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Toughest Route in NZ Cycle Classic History
1 Oct, 2013
The Manawatu region is the beneficiary of a decision of the UCI, cycling’s governing body, to continue
to grant the New Zealand Cycle Classic international status.
The five-day tour from January 29th to 2nd February 2014 is the only UCI 2.2 sanctioned event in
Oceania; as such Sandoval is intent on assembling the best field in the history of his events.
“With the 27th version of the tour in 2014 we are looking forward to a great celebration. 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 in next
year’s tour”.
“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. We are also grateful for the
continuous support from NZCT to the event and the sport of cycling” said Race Director Jorge
Sandoval.
The 2014 tour is set for an epic finish, stage five on the last day of racing will be crucial to decide the
overall winner. The stage will take the field from Palmerston North to the Wairarapa region via the
Pahiatua hill and from there to the finish at the top of Saddle road.
To have the Pahiatua/Saddle Road stage is a coup for race director Jorge Sandoval. Both hills used to
be one of the features of the old Tour of Manawatu years ago. Sandoval has been able to make it
happen again thanks to the co-operation of Transit New Zealand and the Palmerston North City
Council, and it will require the Saddle Road being closed to all traffic on February 2 from 9.30am to
11.00am.
Sandoval’s tour made its reputation on the quality of its hill climbs over the last 27 years, and with the
Pahiatua and Saddle road hills on stage five will make the last three days of the tour particularly
arduous. Previously to the final stage, riders will complete stages to Apiti and also a tough circuit in the
Ashhurst area.
The final stage is set to decide the overall tour winner. “Stage five will be a classic stage, finishing the
tour with a top of the mountain finish will keep participants and cycling fans waiting to the last few
kilometres of the event to find the 2014 winner”
“Cycling is gaining momentum in New Zealand, and we (tour directors) must design stages that are
going to test the riders, and attract public interest. Tour racing is a test of strength, stamina, and
endurance, and I’m really happy I’ve been able to lift the demands on the riders a further notch or two
by including two tough hills on the final day” Sandoval said.
The NZCT Cycle Classic is an important event for cycling in New Zealand says BikeNZ CEO Brian Broad.
“BikeNZ see the UCI sanctioned 2.2 New Zealand Cycling Classic organised by Race Director Jorge
Sandoval providing an exciting race for the public to be involved with. The race also provides an
important profile and opportunity for the promotion of Cycling, and for international and elite cyclists
and technical officials to race and gain experience respectively, at the premium end of cycling.” he
states
“The NZ Cycling Classic is part of the increasingly high profile Australasian/Oceania region with the
Tour down Under and also the Herald Sun tour in Australia. The race attracts high profile teams and
riders who see an extremely well organised event supported strongly by the local community adding to
the unique flavour of what NZ has to offer”.
The 2014 NZCT sponsored event will start with an individual time trial on Wednesday 29 January in a
new circuit around JFK Drive and the airport area in Palmerston North.
Sandoval is confident the exciting race route will attract numerous quality professional teams, similar
in standard to those who raced this year. Final teams will be announced over the next few weeks.

Click to enlarge...
The NZCT is the only UCI 2.2 sanctioned event in Oceania

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