The Prospector MTB Stage Race

  • New Zealand (NZL)
  • Off-Road Cycling

Stunning Final Stage Finishes a World-class Event at the Prospector MTB Stage Race in Alexandra

Press Release / 12.03.2023See All Event Posts Follow Event
/ © AuthenticAs

World-class riders, world-class trails, world-class event. Mountain biking doesn’t get any better than what almost 200 competitors have experienced during the last three days of The Prospector MTB Stage Race in the hills around Alexandra.

With every current NZ national mountain bike champion present – marathon, short track and cross country – it was always going to be a tough, hard-fought battle at the front for our top riders. But it was Team Julbo - Akatrax’s Craig Oliver and Ethan Rose who reigned supreme for the third edition of the Prospector, finishing with an overall event time of 6 hours, 25 mins and 22 seconds.

Wearing the Yellow Leader jerseys throughout the three days, Julbo - Akatrax managed to increase their lead as the race went on, finishing six minutes ahead of second-place getters NZ Cycling Project – MitoQ’s Ben Oliver and Eddie Adams. “We are stoked to be the overall champions,” commented Craig Oliver. “We just tried to control the race from the start, so we could see our own lines and have a smooth ride, because it was more about being against the terrain today, than the other teams. We knew a flat tyre would cost us about five minutes, and that’s how much time we head over the next team heading into today’s final stage.”

“We hope to be back riding together again as a team. Riding the trails down here around Alexandra is epic, the scenery is amazing and the Prospector is such a well-run event,” adds Rose.

Priscilla Thompson and Mary Gray (Priscilla & Mary) also showed pure class, with a clean sweep of stage wins and a strong finish on the last day giving them a commanding lead of just over three hours over rivals Jennifer Tregurtha and Leah Stewart (Granny Gear Gals). “It’s awesome to win today, as well as the overall race,” Thompson said. “This is such a great event, everyone is so friendly and all three courses have been so much fun to ride,” Gray added. “We would love to see more female teams in the future, it’s the best way to see some amazing country, meet new friends and challenge your riding.”

Samara Sheppard and her Australian Partner Kyle Ward continued their domination of the Mixed category, with an overall time of 7 hours, 44 minutes and 53 seconds. “It was a challenging day out there that definitely kept us on our toes,” said Sheppard. “It was awesome to ride it together and stoked to take the win. We can’t wait to come back next year.”

The event offers categories for teams and Individual athletes, from young to old. There has been great competition across all the categories, with the biggest takeaway being the smiles on people’s faces throughout the entire event. 

“It's been a massive day of racing at Matangi Station, and it’s great to crown some new champions for 2023. Craig Oliver and Ethan Rose showed they’re pure class taking the win, and we look forward to following them on the international scene later this year,” adds Race Director James Williamson

This year also saw the inaugural Matangi Claim Adventure Ride, which saw individual riders join the rest of the riders for the final day, utilising the same course as Stage 2 of Prospector, gaining access to areas of Matangi Station that only a privileged few get to ride.

Taking the win in the Open Male category was Oamaru’s Taz Selfe in a time of 3 hours, 13 minutes and 33 seconds, with Queenstown’s Georgina Read claiming the Female title in a time of 4 hours and 22 minutes exactly.

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