Kicking off in Opotiki, this is a mass start with the multisporters and Motu 160 riders. The course follows the East Coast Scenic Highway out of Opotiki, turning right at Waiaua onto the Motu Road. The first 12km is on sealed road (State Highway 35) and the next 53km is on the winding, hilly Motu gravel road. The stage ends at the Motu School after a fast, narrow downhill.
The gravel road is one of the country’s best native bush mountain bike rides, offering many bush archways with panoramic views beyond. No service vehicles, spectators, or assistants may use the Motu Road. All race support traffic must travel to Motu via State Highway 2.