About The Prospector

The Prospector is a new race to the New Zealand to the New Zealand mountain bike scene. Created by Alexandra locals James Williamson and Phil Oliver, the race is “designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers”. Central Otago has a rich gold mining history, with many of the routes and trails in the hills formed as they hunted gold. Now 100 years later the hills are thriving again with the trails repurposed for two-wheeled use!

A multi-stage race over three days, The Prospector will be raced by riders in teams of two, where the teams with the lowest overall time will be crowned race champions. The courses will challenge riders in many ways, with a large amount of technical grade 3 & 4 single track on offer, skillful riders will be well rewarded however there is no also hiding on the many climbs, with nearly 4000m total elevation gain in the event.

The race is based in Alexandra for the three days, the stages take place in the hills surrounding the town with the start finishes a 10min drive or short ride from the township. Once riders have completed the stages they can relax and enjoy the many great spots around town to re-hydrate and refuel, or even take on a leisurely recovery ride with the family on some of the world famous cycle trails.

After a massively successful inaugural event in 2021, we are back for 2022 and cant wait to see the action unfold once again!!



Alexandra, Central Otago is a pleasant 60min drive through the Kawarau and Cromwell gorges away from Queenstown International aiport (also only 2hrs from Dunedin International airport).

Once out of the busy tourist metropolis of Queenstown you escape to the vastness of the heart of Central Otago, a place that has a very unique warm and dry landscape and climate which make it an ideal location for mountain biking. The township and surrounding area has thrived in recent years with the boom of the famous Cycle Trails such as the Otago Central Rail Trail and The Roxbrugh Gorge Trail, on the back of this have come many wonderful cafes, restaurants, bars and breweries now on offer.

Explore the area on your mountain bike as you prepare for and race The Prospector and see what hidden gems there are here, with trails as good as anywhere in the world only minutes from the centre of town.

2022 Event Schedule

  • Registration Night Thursday 10th March 4-7pm
    • Monteiths Brewery Bar and Restaurant Alexandra


  • Registration Morning Friday 11th March 9am-10am
    • Monteiths Brewery Bar and Restaurant Alexandra


  • Race/Event Briefing 12pm Friday 11th March
    • Prologue race start 12.30pm
    • Event Chill Zone (Monteiths bar and restaurant) Open 1pm-5pm
    • Prologue awards & stage 1 briefing– 5-6pm


  • Stage 1 Saturday 12thMarch | race start 8am
    • Stage 2 finish 11.30-4pm
    • Event Event Chill Zone (Monteiths bar and restaurant) Open 1pm-5pm
    • Stage 1 awards  & stage 2 briefing – 5-6pm


  • Stage 2 Sunday 13Th March | race start 7.45am
    • Stage 2 Finish 11-3pm
    • Event Event Chill Zone (Monteiths bar and restaurant ) Open 1pm-4pm
    • Stage 2 & Event awards 4pm – 6pm

*please note this timing may change in the lead up to the event

NZ MTB Stage Race Champions

The Volcanic Epic and The Prospector MTB Stage Race join forces for the ultimate MTB stage race prize. This is your chance to be crowned NZ MTB Stage Race Champions.
Any team competing across both events with the same team name and members will be eligible to win the $500 cash prize. With a prize for men’s, women’s and mixed teams, winners are calculated by total race time across both events.
Learn more about the Volcanic Epic | 24-27 March 2022 | Rotorua, Taupo, Tokoroa

Event FAQ's

Do I have to do it in a team?

No we have individual entries too, but part of the fun of it all is working with your teammate to push each other to do your best. It gives you someone to train with, to moan to, have a beer with after and, most of all, have an epicly great time with

How old do I have to be?

All our riders need to be 16 years or above on the first day of racing

My team mate and I are in different age groups - what category will we be in?

In order to be eligible for a category, both team members must be within the age brackets otherwise the age of the youngest rider determines category (apart from junior riders for whom both need to be in the junior age bracket)

How do I pay?

You can choose one of three options - pay by credit or debit card when you register; pay via electronic funds transfer or we have a three part payment plan. Full details when you go through to register

Is there a mandatory gear list?

Each Rider must carry: 1x Windproof, water resistant jacket 1x Spare Tube (if tubeless set-up), 2xTubes if non-tubeless 1x Spare chain link Each Team/Individual must carry: Bike tool kit – including Chain breaker, multi tool, tyre patch kit, tyre lever, bike pump Basic first aid kit – includingwhistle, band-aids, tape, gauze. We highly recommend that you have your bike fully serviced and checked at your local Bike shop prior to travelling to the Prospector. We will be doing safety checks on riders helmets and bikes at registration, to ensure that the bike frame, tyres and brakes are in a safe condition to take part in the event.

I ride an e-bike, can I enter?

Absolutely. We have a limited amount of e-bike entries available - get in quick to secure your spot.

I'm using the payment plan - when do I need to make my next payment?

We will send you a reminder when your next payment is due. But all payments need to be made by registration close off - 31 January.

It truly was one of the best and most fun events I have done

Christine, 2021 competitor

Thanks for running a brilliant event last weekend. We thought it was an awesome few days of riding in amazing country (and weather). You nailed the mixture of terrain perfectly with the two different longer stages. The prologue was a great way to start and pitched at just the right level for everyone to enjoy

Gianluca, 2021 competitor