm
Stage Three 54km 5:00pm 8:00pm
Stage Four 79km 4:00pm 8:00pm
Stage Five 74km 3:00pm 8:00pm
Stage Six 36km 2:30pm 8:00pm
Stage Seven 32km 2:30pm 6:30pm


Please note: all course cut-off times are subject to change due to weather or any other reason at the discretion of the event.

Check Points

Checkpoints are located at each aid station, during which rider separation rules will be enforced. Teams must be recorded while passing the checkpoints, failure to do so may result in disqualification.

Water, sports nutrition and food (such as fruit, cookies, pretzels and muesli bars) will be available at each checkpoint.  These points will also provide the opportunity for riders to receive medical attention & mechanical support for ‘running repairs’.  Check points also serve as course control, safety and race rule enforcement points and you must comply with any instructions at these points.

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)
  • Lemon Lime and Blueberry Pomegranate flavour Isotonic GU drink (please note if you have a preference for specific flavour please bring your own)
  • Fruit
  • Cake
  • Pretzels
  • Lollies
  • GU Energy Stroopwafel Wild Berry & Salty’s Caramel flavours
  • Basic mechanical support/bike repair
  • Full first aid box
  • Radio access to Ambulances
  Approx Distances to Aid Stations    
Stage 1 No Aid station Stage 5

AS # 1 Ireland Bridge @ 40km
AS # 2 Pass Burn @ 74km
AS # 3 Rock Tors Grandview Track @ 94kms

Stage 2

AS #1 - Orari Gorge at 37km
AS #2 - Darts Bush Stream at 61km
AS #2 - Clayton Settlement Road at 77km

Stage 6

AS # 1 Deans Bank Campground @ 31km
AS # 2 ,Criffel Range Airstrip @ 57km
AS # 3 Luggate Creek @ 59km

Stage 3

AS # 1 Manahune Station @ 27km
AS # 2 Rollesby Valley Road @ 45km
AS # 3 Dead Mans Creek @ 63km 

Stage 7

AS # 1 Gentle Annie @ 20km
AS # 2 Kawarau River @ 30kms

Stage 4

AS # 1 Hayman Road @ 37km
AS # 2 Darts Bush Stream @ 61km
AS # 3 Ohau Lake Edge @ 78km


Mechanical Support

Hazen and his Bike Therapy team will be offering technical assistance for ‘running repairs’ at check points along the course, and will also have an extensive repair service available at the race village each day. Due to the remote nature of the course, the team will be bringing everything they need to keep you riding!

Should you need to purchase any supplies while in Christchurch before the race begins, click here for a list of bike stores you could visit. 

Riders will be required to pay for spare parts. A list of services will be available closer to the event. 

Medical Support

We have a range of expert medical services throughout the course and at the finish line. A qualified doctor will either be out on course or in the Race Village throughout the race week. There will be basic First Aid available at each Aid Station. If you require medical assistance or come across an accident please make your way to the nearest aid station or check point and report the accident.

Accident Response

Given the number of competitors on course relative to the number of support crew, and the nature of the terrain you are riding over, it is likely that in an accident or emergency you as a fellow competitor may reach that person before the support crews do. If so, you should proceed as follows:

1. First On Scene: If you are the first on the scene please stop and assist the injured/distressed competitor & gather as much information as
2. Next on Scene: Talk to first on scene then proceed to the nearest radio (Aid Station / Medic / 4WD / Tail End Charlie / some Marshalls) to
report the situation (even if that means returning the way you came) so we can get expert help on the scene ASAP.
3. Others on Scene: Stop to see if any assistance can be offered and proceed if not.

Training Programmes

Our official training partner, Complete Performance, want to help you get Pioneer race ready! 

"No matter what success looks like for you…through regular communication, nutrition advice, technique coaching and fun group training sessions – we help you become fitter, stronger, faster and equip you with a great race plan. So, on race day you can Be Awesome!"

The Pioneer Periodisation - this will give you an idea of what the next 5 months might look like. 

