Kiwi Crusade
Race Rules

1. Preamble

The Kiwi Crusade (“the race”) is a 2-person team mountain bike stage race. Teams have to race together for the entire distance of the race, looking after each other and their equipment.

2. Structure and applicability of the Rules

2.1  The rules of the race (“the rules”) are those which are applicable to all riders (set out in section B below).

2.2  The rules set out below are intended to be definitive and complete. Unless the rules specifically incorporate rules or regulations of any governing body of cycling (e.g. the UCI anti-doping regulations), such rules and regulations will not be applicable to the race.

2.3  A failure to comply with any of the rules will result in a penalty, which could include a rider’s disqualification in certain circumstances. The various categories of penalties are set out in section D below.

2.4  The interpretation of any rule by the President of the Commissaires Panel and the race organisers (acting jointly) will be final and binding on all race participants.

2.5   The rules may be updated and amended from time to time. The version of the rules which are in force on the start date of the race in any year shall remain applicable to that staging of the race.


For purposes of the rules, the following terms shall have the meanings set out below:

yellow board rider” means members of a team who have failed to complete any stage within the maximum stage time, but are allowed to continue the race in terms of the rules.
commissaire” means the official race commissaire appointed by the race organiser;

maximum stage time” means the maximum number of hours allowed to officially complete any stage as determined by the race organisers from time to time;
crusader” means a rider whose original team is no longer officially competing in the race, but who continues to participate in the race, as set out in rule 31.5. For the avoidance of doubt, a rider will achieve the status of “crusader”:

should his/her original team member fail to start a stage, with effect from the commencement of that stage; or
should his/her original team member withdraw from the race during a stage, with effect from the commencement of the next stage;
podium contender” means a rider in a team which, at the beginning of any stage, is in the top 5 positions in the relevant category or whose total time is not more than one hour off the total time of the 3rd placed team in the relevant category at the beginning of such stage;

rider separation” means the maximum allowable time separation between team members at any time during the race, namely 2 minutes


The minimum age of participation is 19 years on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place.

4.1  There are 5 riding categories for teams, namely men, women, mixed, masters and kiwi.

4.2  To start in (i) the masters category, both riders must be 40 years or older on 31 December of the year in which the race takes place..

4.3  Regardless of the category in which a team has registered, the Kiwi Jersey is open to all teams meeting the following additional criteria:

4.4.1  both riders must be in possession of a valid New Zealand passport; and

4.4.2  both riders in a team wishing to compete for the Kiwi Jersey must choose their Kiwi Nationality during online registration. No changes will be permitted after race registration closes. Should a rider have dual citizenship the country in which he first held an elite racing license will apply

No changes are permitted after race registration closes.

5 Medical

5.1  Riders must ensure that they are in good health and well trained.

5.2  The race organisers reserve the right to prevent a rider from continuing the race on receipt of medical advice from an official race medic or any other medical doctor recognised by the race organisers – the decision of the race organisers in this regard shall be final.

6 Bicycles & Race Numbers

6.1.  the front number board is securely fitted and visible from the front;

 6.2. the frame marking is displayed as per instructions received at registration;

6.3.  the bike is in safe working order, as determined in the discretion of the commissaire;

6.4.  handlebar ends and handlebar extensions shall be plugged and must not have sharp or jagged edges. The use of tri-bars is prohibited.

Tandem bikes complying with the requirements set out in rules 7.1and 7.2 above are allowed.
Each rider is responsible for the maintenance of his/her own bike for the duration of the race.

In all cases of maintenance and repair, riders are required to complete the full distance of the stage and must complete the stage within the maximum stage time. Time spent on maintenance and repair will thus not entitle a rider to any extension of the maximum stage time.

7. Helmets and Clothing

7.1. Each rider must wear a helmet at all times while riding during the race. All helmets must comply with international ‘ANSI’ standards.    Appropriate riding attire, including a shirt, must be worn at all times. Both team members must ride in identical cycling jerseys at all times.

7.2. Only mountain bikes in good working order and race ready at the start of each stage will be allowed to start that stage.

 7.3.  No rider may wear any original or replica version of a leader jersey, including any such jersey from a previous staging of the race.

7.4.  No rider may display or reproduce the official event logo or any derivative thereof on any riding attire and/or team clothing without the written approval of the race organisers, which should be obtained prior to any such riding attire or team clothing being manufactured.

8 Team Riding

8.1  Riders must ride with their team partner at all times, and must remain within the maximum allowable separation time, namely 2 minutes.

8.2  Rider separation may be measured at the start and finish of each stage and at various designated check points during the stage, but can also be enforced at any point during the race.

8.3  Rider separation may be measured more than once during any stage, and penalties may be applied to each occurrence of rider separation outside the allowable limit during a stage.

