The world’s top female road cyclists will descend on the Wairarapa, New Zealand in 2015 after it was announced the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has granted international status to the 2015 Trust House Women’s Tour of New Zealand.
Race Director Jorge Sandoval announced today that the five-day international cycle tour will take place entirely in the Wairarapa region from February 18th – 22nd, 2015. The New Zealand race will be the third event of the 2015 UCI Women’s Cycling Calendar following races in Argentina and Qatar.
“I’ve worked really hard to gain support to stage this event and am so excited cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has granted international status to the 2015 Trust House Women’s Tour of New Zealand,” says Mr Sandoval.
“I am very grateful to Trust House Foundation and Destination Wairarapa as without their support, this event would not take place. This is also great news for New Zealand riders who will have the opportunity to race against the best in the world right here in New Zealand. It comes hot on the heels of the New Zealand cycling team’s fantastic showing at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.”
Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock congratulated Mr Sandoval following today’s announcement and says the five-day race will have huge benefits for the region.
“The Wairarapa will benefit as the event will be televised nationally and internationally,” says Mr Hancock. “This will provide a unique showcase for the entire region as a cycling destination and complement other aspects the Wairarapa is already renowned for; spectacular coastlines, charming villages and our reputation as one of New Zealand’s top wine and food destinations.”
Vice President of the world governing body for cycling, the UCI, Tracey Gaudry, expressed her support for the newest elite women’s event on the world cycling calendar. “The UCI is committed to growing cycling worldwide and providing greater opportunities for female cyclists. The Trust House Women’s Tour of New Zealand is a highly-anticipated addition to the 2015 World and Oceania road cycling calendars for women.”
“Every continent around the world will host the world’s best women road cyclists in 2015 – what a great way to inspire women to take up cycling,” Gaudry says.
Bike NZ Chief Executive Officer Andrew Matheson welcomes the return of a UCI sanctioned women’s cycling tour to New Zealand after a two year hiatus.
“The tour will showcase world class riders, many New Zealanders among them, and provide invaluable inspiration to our next generation of female cyclists, “he says.
Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson says the town has a great track record of holding world class events and this will be another fantastic addition to the events calendar.
“We are very grateful to Jorge for his efforts in securing this event for the Wairarapa and look forward to other community events being held to support the tour.”
Trust House Foundation Chairman Craig Cooper is also excited the Wairarapa will host a truly international event.
"Trust House has worked with and witnessed the previous successes Jorge Sandoval has brought to the Wairarapa with various major cycling events. As such we’re aware of Jorge's ability to bring world class athletes to our region and the opportunity to showcase the Wairarapa to the cycling world.”
The 2015 Trust House Women’s Tour of New Zealand will attract the world’s top road cyclists including Olympic and Commonwealth medallists and world champions. The field of up to 140 riders will be announced later this year.
Mr Sandoval says cyclists will complete a total of 530 kilometres over five stages, with each spectator-friendly stage to be held in a different part of the Wairarapa.
“Previous cycle races held in the Wairarapa have attracted some of the world’s best riders and a similar class field is expected next year with the tour having been granted international status by the UCI,” says Mr Sandoval.
“With the Rio Olympic Games fast approaching, this tour will be a fantastic opportunity for riders to catch the eye of national selectors. It will also provide amazing viewing for cycling enthusiasts and be a real showcase for the region and for New Zealand.”