This event takes you on an iconic off-road course through the magnificent Motatapu, Soho and Glencoe Stations. There is only one chance to bike this course each year and it’s by riding the Motatapu! Set in the spectacular southern high country of New Zealand, there are many rivers to cross, hills to climb and a few steep descents thrown into the mix.
The ride starts at Glendhu Station near the shore of Lake Wānaka and finishes at historic Arrowtown. Your journey follows a route early Maori used for hunting and gathering, and to move Pounamu (Greenstone). The valley was not discovered by European explorers until around 1862 during the gold rush.
This event can be as challenging or as laid back as you want it to be with pros, amateurs, and newbies all racing the same 47km track. Top NZ mountain bikers have set records, celebs such as Bill English, Steve Gurney and Hamish Carter have added character, but it’s the everyday recreational rider that is the backbone of this event.
Mountain bikers from NZ and beyond have been racing the Motatapu for over a decade, some returning year after year to relive the glory. It’s time for you to experience it for yourself. Bring it on!
|Entry Fee||View Entry Fees here|
|Event Date||Saturday 4 March 2023|
|Start Line||Glendhu Bay, Lake Wānaka|
Click here to view 2023 Individual Start List (includes Ebike)
Click here to view 2023 Team Start List
|Finish Line||Wilcox Green, Arrowtown|
The event start will take place over a 60min period in a self-seeding, controlled rolling start format (except Elite category). The rolling start allows for a slow release of athletes over the start line - 2 riders at approximately 5-second intervals. It is essential that you start in the chute relevant to your capability. You may not move up to an earlier start wave than is printed on your bike plate, but you may drop to a later start chute. Your start wave will be printed on your bike plate and is based on the information you provided on your entry form. If you have forgotten which start wave you selected, log in to your EventPlus account.
Elite*: Junior (16-18yrs), Elite (19+ yrs)
Open: 16-18yrs, 19-29yrs, 30-39yrs, 40-49yrs, 50-59yrs, 60+ yrs
Teams (2 per team):
E-Bike: All E-Bikers. Non-competitive category. See E-Bike Standards here. E-bike category is limited to 100 riders. The E-Bike Category is a non-competitive event (not a race) created for those who would not be able to bike through on a regular bike to experience the once a year access in the Motatapu Valley.
The Elite start wave is limited to the first 180 riders to enter and qualify. To qualify for the Elite start wave you must have a previous Motatapu time that fits the below criteria. If you are a first timer, then email us at [email protected] with previous results.
|Minimum Age||Must strictly be 16 years of age on race day to compete|
|Prize Giving||Prize Giving will take place at 1pm, at Wilcox Green. 1st, 2nd, 3rd in each individual and team race category (except E-Bikes).|
|Prize Money, Awards & Spot prizes||Overall Male and Female individual winners will be awarded NZD$500.00.
Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd & 3rd in each race category for both the Elite, Open and Team divisions
All competitors will be eligible for the spot prize and this will be randomly drawn. A list of winners will be published on race day at the information desk at the Finish Line in Wilcox Green, Arrowtown and available on the Motatapu App. If your race number is showing on the list, then head along to the information tent and show your race number to collect your prize. The information desk will be open from 9am until 8pm on race day for you to come along and claim your prize!
|Mandatory Gear & Bike checklist||Click here to view the requirements|
|Athlete Check-In||Friday 3 March, 3:00pm - 7:00pm, Wilcox Green, Arrowtown
Saturday 4 March, 6:30am - 8:45am, Glendhu Bay, Wānaka
|Cut-off Times||Cut off at Aid Station 1 (14km from start line) - 11:15am
Cut off at Aid Station 2 (22km from start line) - 12:45pm
Course cut off - 4:00pm
|Race Briefing||There will be a 10 minute race briefing before you start. It is compulsory for you to attend your race briefing. It will include up-to-date course and weather conditions. The briefing will be based on you having read all the information sent to you pertaining to your event.|
Mandatory Gear & Bike Checklists
The Motatapu mandatory gear & bike list contains what we believe is the absolute minimum to keep you safe in the alpine environment. The weather is very unpredictable in the high country, a front can blow in and out of the mountains in less than 12 hours. It has been both sweltering hot and freezing cold in this area during March so you should be well prepared with all the necessary gear for all conditions, including snow, due to the high elevation of this event.
All competitors must carry the mandatory gear at all times during race day. No mandatory gear = no start!
All mountain bike competitors must ensure their bike is up to standard as per the bike checklist.
Officials can randomly check bikes (if applicable) and gear at any point during the event, including at the start and finish line. Officials have the right to stop an athlete for not adhering to the mandatory checklists. Any infringements may result in disqualification or removal from the event.
From 2023 Mountain Bike entrants are not required to complete a bike check at a bike check store, however we highly recommend booking a bike service with your local bike shop pre and post event to ensure your bike is in top condition. Regular bike maintenance will increase the longevity of your bike's life, minimise breakdowns and be easier on your pocket in the long run.
Click here to download the Mountain Bike list.
Start Line - Glendhu Bay
A range of facilities are available at the Glendhu Bay start line area to ensure an enjoyable start to your Motatapu adventure, including an Info Tent, toilets, parking and a coffee vendor!
Parking and drop-off is available at Glendhu Bay. Please follow the directions of traffic marshals as to where to park. All vehicles are treated as parking and there is no drop off area.
Please note that there will be heavy traffic flows heading towards Glendhu Bay on event day. Please factor this into your travel time and take extreme care, watching for sudden stops in traffic.
Please note that DOGS ARE NOT PERMITTED at the start line.
Click here to download the Start Line map
The 47km Mountain Bike has four self-service Aid Stations evenly spaced along the course. Refer to the course map for exact locations. Aid Stations will have water, PURE electrolyte hydration drink - Superfruits flavour, and a supply of Em's Power Bars in a variety of flavours. Please note that the Aid Stations are predominately for the Off-Road Marathon runners, Mountain Bikers should be carrying what you need to complete the event.
**Please note: While we are there to help, please ensure you carry enough food and drink to get you through your race.
While you must still carry the required competitor gear and ensure that you know how to use it, there will be mechanics riding the course, should you need assistance. They also stop at each Aid Station to see if anyone requires assistance. They will be identifiable with ‘Bike Mechanic’ number plates.
Finish Line - Arrowtown
The finish line for all events is located at Wilcox Green, next to Nairn Street, in the heart of Arrowtown. The Finish area will offer the full post-race experience; where you can relax, soak up the atmosphere, appreciate a well-earned massage, refuel, and enjoy celebrating your achievement with friends and family. Make a day of it enjoying the local flavours of the region, with plenty of delicious food stalls, beer, and entertainment; whilst cheering on other finishers throughout the day. A map of the Finish Village will be available closer to the event.
Click here to view the Race Rules