Today riders had to face the longest and possibly hardest day of the Yeti Trans NZ Enduro and they were greeted with stunning weather and near perfect trail conditions.
Queenstown is well known for its famous bike park, but today the action saw riders take on the nearby mountain of Coronet Peak and its surrounding valleys instead. With infamous stages such as Rude Rock and Slip Saddle, it was a day everyone was looking forward to. But there was equally an air of nervousness among the riders, as this day included six stages, one thousand meters of climbing and three thousand meters of descending.
In the men’s field, it was an incredibly close race between Zac Williams (New Zealand) and Stu Dixon (Canada). Zac took impressive wins during both the opening two stages of Coronet Peak and Rude Rock/Skippers. However Stu came back strong to win the final four stages and the day honors. In the end it was just three seconds that separated the two after over six hours in the saddle and thirty five minutes of racing.
"It's been fun and the trails have been awesome. Zac was riding really well today and I was feeling a little uneasy on the Rude Rock stage. I get scared on all the grassy hidden side stuff. I’m not used to that in Canada, so I freak out a bit. Slip Saddle was my favorite stage of the day. I'm definitely a fan of the steeper gnarly stuff" – Stu Dickson
The Rude Rock stage, which continued down Pack Track then onto Skippers Canyon was a favorite of the riders today and it was also the longest stage so far with a winning time of 12.25min. This was followed by the mammoth liaison section, which sent riding climbing out from the very bottom of skippers’ canyon to the top of Zoot track.
In the Women’s category Raewyn Morrison continued to dominate and has extended her lead over the Second Placed, Amy Pryse-Phillips.
Raewyn said, “I’m using this race as preparation to build up to round one of the Enduro World Series in Rotorua. I’m also using the chance and to explore the South Island as I haven't done much of that. I would be quite keen to get top ten overall. That's my goal for the next few days”
The fourth day of racing tomorrow moves to the dry, thyme infested hills around Alexandra. It will be another long day with six more stages and a bit more pedaling.
Stage 3 Results
- Stu Dickson Canada 35:30
- Zac Williams New Zealand 35:33
- Mark Dunlop New Zealand 36:58
- Deon Baker Australia 37:28
- Jeremiah Newman USA 37:31
- Raewyn Morrison New Zealand 39:35
- Amy Pryse-Phillips Canada 44:22
- Rachael Gurney Great Briton 49:04
- April Bedford New Zealand 53:22
- Sheila Hart New Zealand 58:18
- Stu Dickson Canada 1:13:25
- Zac Williams New Zealand 1:15:36
- Deon Baker Australia 1:16:13
- Mark Dunlop New Zealand 1:18:28
- Tilmann Schwab Germany 1:18:54
- Raewyn Morrison New Zealand 1:24:38
- Amy Pryse-Phillips Canada 1:37:45
- Rachael Gurney Great Briton 1:44:49
- April Bedford New Zealand 1:58:53
Sheila Hart New Zealand 2:12:14