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Manawatu Festival of Cycling

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Check out results here or by following the link on the Gravel and Tar website.

UCI Gravel and Tar Classic 131km

Ethan Berends ( AUS )of Möbius Bridgelane takes the win ahead of Michael Torckler (NZ) of Blindz Direct and Hayden McCormick of the New Zealand national team. Local riders Robert Stannard,Alex, West,Joel, Yates,Jacob, Sievwright and Mitchell Kinghorn contested this tough endurance event where luck plays a major part as punctures and mechanicals can blow your race apart. Media reports reached Italy and other parts of the world with a day of the event.

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Gravel and Tar Gran Fondo 70km

Mens over 19 went to Cliff Hughes followed by Brett Ismack in second and John Mudgeway in third. Womens over 19 was won by Lizzy Stannard with Margaret Leyland second and Cheryl Christie in third.

The boys under 19 race winner Madi Hartley Brown was closely followed by Dylan Simpson in second and Jack Edwards in third. Girls under 19, the winner was Rosie Obrien.


Libby Arbuckle in the Sun Tour Australia

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What an achievement for Libby Arbuckle racing against some of the best female cyclists in the world at the Sun Tour 2018 in Australia.


Taranaki Cycle Challenge

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Many of our club riders travelled to Taranaki last weekend for the around the mountain cycle challenge. In the heat and over a long distance many different category of riders put themselves up the challenge. The feedback from those who competed this year said once again it was tough but a great weekend was had by all in New Plymouth. Congratulations to everyone who rode the challenge.

Gravel and Tar – Thank you.

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Bike Manawatu want to thank all of those people who participated and volunteered to help stage our first “Manawatu Festival of Cycling” 2018.

The people of Manawatu should feel proud this unique community event has been a success.

Designed as a community event to promote the health and fitness benefits of cycling to all ages in the wider Manawatu. Bike Manawatu with the help of a the Palmerston City Council, CEDA and SportManawatu along with the support of NZCT,Mainland, Foundation, Lion Foundation and a select number of local businesses partnered to produce a excellent fun filled weekend for cycling fans.

The “Manawatu Festival of Cycling” catered for all ages across five different ride events.

Approximate participants: (315 people)

Main Events: UCI Gravel and Tar Classic. 131km.             (11 teams and 55 riders)

                     Bayleys Gravel and Tar Gran Fondo 70km.   (50 riders)

                     Riverpath Challenge 30km.                           (20 riders)

                     Retro Ride- dress up ride on older bikes.       (40 riders)

                     Bike Movie night at the Globe.                       (80 people)

                     Mountain Bike Kahuterawa Challenge.           (70 riders)

Festival Activities included;

25th January; Manawatu Schools “question and answer” evening at Hotel coachman with the elite UCI international cycling team Möbius Bridgelane was a success. During the week our talented local school cyclist also had the opportunity to go on training rides with the elite teams. A huge learning benefit to our schools.

26th January; The formal welcome to the Manawatu dinner at Hotel Coachman (Pasta Party) for all of the elite UCI cycling teams, managers and our stakeholders and sponsors. The evening went well with 110 people enjoying two hours together.

27th January; “Cycling Central” in George street was closed off and setup for the Festival atmosphere with live all day music. The pre race “Gravel and Tar” team presentations were held on the big stage to resemble a European Cycling Festival with a “Kiwi Flavour”. Later in the day after the “Gravel and Tar” race prize giving acknowledged everyone involved in event and rider interviews.

The vibe throughout the day in George street and the square was excellent and the feedback mainly positive and proud from local people. When interviewed on stage the elite teams confirmed with their audience how much they loved the Manawatu region and being a part of the festive. Most said they will be back next year.

The UCI accredited the “Gravel an Tar Classic with 1.2 status in October 2017 giving Bike Manawatu four months to stage the event. The protocol, standards and scale of holding a UCI event, one of only six UCI events held this end of the world did extend our small clubs resources over the four months.

Of interest has been the incredible national and international attention the “Gravel and Tar Classic” has had which is humbling for our small region. Film footage of the event is currently being edited to showcase the beautiful Manawatu countryside and New Zealand.


“Manawatu Festival of Cycling” – Debrief

Not everyone in the club agreed with our club hosting the event and not everything run smoothly which all events experience. The club have now experienced new heights in event management and are currently debriefing all areas of this event with the future in mind.

We would appreciate helpful and constructive solution-based feedback from members on the following to

  • Would you support riding our local “Manawatu Festival of Cycling” next year. Yes or no?
  • Would you ride an event with Gravel in it? Yes or No?

3) What ride events would you like added to the event to encourage you to ride?

4) Would a day of festival entertainment be of value to your day. Yes or No?

5)Would you be a volunteer to help out next event? Yes or no?

Apologise : I have to personally apologise to all Gran Fondo and Riverpath Challenge riders for me not presenting the spot prizes at the prize giving on stage in George street. As a first for me personally, unfortunately the prize giving was long and went into the early evening. I therefore chose not to finish off with the spot prizes as many people had left and the Stage and festival equipment was due to come down.

We do however intend to present them and will notify those spot prize winners.


Kairanga Time trail series starts again.

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Bike Manawatu Track Programme 2018

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