Over 700 cyclists will bask in the Hawke’s Bay sunshine on Sunday for the 105km Strata Group Tour of the Bay cycle event.
In its 22nd year, this annual recreational ride will kick off the 2012/13 BikeNZ Summer Series as the first of 11 rides around New Zealand.
Although it is still early in the summer cycling calendar, event director Vanessa van Kampen is confident in attaining a quality field and lively racing.
“It is a recreational ride as opposed to a full-blown race, however, there are guys who will be out there to win, especially in the 105km distance, so they just move to the front of the starting grid and everyone gets sorted out pretty quickly,” she said.
“Most of the riders who are doing the 105km and 50km rides are genuine cyclists who will have been riding and training all year round so they shouldn’t struggle. Although it is a fun ride, we do attract some quality elite riders as well.
“We do get a few stragglers over the longer distances, but they’re people who want to achieve a ride of that distance, rather than trying to set the fastest time.”
Hawke’s Bay is fast becoming a desired hub for cyclists from all around New Zealand; and not just because of the weather.
“As far as cycling goes, Hawke’s bay is just fantastic. All around Napier and Hastings you can be on a country road within five or ten minutes of your home, which is awesome. The Strata Group Tour of the Bay is basically a celebration of our region,” said van Kampen.
“We know we’re going to provide a beautifully sunny Hawke’s Bay day and with this course, riders will very quickly be out of town and enjoying some picturesque rolling hills.”
The Strata Group Tour of the Bay hosts a range of distances to cater to the whole family, including 105km, 50km, 20km and a family fun ride of 10km. Riders can compete solo, in teams or even on a tandem bike.
Entries close at 5pm on Saturday so it’s not too late to get involved. Visit www.tourofthebay.co.nz
for more information.