This Saturday’s opening round of the new Trust House North Island Elite Cycling
Series in the Wairarapa has attracted a total of 27 teams and over 200 riders
from all over the country, the race will feature some very big names of cycling.
With five races in the greater Wairarapa between September and December, riders of all abilities will
get a taste of high level competitive ‘teams’ racing only seen in large domestic tour events like the
international New Zealand Cycle Classic in the Manawatu and the Trust House Women’s Tour of New
The Team Series will give riders of all ages the chance to experience riding with support vehicles and
a race convoy in a professionally run series. With different grades to suit all levels, the series offers a
challenge to all competitive cyclists. Whether they are an elite rider, up and coming junior, veteran
competitor or just a keen weekend warrior there is a grade for anyone to have a go.
“As organisers of the only international cycling events in New Zealand, we believe that a series like
this in the Wairarapa will help young New Zealand riders to race in a “teams” environment, very
much like the UCI races that we stage in New Zealand and will prepare them for further races
“The event will place Wairarapa once again as the centre of top national and international cycling
and as one of the best cycling destinations in New Zealand”. Said race organiser Jorge Sandoval.
The series will also provide masters with the opportunity to compete against other teams in a
friendly/social grades but also competitive.
The race for the Men’s elite and Under 23 is wide open; anyone from the nine teams entered could
come as the winner on day one. Riders to watch are top Wellington cyclist Andy Hagan from the
Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels team, Callum Gordon from the Nature Valley Avanti Cycling Team,
Josh Page from the ramblers cycling club in Hastings or any of the Jeremy Vennel Coaching Team
Five times New Zealand champion and Bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in
Melbourne, Gordon McCauley is also racing in the elites race and should be one of the riders to
watch on race one. McCauley is on the comeback trail to top cycling since breaking his left kneecap
after hitting a fence a few months ago in a bike race.
Many riders and teams managers see this as the best way for cycling in New Zealand.
“This is a great step in the right direction for New Zealand cycling. Teams-based racing is the way of
the future and we fully support race organiser Jorge Sandoval and his Trust House - North Island Race
Series. We are very excited to race the series and at this stage we are hoping to make it to four of
the five races”. Said Brad Tilby – Team Manager, Nature Valley Cycling Team.
Allan Pollard, Chief Executive said, “Trust House is excited to be a major supporter of this event
which brings some highly competitive cycling to the Wairarapa. It also offers an opportunity to show
off our region and some of arguably the finest cycling road courses in New Zealand”
Organisers say are very happy with the interest for this year’s series, especially in the master’s
categories which has attracted the largest field with over 120 riders competing in three age groups,
the field is made up of some top ex international riders.
Leading the charge is ex Olympian Gary Anderson riding for the Velo Ronny's Trek cycling team.
Anderson attended four Olympics, won the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona
and won eight medals at the Commonwealth Games, including three gold medals at the 1990
Commonwealth Games in Auckland.
“Most of the master’s grades are made up of riders with lots of racing experience; they may be over
35 years of age but still very fit and competitive at this level. Some of them returning to the sport
but most of them have never hanged up the bike and I am sure for many newcomers will be a
privilege to race alongside riders such as Anderson, McCauley and other ex top international riders.”
There are a total of 25 riders in the women grade, with most of the top New Zealand riders racing
overseas at this time of the year, Kerry-Anne Page looks as the favourite for at least the first race.
Race one is on Saturday 20th September, elite riders will complete five laps, master and women’s
three laps of a 30km circuit in the Gladstone area as from 10.00am.