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Gravel and Tar – January 19th 2019

Gravel _ Tar 2018 047

The Gravel and Tar UCI event is back in just over a week, and is shaping up to be an exciting event with some big changes from previous years.

The Gravel and Tar race has been going since 2015, and grows in popularity each year.  It is a tough race, and has been described as one of the toughest one day races outside of Europe.  It has always been a men’s race, but this 2019 has seen the introduction of a Women’s UCI race, and is offering the same prizemoney as the men’s race – this is something that isn’t usually seen in the world of cycling, and something that many professional women cyclists have been wanting for a number of years.  That’s a big plus for women’s cycling and for our region.  So far over 12 mens teams have entered and 10 womens teams.

The course is another thing that has changed this year, as the start is in Feilding and the finish is in Palmerston North.  The mens race is 130 kms long with 45 kms of gravel, and the womens race is 116 kms long with 40kms of gravel and promises to be an exciting race to watch.

As in other years, there is also a recreational event, and this years event is called the Slicks and Stones and is 100kms long, you can enter here

If you are not riding either the professional events or the Slicks and Stones, please get out there and support the event, and see some fantastic racing.

The organisers are still looking for a couple of more road marshals, so a great way to support the event and see the racing would be to volunteer. Please contact Steve Stannard on 021809597 or

Sponsor FMG is setting up a spectator spot on Levett Line and I hear they may even have some refreshments available.

Congratulations to the Greasy Chain Trust on keeping this event here in the Manawatu and keeping it fresh with the new changes – well done team.