Phase Two Training Programme - this 8 week block (19/9 - 07/11) focuses on Phase Two: The Pioneer General Preparation (from the periodisation table)

Phase Three Training Programme - this 8 week block (14/11 - 02/01) focuses on Phase Three: The Pioneer Specific Preparation (from the periodisation table)

Phase Four Training Programme - this 4 week block (09/01 - 30/01) focuses on Phase Four: The Pioneer Race Preparation and Race (from the periodisation table)

Phase Five: Recovery Ideas - this document gives post event tips and ideas to help you recover. Then once you feel ready, there are some great winter ideas to keep you enjoying your biking and the outdoors. 

Training Program Notes - great tips and advice!

If you are interested in more specific coaching, then please contact Richard and the team who are keen to help you get the most of out of training, so you get the best Pioneer experience!



0800 551 002

Team CP Logo Updated Yellow 2

Personal Fundraising

Securing a sponsor is a great way to help fund part, or all, of your Pioneer entry fee and associated costs.  We hope these tips are useful if you are endeavoring to find support!!

Don’t forget that all sponsors want a positive association and exposure for their brand. Their brand is their business.

Selecting a Sponsor to approach:

  • Identify your team’s point of difference, or outstanding attributes, and work out how that can be used to a sponsor’s advantage when aligning with a specific brand.
  • The type of sponsor doesn’t need to only be MTB related – think outside the square;
    • Insurance companies
    • Health products
    • Apparel providers
    • Community business from the region you are biking through
    • Tourism operations
    • Regional Tourist Office from your local town – great to have them represented
    • Local Bike shop
    • What about your boss?
  • Think about what you can offer the sponsor as profile for their support of you.

  • What can the connection with the event offer the sponsor from a profile perspective?
    • There is an international field taking part (we can provide stats);
    • An internationally recognised destination;
    • There will be lots of Media generated locally and internationally, including a one hour TV show that will air domestically and internationally. 
    • This will be on the International stage annually

Tips to make your team stand out:

  • Establish a team name that is catchy and reflects who you are, or who your sponsor is
  • Find out some interesting facts about each team member that can be used to create publicity including things like; past race history, who is the newbie, unusual career paths, physical challenges, etc.
  • Research any interesting links between your team members and the sponsor brand
  • Tie in with the local community. If going for a smaller home grown sponsor – find out about the local town or city
  • Identify your team goals and what you hope to achieve
  • Set up a social media platform (typically Facebook) or a blog

 How to present yourself – make it informative but keep it brief!

  • Write a brief synopsis of the team, who you are, why you are competing, and what your goals are. Keep it super punchy and factual.
  • Write bios for each team member including; name, age, location, race history, interesting facts, a personal anecdote and any unique information.
  • Write some current news about your team and what your team is doing i.e.: fundraising efforts, training adventures, working with youth (some teams have developed very strong relationships with local schools which helps get the story out and is very positive for the community), speaking engagements.
  • Present your portfolio in a concise and easy to read manner. Don’t use unusual fonts, embedded pictures or lots of artwork.

GU Nutrition Advice

As you ramp up your training, keep in mind some of the nutritional keys to building strength, power and endurance on the bike:

Energy – you need to keep your muscles fueled when training, not just during competition. GU's carefully-crafted carbohydrate mix is easily absorbed for efficient energy delivery.

Muscle Repair – hard training sessions damage your muscles but ultimately help you get stronger. Roctane Energy Gel and Roctane Energy Drink Mix help protect and rebuild muscle tissue with high levels of branched-chain amino acids.

Hydration – you lose 10% of your power with a 2% drop in body weight from dehydration. GU Hydration tastes great and delivers electrolytes with ingredients that can help reduce gastric distress. 

We know everyone is different, but here are some nutrition plans for training rides that work for us: 

Light Training Ride (under 2 hours)

  • 2 Energy Gels – five minutes before and one during ride 
  • Hydration Drink Tab in 620ml water during ride
  • Recovery Drink Mix in 620ml of milk or water after you are done

Intense Power Workout (under 2 hours)

  • 2 Roctane Energy Gels – five minutes before and one during ride
  • Roctane Energy Drink Mix in 620ml water during ride
  • Recovery Drink Mix in 620ml of milk or water after you are done
  • The 50+ Mile Training Ride (4+ hours)
  • Roctane Energy Gels – five minutes before and one every 45 minutes
  • Chews – substitute for an Energy Gel for variety
  • Roctane Energy Drink in 620ml water every 2 hours
  • Recovery Drink Mix in 620ml of milk or water after you are done