The Manawatu region is once again home to New Zealand Cycle Classic international UCI endorsed event. The event took place in the Manawatu for the first time in January this year and is returning from 23 to 27 January 2013.
The five-day is the only UCI sanctioned event in New Zealand, “The classic is recognised overseas as the road tour with the highest international standing in this country and I expect it will be reflected in the quality of the New Zealand and overseas riders taking part,” said Race Director Jorge Sandoval.
Thanks to the support of NZCT, next year’s event will be known as the NZCT Cycle Classic – Tour of Manawatu after NZCT taking over the naming rights of the event.
“The NZCT have been supporting most sports in this country over many years and we are very grateful for their support with this, New Zealand’s biggest international cycle tour,” says Sandoval.
Hosting the event again showcases the Manawatu as the best place to ride a bike says Sport Manawatu chief executive officer Mike Daisley, “The region is one of the best for cyclists of all ages and abilities in New Zealand,” he states.
“Palmerston North City Council and Sport Manawatu are very pro-active in making the city a cycling destination. Having two of the biggest cycling events in Oceania in the region, helps showcase us as a cycling hot spot! (Manawatu will also host the international women’s tour there in February).”
With the tour route finalised Sandoval singled out stage four as the “Queen stage” of the tour, a 135km stage to finish at the top of Saddle Road on Saturday 26 January.
“This stage will be crucial to whoever becomes the overall victor, riding up the Saddle road will test the riders to the maximum and I expect the stage winner to take the 2013 overall title.”
“Each year the classic unearths new talent, and a number of those riders have gone on to win stages in the Tour de France, the Tour of Italy and world championships.” Sandoval says.
Stages two and three are also difficult ones as they proved in the 2012 event, the 164km stage two from Palmerston North and return via Apiti and the Pohangina Valley, and stage three the following day on the opposite way should also test all riders to the maximum.
A total of 110 riders are expected to line up for the tour, including up to six overseas teams and the best of New Zealand so there will be lots of action to watch. The classic will showcase the Manawatu region with the tour to appear on television at home and abroad.
“Not only is it a great event to watch but we hope it will inspire locals to get on their bike and enjoy the benefits of cycling,” encourages Daisley.
The event will launch the 33 days of cycling campaign. Run by Sport Manawatu every single day will feature an event, activity or competition related to cycling.
“33 Days of Cycling has something for everyone, from cycling fanatics to the people that just want to head out for a family ride with the kids on the weekend,” says Daisley.
For more information please contact race director Jorge Sandoval on 0274 464300 or view his website on www.cycletournz.com
Enclosed complete race route