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RACE WEEK

REPORTS DIRECT FROM THE ACTION

NZ MTB Rally logo

DAILY RACE VIDEOS 2024

RACER FEEDBACK 2024

DAYS 1 & 2

WITH SO MUCH GREAT RIDING ON OFFER across the Top- of-the-South Island in NZ, there was no time to ease them in gently, so first up was a 30-minute shuttle from camp down a narrow gravel track deep into The Wairoa Gorge. This deep, rugged valley purchased back in the 90’s by a secretive billionaire, in order to create his own rider’s Disneyland for his exclusive, private, personal use. It was hand-built over several years by a trail crew picked-out from amongst world’s best.

 

DAYS 3 & 4

A Sunrise Boat Cruise from the beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park, over to Nelson’s Cable Bay and straight into a day of shredding the same trail-park of NZ’s National Enduro Champs hosted only last week.  Our first Heli-Drop to Coppermine saddle and 4 huge stages through Nelson’s rugged backcountry. 

DAYS 5 & 6

On this, the penultimate day of the race, we headed for Marlborough to tackle its formidable ‘Wakamarina’ backcountry trails. On the program: a helicopter drop-off at the summit to explore these lush forests, offering a crazy diversity of landscapes and terrain. Black beeches (not beaches!), crystal clear rivers, huge ferns, and roots galore…

SUPER, HUMAN

Matthew Fairbrother wins the Inaugural NZ MTB Rally, whilst racing as entirely unsupported. A truly herculean effort.

But that was the easy part. Because, for reasons known only to Fairbrother, he took on The Rally in his signature, entirely unsupported style. Not only did this involve pedalling or hiking up all the ascents whilst all his competitors took 4×4 shuttles and heli-drops, it included huge overnight transitions through mountainous terrain.  Matt carried his own kit & tools, ate only what he carried or could buy from local outlets, and slept in a bivy.

All-in, Fairbrother clocked up a monstrous 582km (361 miles) and 17,382m (57,027 ft) of elevation in completing this herculean race-within-a-race.

Still not tough enough for you? We haven’t yet mentioned Matt’s 6-and-a-half-hour, 37 km overnight kayak transition in seriously tough sea conditions (while everyone else jumped on a sunrise boat cruise).

FLOW MTB – FULL RACE REPORT

The NZ MTB Rally was an enduro like nothing else. Heli-rides, boat cruises and 4×4 shuttles galore. Read the race wrap for the NZ MTB Rally, providing for every mountain biker’s dream ride, all in one 6-day event…

A RIDER’S STORY: 59 – CASSANDRA DEPIZZOL

Cassandra Depizzol is an average rider, not known for any podiums or insane records. She just loves to ride her bike and discover new places, like we all do here. She stepped up to take on the very first edition of the NZ MTB RALLY and in spite of health difficulties and challenges in her personal and family life, she made the long journey from the USA to complete her mission, with a smile on her face.  This is her story, in her own words.

BIKE SETUP & KIT LIST

Pinkbike’s Technical Editor Matt Beer Raced the 2024 NZ MTB Rally. He gave us his detailed perspective on the perfect setup and packing list you’ll need to get the most out of your week. Standout items are the massive brakes, thick-as carbon rims, hand guards, 3D printed saddle, and a new-age suspension setup.

OUR OTHER EVENTS

THE TRANS-SAVOIE

BIG ALPINE ENDURO – ESTD. 2012 (PRE-DATES EWS)

The first and only multi-day enduro to combine ski-lift access with a journey-format itinerary.  A 6-day adventure traversing the iconic trails of the French Alps in the shadow of the majestic Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak.

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ENDURO2

PAIRS-FORMAT RACING – ESTD. 2015
The original team-format enduro. Blind racing with your best buddy. Hey, don’t judge it, till you’ve tried it! A half-decade ahead of its time, this revolutionary format is more than the sum of its parts.

Born in Les Arcs (French Alps), Enduro2 is now a sell-out global series having introduced more inspirational ride spots with rounds in  France, Switzerland, Italy, and New Zealand

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TRAILADDICTION

GUIDED MTB TOURS – ESTD. 1999 (ISH)

TrailAddiction began way back, with two graduate engineers & friends from University, who wanted to show their mates from back home a ‘different’ way of riding their v-brake-equipped ‘trail’ bikes. One that was very much in the Alpine, and used uplifts as much as possible, but on historic trails well outside of the mainstream bike-parks. Those two mates were Ash Smith (TransProvence, Stone King Rally) & Ali Jamieson (Trans-Savoie, Enduro2). The rest, as they say, is history.

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