Tim Rush and Michael Vink successfully defended their title when The Pioneer finished in Queenstown, New Zealand, today.
Brendan Johnston and Jon Odams placed second overall, with Ryan Sissons and Sam Osborne third.
“That means a lot, I had a lot of pressure coming and a lot of people wrote us off with the Aussie boys coming over, especially as they have won so many races,” said Rush.
“That is good for me and Vinky to get this one in our home nation, it has been amazing. Thanks to all the supporters, marshals and volunteers on course, we tried to thank them all as per my mother’s instructions, but it was tough for me at times breathing through a straw behind Vinky.”
Kate McIlroy and Amy Hollamby were supreme in taking the women’s category for a second year after winning all six stages.
Nina McVicar and Reta Trotman came second, with Hannah Buchannan and Sarah Gilbert third.
“That was a big, big day today, I think when we thought we had reached the top we still had a climb to go, it was raining and cold and we were in the middle of nowhere basically,” said McIlroy.
“We were happy to see that second aid station when we knew it was the end of the climbing and only had the river trail to go.”
The mixed team race was won by Joe Skerman and Josie Wilcox, who beat Holly and Michael Harris into second. Mark Williams and Kate Fluker came third.
“That was very tough for Joe today, he was in some very, very dark places for a long time. The last 10km felt like a marathon, but I am super proud of him today, he dug deep today and this week,” said Wilcox.
“This will be sweet, we had to work very hard to get home, I was suffering from the start really, but Josie supported me all the way and we got there, I am really proud,” said Skerman.
View more results below.
Stage five (70km)
1. Tim Rush & Michael Vink, NZL, Onya Bike North Otago, 3:45:23
2. Sam Fox & Sebastian Jayne, AUS, Marathon MTB, 3:49:40
3. Brendan Johnston & Jon Odams, AUS, Giant Australia, 3:51:21
1. Kate McIlroy & Amy Hollamby, NZL, Stonewood Homes, 4:43:46
2. Nina McVicar & Reta Trotman, NZL, New World St Martins, 5:17:13
3. Hannah Buchannan & Sarah Gilbert, NZL/USA, Tiki Wine & Vineyards, 5:24:55
1. Holly Harris & Michael Harris, AUS, Sram Mtoss, 4:16:23
2. Joe Skerman & Josie Wilcox, NZL, JoJo, 4:26:18
3. Mark Williams & Kate Fluker, NZL, New World-Pivot, 4:29:10
1. Tim Rush & Michael Vink, NZL, Onya Bike North Otago, 17:51:04
2. Brendan Johnston & Jon Odams, AUS, Giant Australia, 18:05:54
3. Ryan Sissons & Sam Osborne, NZL, Winger Hamilton, 18:29:23
1. Kate McIlroy & Amy Hollamby, NZL, Stonewood Homes, 21:54:22
2. Nina McVicar & Reta Trotman, NZL, New World St Martins, 24:36:41
3. Hannah Buchannan & Sarah Gilbert, NZL/USA, Tiki Wine & Vineyards, 25:52:00
1. Joe Skerman & Josie Wilcox, NZL, JoJo, 20:24:57
2. Holly Harris & Michael Harris, AUS, Sram Mtoss, 20:38:54
3. Mark Williams & Kate Fluker, NZL, New World-Pivot, 21:16:30