8.4  Any rider may receive physical assistance from his/her team partner or from a fellow competitor. For purposes hereof, “physical assistance” shall mean the sharing of water and nutrition, sharing of bike parts and accessories (including the swopping of bike frames), assistance with maintenance and repair, and pushing/towing by physical contact only.

8.5  Podium contenders may not accept physical assistance from an crusader rider.

8.6  No towing between or pushing of riders by means of any mechanical or physical devices is allowed.

8.7  A rider is allowed to “double back” on the route at any time in order to rejoin his/her team mate or in order to reach the nearest tech support zone (if applicable), provided that he/she shall not endanger any other rider in doing so.

9 Rider Identification

9.1  Both riders in a team must display their race numbers at all times.

9.2  Bike numbers must remain firmly fixed on the front of the bike, and may not be obscured by cables or any other item.

9.3  Race numbers may not be modified or mutilated in any way, including cutting, adding stickers, removing existing stickers or trimming.

9.4  No official Kiwi Crusade sponsor logos may be removed from race numbers and/or be obscured in any way.

9.5  Race and category leaders are obliged to wear the leader jerseys supplied by the race organisers.

9.6  Podium finishers and overall category leaders must be present at the finish line awards ceremony (if applicable) and the daily awards ceremony at 18h30 in the rider dining marquee, including the final ceremony.

10 Time Trial/Prologue

The 1st stage of the race may take the form of a prologue and/or a team time trial. Should the race include a prologue and/or time trial in any year, the provisions of this rule 10 will apply.

Participation in the time trial/prologue is compulsory for all teams.
A team’s time in the time trial/prologue counts towards the team’s overall time and overall ranking.
Each team will receive a pre-allocated start time for the time trial/prologue. It is the rider’s responsibility to know his/her start time. In case of a prologue, the start times will be advertised via the race website. In case of a team time trial after stage 1, the start times will be published at the race office together with the posting of the previous stage’s final results.

Riders must report at the entrance to the start chute at least 15 minutes before the allocated start time.
If a team misses their start time, they will be allowed to start at the discretion of the start/chief commissaire but their time for the time trial/prologue will be measured from their originally allocated start time.

The maximum stage time for the time trial/prologue will be measured individually for each team, commencing at their actual start time. Should any team or rider fail to finish the time trial/prologue within the maximum stage time, such team and/or rider will be classified as a blue board rider.

The organisers may make provision for a course practice. No riders are allowed on the course outside the official practice times (if applicable) or on race day before their allocated start time. All of the remaining race rules are equally applicable to a time trial/prologue.

11 Stage Starts

11.1  The start chute opens 30 minutes before the start of each stage, unless communicated otherwise.

11.2  Differential start zones will be allocated according to overall ranking in the race, and the organisers may allocate different (i.e. “staggered”) start times for each starting zone. Should staggered start times be allocated, any reference to start times in these rules will be to the start time applicable to the particular rider’s start zone.

11.3  The leading 5 teams in the men’s category and the leading 3 teams in the women’s category, as well as the overall leaders in each of the other categories (category leader jerseys), will be called up. Teams are obliged to assemble in the start paddock immediately next to the start line no later than 10 minutes before the start.

11.4  The seeded starting zones will close strictly 10 minutes before their start time. Teams arriving late must start at the back of the field.

12 Route and Stages

12.1  Riders must complete the full designated route and distance of all stages, including the time trial and/or prologue.

12.2  Only riders who complete each of the stages within the maximum stage time will qualify as official race finishers.

12.3  The actual race distance or route may vary from the published or briefed distance.

12.4  A rider must at all times follow the official route, obey the directions of the course marshals, and may not take any shortcuts or take any other advantage of a similar nature against competitors. The responsibility for following the official route lies with each rider.

12.5  Riders who exit the route for any reason must return to the course at the same point from which they exited.

12.6  Any walking, running or riding by a rider, which is carried out without the intention of directly re-joining the route, or any other activity in breach of the rules, which takes place outside of the marked course area, is not permitted.

12.7  No rider shall trespass at any time of the year on land which is not open to the public for mountain biking and which forms part of the race route of any edition of the race, nor will any rider distribute any GPS co-ordinates in respect of the route at any time.

13 Prohibited Equipment

13.1    The race organisers may at any time prohibit any other item of equipment (other than essential cycling equipment) in their discretion and riders shall at all times comply with any such prohibition.

14 Race Timing

14.1  Only team times will be advertised, but individual rider times will be recorded for purposes of measuring rider separation.

14.2  The team time is determined as the time at which the second team member passes the stage finish line.

14.3  No rider may carry more than 1 transponder at any time, and no rider may pass his/her transponder on to anyone else at any time.

