Cyclists around the Manawatu and lower North Island are gearing up for the annual The Hits 97.8 Feilding Festival of Cycling,to be held this year on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 September. The event caters for cyclists of all abilities, with a fast paced mountain bike event on the Saturday, and both classic racing and recreational rides over a range of distances on the Sunday.
The Scott Avanti Outlet Store Mountain Bike event will kick off at 1-30pm on Saturday the 20th, with registrations from 12:30pm onwards. This event is held at the Ranfurly Rd Mountain Bike course and is based around the elimination format, on a cross country short circuit between 1 & 2 km’s long. This event will see all contestants getting at least 3 races on the day with each race being a 1 lap, 4 rider, head-to-head contest, with the first 2 riders going through to the next round of the trophy race and the last 2 going into another draw. Prize giving is immediately after the last race so competitors don’t have to wait long.
There are six race categories available for participants on the Saturday. These being three novice and three experienced races each with an age category of; under 17, 18-40 and 40+.
Phil Stevens, the Active Transport coordinator for Sport Manawatu and Manawatu Mountain Bike Club member says that the event is a fast and exciting race. “We’d like to encourage Feilding residents to come down and watch – it’s a great spectacle” says Glenys “ We’re accepting entries right up to the day of the event, so cyclists, think about giving event racing a go”.
Sunday’s events cater to all cycling abilities. There is a 20km ridewhich is a nice easy ride suitable for all riders, with a 50km and a 90km ride also being offered for those wanting to test their abilities. With a team’s event being available this year over all distances. There is also the Joe Allen Classic race which is for licensed riders of the U19 category and above which provides a great ride for those that enjoy a good climb. All races providing the opportunity for competitors to win one of the great spot prizes in addition to the race packs which are distributed to each competitor upon entry.
All Sunday races start from Lytton Street School which provides the base for the day’s events, with the Joe Allen Classic riders first off at 8:30am. All riders must register on the day from 7am onwards in order to collect race packs and timing tags. With the main prize giving at 1:30pm at Lytton Street School, after a barbeque for all riders commencing at noon, which will see a range of prizes being distributed to worthy winners.
As an incentive for families to be involved in this event we are discounting the 20km ride so that two adults and two children can ride together in combined price of $40.
Last year’s Joe Allen Classic race was won by Josh Page who recorded the fastest time, Josh has been experiencing some solid form throughout this year and he remains confident that he will be there again at this year’s event to dash the hopes of his fellow competitors. First home in the Morgans Property Advisors 90km ride was Alex West with a time of 2 hours and 25 minutes. Gareth Right took out the Crank-It Cycles 50km ride with a solid time of 1 hour and 32 minutes whilst the fastest rider in the Bulls Medical Centre 20km ride was Thomas Stannard.
For more information or to register for the event, see our official website www.feildingfestivalofcycling.co.nz