It was an epic few days on the bike at the inaugural Prospector MTB stage race. To be able to race over such beautiful high country stations and on single-track that only Alexandra can provide was a real treat and one that all riders were grateful for. The race is a real breath of fresh air for mountain bike events in New Zealand and caters to the true MTB enthusiast.
I’d paired up with young gun and Under 19 National Champion Ethan Rose and we knew we would be in for a tough battle for overall victory against a strong rider pairing of Ben Oliver and Josh Burnett.
Ethan and I were set off first on the single-track packed prologue with Ben and Josh starting just 30secs behind. This gave them a great carrot to chase and although we lost a bit of time in the prologue there was still lots to play for over the next couple of days.
The second day was a mostly 4wd and farm track stage, with some long and brutally steep climbs finished off with an epic single-track descent down the Clyde DH trail back to where we began. Ethan fought hard even though Ben and Josh had started to distance us about halfway through the stage and we were able to limit our time loss to just over 1 minute.
We were still in with a fighting chance of claiming overall victory heading into the final stage. With almost 60km of Alexandra’s finest single-track it was an epic way to finish the race and a close sprint finish win for Ethan and I really capped it brilliantly for us.
In the end we finished second place overall by a narrow 1min 55sec which will give us some fire in the belly to come back again to challenge for the title. Congrats to Ben and Josh for taking the overall win. I look forward to returning again!