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The Rice Mountain Classic

The following message is from Steve Chapman, race manager for the 2014 Rice Mountain Classic on Sunday 14 December.


The premier one day race in the Wellington region is nearly upon us.

The Rice Mountain Classic is a race that riders both anticipate and dread. Once again we’ve selected a course that justifies the ‘classic’ tag which will challenge riders at all levels. A and B grades will cover 110km (>2K vertical metres). Women, C and D grades will cover 65km (>1K vertical metres).

For full details see


In previous seasons the Rice Mountain has included a loop of the Te Wharau and Limeworks hills before finishing with a gut busting ascent of Admirals for a hill top finish. In some years we would alternate the direction of the Te Wharau / Limeworks loop to keep things interesting. The anti-clockwise loop was considered easier with its longer ascent of Te Wharau and the clockwise loop was considered more punishing with a shorter but much steeper ascent of Te Wharau. Often the winning selection would be made on the penultimate climb of Te Wharau. 

There is a sign at the start of the passing lanes on the steep side of Te Wharau – I’ve grimaced my way past that sign many times as some fit young rider attacks off the front, ‘slow traffic keep left’ is not a message you need in your head at a time like that.

Each season, months before the Rice Mountain, riders probe for details on the course, asking if we are doing the long side or steep side of Te Wharau, well this year we are doing both, and of course we are still making that final 12km ascent of Admirals for a hill top finish. The icy cold can of coke I’ll hand you as you cross the finish line and collapse is something you can focus on as you zigzag your way up the section of Admirals affectionately know as the ‘wall’.

I know riders tend to leave mundane things like ‘entering on-line’ to the last possible minute, but I want you to know that this just makes life difficult for an event organiser who needs to do things like order food with caterers and arrange volunteers and paid helpers for a wide range of roles all of which are dependent on entry numbers. Can you all do me a favour and enter on-line early, in fact DO IT NOW! its easy just click here and select ‘Rice Mountain Classic’ from the drop down list and follow the instructions to select your grade and make a payment using internet banking.

Now that you have entered can you also let me know if you have a family member, partner or friend who can help us run this event – we have many roles to fill especially lead/tail vehicles and drivers and corner marshals. We really need your assistance. Please send an email to if you can help.