14.4  Timing will start with the start time each morning (see rule 11.2).

14.5  The start line will remain open for 15 minutes after the start time.

14.6  Any rider who cannot make his/her start time must report to the commissaire within 15 minutes of the start time to request approval for a late start.

14.7  No rider is allowed to start late without approval. If no approval for a late start has been given, the rider will be considered a DNS (did not start), hence receive no stage result and will automatically be classified as a yellow board rider.

14.8  Any rider who does not start a stage at all will automatically be qualified as a yellow board rider.

14.9  The maximum stage time will not be adjusted for any rider who is permitted a late start and/or who started in a start zone with a later start time than his / her own.

15 Maximum Stage Times

15.1  The maximum stage times are determined according to the length of each stage and the terrain to be covered. Maximum stage times will be included in the race registration pack, but may be varied by the race organisers at their discretion, subject to Rule 15.2. Any variations will be communicated to riders at the stage briefing on the night before the relevant stage.

15.2  The maximum stage time allowed for each stage of the race will be the greater of the maximum stage time advertised and 2x the winning time (i.e. if the winning time is more than half of the maximum stage time communicated at the race briefing, the maximum stage time allowed will automatically be adjusted to 2x the winning time). If applicable, the adjusted maximum stage time will be signposted at the final water point on the stage once the winners have crossed the finish line.

15.3  Riders may cross the finish line on foot provided that they have their bikes with them.

15.4  The race organisers may designate intermediate cut-off points which must be reached within specific times on each stage. Any teams which fail, or will in the sole opinion of the race organisers and commissaires be unable, to reach intermediate cut-off points will be prevented from continuing to ride, be swept from the course and be classified as DNF (did not finish) for that stage.

15.5  The race organisers may at any time impose additional cut-off points due to safety reasons. The provisions of rule 16.4will apply to riders who have not yet reached the designated cut-off point within the allocated time or, in the sole opinion of the race organisers and commissaires, will not reasonably be able to do so. Any rider not able to complete a stage will be transported to the stage finish.

15.6  If a rider cannot continue the race for whatever reason, all effort will be made to transport such riders and their bikes to the race finish at their own cost.

15.7  Any rider who does not complete a stage within the maximum stage time for the first time will be classified as a non finisher.

15.8  These riders will be entitled to continue the race (i.e. they may start the following stage), but will not be classified as official race finishers.

15.9  Should any non finisher again fail to finish a stage within the maximum stage time or fail to start a stage in compliance with rule 15, he or she will not be allowed to continue the race (i.e. he/she will not be allowed to start the next stage).

16 Abandoning of a Stage

16.1  The race organisers may abandon any stage at any time, in their sole discretion, due to safety concerns or any other reason which they consider appropriate. Should any stage be abandoned, the remaining provisions of this rule 16 shall apply.

16.2  Should the first 3 teams in each category have completed the stage prior to the time at which it is abandoned, the stage will be classified as an official stage of the race and count towards the overall results. Should less than 3 teams have finished in any category at the time of abandonment, the stage will not constitute an official stage and will be disregarded for purposes of the overall results.

16.3  Where an abandoned stage will count towards the overall results, riders who are on the course at the time of abandoning the stage will be allocated a stage time based on a percentage of the category winner’s time.

16.4  Any rider who withdraws from a stage before it is officially abandoned or who does not reach the designated cut-off point for abandoning the stage will be classified as a DNF in accordance with rule 16.3.

17 Traffic Regulations

17.1  The race does not always have exclusive use of any public or private roads during the race.

17.2  All regular traffic regulations must be observed at all times during the race. (In New Zealand we drive/ride on the LEFT HAND SIDE of the road!)

17.3  Instructions of marshals must be strictly adhered to.

18 Checkpoints

18.1  There will be checkpoints on each stage, during which rider separation rules will be enforced.

18.2  Teams that are not detected when passing the checkpoints may be disqualified.

18.3  The location of the checkpoints will not be published, and hidden checkpoints are not excluded.

19 Registration and Briefing

19.1  Race registration takes place at the venue and at the time and place indicated on the race website.

19.2  Riders must report to registration as a team and bring any form of ID with a photograph on it .

19.3  All riders must have registered by the cut-off time indicated on the race website on the day preceding the first stage of the race (or prologue, if applicable). No category changes will be permitted after race registration closes.

19.4  A pre-race briefing will take place at the time and place indicated on the race website.

20 Nutrition and Hydration

20.1  The Kiwi Crusade passes through very dry and very hot areas of New Zealand’s North Island. Riders retain the ultimate responsibility to carry enough water and nutrition with them between water points.

