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Tough route announced for New Zealand Cycle Classic
21 Aug, 2015

A challenging 152km hill climb is one of the highlights of next year’s New Zealand Cycle Classic, a premier international men’s road cycle tour to be staged entirely in the Wairarapa.


The full route for the 29thrunning of the UCI Sanctioned international stage race, to be held in the Wairarapa from January 20th – 24th 2016, was released today. Race Director Jorge Sandoval says the 663km route promises to uphold its distinction as "New Zealand’s toughest stage race".


"Next year’s New Zealand Cycle Classic will definitely challenge some of the best cyclists from around the globe,” says Mr Sandoval. “Over five days, the riders will be tested on the challenging course that takes in a variety of terrain including long straight flats, rolling hills and steep climbs. It will reinforce the New Zealand Cycle Classic’s reputation overseas as the country’s premier men’s cycling event. I expect this will also be reflected in the quality of the New Zealand and overseas riders taking part.”

The New Zealand Cycle Classic, which has previously been staged in Manawatu, has made a return to the Wairarapa after a four year absence and Mr Sandoval is excited by the change of environment. He says the event, made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Trust House and New Zealand Community Trust, will feature five stages totalling 663km. The stages will take rides through the Wairarapa townships of Masterton, Gladstone, Martinborough and Alfredton as well as out into the pretty countryside providing plenty of viewing opportunities for the public and sponsors.

Mr Sandoval says the most challenging stage is tipped to be the 152.2km Stage Four on Sunday, 24th January when riders leave from the Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park in Masterton and travel towards Wainuioru via Castlepoint Road and complete two laps of a 32km circuit before returning to Masterton via the Limeworks and then having a hill-top finish on Admiral Hill in Gladstone.


“Stage four includes a cluster of demanding climbs and I expect will take around five hours to complete, for others much more, especially if the Wairarapa turns on one of its hot, sunny summer days,” explains Mr Sandoval.


“Between Masterton and Wainuioru, riders will complete a total of eight hill climbs, amounting to almost 30kms. After climbing the steepest hill in the region, Te Wharau, towards the end of 140 kms of racing, they will look up and see the 12km of winding road in front of them weaving up Admiral Hill. Riding to the top will test the riders to the maximum and I expect the winner of this stage will take the 2016 overall title.”


Mr Sandoval says when choosing the race route he has tried to make it as attractive and challenging for the riders as possible.


“There is only room on the top step of the podium for one rider at the end of the tour and that rider has to be the best, the toughest, the one who everyone involved in the race goes home admiring.  That's what makes stage racing an epic and captivating spectacle,” he says.”


New Zealand Cycle Classic Route details:


Stage One; Wednesday 20 January 2016

Start time: 10.30am
Finish time approximate: 1.30pm
Distances: 123km
Start Venue: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park

Finish: Dixon St
Circuit: Riders travel from Masterton to Gladstone, complete 3 laps of 30km circuit and return to Masterton


Stage Two - Thursday 21 January 2016

Masterton – Martinborough
Start time: 10.00am
Finish time approximate: 13.25pm

Distance: 136km

Start Venue: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park

Route: Riders travel from Masterton to Martinborough. In Martinborough riders complete six laps of a 10km circuit.


Stage Three – Saturday 23 January 2016

Carrington Circuit
Distance: 130km
Start time: 10.00am
Finish time approximate: 13.30pm

Start Venue: Mitre 10 Mega Masterton
Riders travel to circuit from Masterton and complete 8 laps of a 12km circuit.


Stage Four – Sunday 24 January 2016

Masterton - Te Wharau – Admiral Hill
Distance: 152.5 kms
Start time: 10:00 hrs
Finish time: 14.10 – 14:30 hrs (Approx.)
Start Venue: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park
FINISH: Top of Admiral Hill Road

Route: Riders travel towards Wainuioru via Castlepoint Road to complete two laps of a 32km circuit and return to Masterton, Limeworks and to the finish at the top of Admiral Hill.


Stage Five - Sunday 24 January 2016

Masterton – Alfredton circuit – Masterton
Distances: 122.5km
Start time: 10.00am
Finish time approximate: 13.10pm
Start Venue: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park
Finish: Dixon St – Masterton

Click to enlarge...
grinding up the limeworks

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