Strong Central performances in Pioneer MTB race

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ADAM.BURNS

@alliedpress.co.nz

The Pioneer mountain biking event touched down in Central Otago last week, bringing top-class competition to the region.

The third edition of the six-day extreme mountain bike race brought riders from across the globe.

Previously, the race had run from Christchurch to Queenstown.

Organisers revamped the event for this year so riders could race on some remote trails across the region.

Queenstown, Alexandra and Bannockburn all hosted stages across the six days.

While it was a largely international field, there was also some hometown talent keeping the visitors honest.

Kath Kelly, of Roxburgh, won the Women’s Masters category with partner Peg Leyland.

Fellow Alexandra rider Shaun Portegys controlled the grand masters 50-plus category from start to finish, winning the category with teammate Tim O’Leary, of Queenstown.

Alexandra’s James Williamson returned to defend his title but he was unable to repeat his 2017 triumph, settling for third overall alongside teammate Scott Lyttle.

Queenstown duo Kate Fluker and Mark Williams won the mixed category.