20.2  The Kiwi Crusade race organisers will provide water at official water points on the route, which is intended for drinking purposes only. No excessive use of water for any other purpose will be permitted at official water points.

21 Seconding and Outside Support

21.1  No seconding or outside assistance is permitted under any circumstances. For purposes hereof, “outside assistance” includes physical assistance (as defined in rule 8.4) by any person other than a fellow competitor or accredited water point staff at official water points on the route.

21.2  Drafting is allowed between riders, their team partners and fellow competitors, but no rider may draft behind an outcast rider or any person who is not a participant in the race.

21.3  No other form of drafting is permitted whatsoever, including but not limited to drafting behind private vehicles, motor cycles, trucks and official race vehicles.

21.4  Specific escort or seconding vehicles not provided by the race organisers are not permitted to follow the race route. However, supporters may drive their own vehicles along public roads to reach vantage points to vocally support riders.

21.5 Some sections of the course will be closed to all non-event traffic – including some public roads. Their closure must be respected by all.

21.6 No rider and/or team supporter may access any restricted and/or prohibited area in the race village.

22 Medical and Technical Assistance

Medical assistance will be supplied by the race organisers at all official water points.
Technical assistance may be provided for riders at neutral tech support zones along the route, and riders will be informed on the race website should this be available during any edition of the race. Riders will be required to carry credit cards with them in order to pay for any spare parts received.

23  Withdrawals

23.1  Teams or riders that cannot continue the race for whatever reason must immediately inform the race office. This can be done at the race start, the finish, water points or by calling the Kiwi Crusade emergency hotline (found in your race book).

23.2  Should any rider or team fail to inform the race office of his/her/its withdrawal, and should a search and rescue operation be initiated for such rider or team, the cost of the search and rescue will be for the account of that rider or team.

23.3  Should any member of a team be incapable of finishing the race, his or her team partner will be entitled to continue riding in the race and may qualify as a finisher, but will not qualify for any rankings. Individual riders will be seeded according to their overall race time.

24 Environmental and Ethical

Riders must respect the environment at all times, and no littering or damage to the environment will be tolerated. In particular, but without limiting the generality of this rule, the following actions are specifically prohibited:

24.1  throwing away of water bottles, packaging or bike spares;

24.2  deviating from the route;

24.3  smoking at any point on the route is not permitted.

25 Protests

25.1  Any protests must be submitted in writing, on the official protest sheets provided in the race office, to the commissaire after the rider has crossed the finish line, within the allocated time period set out below.

25.2  A deposit of $50 must accompany any protest, before the protest will be considered.

25.3  If the protest is upheld, the deposit will be refunded. If the protest is not upheld, the deposit will be forfeited and donated for trail development.

25.4  Race protests must be submitted within 2 hours of the rider crossing the finish line.

25.5  Result protests must be submitted within 2 hours of posting of preliminary results for the relevant stage.

26 Doping

26.1  The race organisers reserve the right to test all riders for doping and/or the use of any illegal substances.

26.2  All test results will be forwarded to national cycling federations, and positive results will lead to penalties.

26.3  Any person who is under provisional or final sanction by an Anti-Doping Organisation with jurisdiction under the WADA Code (a “person under sanction”) is prohibited from participating or being involved in the race, whether as a rider, team manager or official or in any other capacity whatsoever. Where any such sanction has been made final for an offence committed after 31 December 2012, such prohibition shall apply for the life of the person under sanction (irrespective of the duration of the sanction imposed by the relevant Anti-Doping Organisation).

26.4  Should the race organisers only become aware that any rider, team manager or official is a person under sanction after having accepted such rider’s entry and/or team manager or official’s participation in the race, such entry or right of participation shall immediately be cancelled.

26.5  Whilst the Kiwi Crusade will endeavour to take all reasonable steps to recover any Kiwi Crusade prize money paid to a party who has been disqualified from the official Kiwi Crusade results due to a doping violation, the Kiwi Crusade cannot be held liable by any party for damages suffered as a result of the loss of any such prize money. Any prize money (or any portion thereof) which is recovered from the guilty party shall be paid to Mountain Bike NZ, which can allocate the funds as it, in its sole discretion, deems fit.

27 Code of Conduct

All riders are expected to display good sportsmanship at all times, and must not use offensive or abusive language for the duration of the the Kiwi Crusade.

Race Nutrition

The race organisers will provide race nutrition to all riders on the basis set out in the rider race booklet.

The race nutrition table is a self-service station and it is the rider’s responsibility to refill his/her own bottles.

Discretion of the Commissaire and Race Organisers

Where any additional rule interpretation is required, or where specific provision for any incident has not been made in these rules, the decision of the panel consisting of the commissar and race organisers will be final.