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Race Preview: 2019 Trans NZ

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The Yeti Trans NZ presented by Shimano returns to bring racers to some of the best trails on New Zealand's South Island for its fifth year from February 24 to March 1. 135 riders are set to take on the challenge which will see them tackle trails from Craigieburn in the Canterbury region to Queenstown over six days of riding. The forecast is looking menacing for the first few days of the event so racers will have to expect the worse as they make their way through the race.With Tropical Cyclone Oma stalled in the Coral Sea for the next week, riders could experience gale-force winds, sharp temperature drops and heavy rainfall for the first two days of racing. Despite what happens early on in the week, racers will have four more days of riding in completely different zones in Central Otago, hopefully with better weather.
bigquotes “We’ve had wet and wild days before, but this is the first time out of nine trans events that we’ve ever had to reconfigure plans in the event. We work closely with the local mountain club on all aspects of trail selection and conditions and will make the final decision on the fly as the conditions unroll in Craigieburn.”Megan Rose, founder of the Yeti Trans NZ
Despite the bad weather threatening racing, each day riders will be expecting over 4,900ft (1,500m) of climbing and over 6,500ft (2,000m) of descending. Across the six days, the average distance is 18miles (30kms) with riders taking 4-6 hours to complete each course.Those returning to the event from previous years can expect changes to nearly every day of racing and a whole new location on day 4. Cardrona Bike Park.
bigquotes The spectacular backdrop of the Southern Alps provides an inspirational setting for our 25-kilometer network of trails which caters to the full range of abilities – from flowy green and blue trails to techy singletrack and the most recent NZ National DH Championship track. There will still be plenty of climbing, but a few laps on the aerial lifts allow for a day with heaps of vert.Jen Houltham, communications executive at Cardrona Alpine Resort

For the fifth year running Yeti are returning as the title sponsor and the presenting sponsor Shimano will be on hand to provide tech support throughout the week. In addition to this local guest riders will be making appearances along the way to spice up the competition and make everyone go that little bit faster. Last years event saw the likes of Eddie and Wyn Masters tackling the trails as guest riders on day three of the event, with Eddie taking the win across stages one, two and four. We look forward to seeing who will be joining the riders this year.Check out some of the action from last years event below.
Follow the action on Pinkbike for race and video recaps @transnz. Be sure to check out full daily uploads to Trans NZ's Pinkbike Photo Album.