Christchurch city has been given a confidence boost with BikeNZ awarding the Elite Road National Championship to the city for another three years from 2013.
The RaboDirect Elite Road National Championships, New Zealand’s premier road cycling event, have been held in Christchurch since 2010 as part of a three year allocation.
The event attracts New Zealand’s top road cyclists as they battle for the prestigious national titles. It is a three day summer showcase of New Zealand cycling in the heart of the city and is well supported by thousands of spectators.
Following the successful running of the event over the last two years Christchurch City Council and event director Simon Hollander lobbied to extend the stay of the event in the city.
“In the two years this event has been run in Christchurch it has become an iconic part of the New Zealand road cycling calendar for both riders and spectators. We are thrilled that Christchurch has worked hard to retain the event. The extended stay in Christchurch allows for the event to continue to grow and develop with increased investments reaping rewards,” said BikeNZ CEO Kieran Turner.
The central city course which incorporates the mighty Dyers Pass climb has proven to be a fantastic course challenging the riders while providing a taste of the Tour de France for the spectators. The roads the race follows have suffered only little and repairable earthquake damage.
Christchurch City Council Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button says this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time for the city.
“We’re delighted to have been awarded the elite road national championship for another three years. The race has become an important one on the sporting calendar and the people of Christchurch always get out and support it. It will be a great morale-booster for the city.”
“Dipping our toe into the water in year one, we realised how cool this event could be, but knew that we needed more than two years to take the event to its full potential. BikeNZ’s shared vision which has secured us these additional three years means we have a raft of exciting ideas which we can now implement,” said event director Simon Hollander.
“It’s stunning that BikeNZ have allowed the event a six year period in Christchurch, despite the circumstances, allowing us to build on the investment of the last two years. It’s exciting because we have such a great community and host of sponsors who support this event.”
A key factor to the success of the event thus far is the partnership between Event Director Simon Hollander- successful promoter of the Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling and Le Race-, the Christchurch City Council, and the expertise of Cycling Canterbury and BikeNZ
The 2012 RaboDirect Elite Road National Championships are being held 6 – 8th January 2012 in Christchurch.