In just its second year Christchurch’s Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling continues on its quest to become the most prestigious cycling event in New Zealand.
Close to 2000 riders, both elite and recreational, are expected for this weekend's Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling. The two-day event features a 75k road ride around the Lyttelton Harbour bays and an inner city criterium around the Oxford Terrace café strip that will double as the New Zealand Criterium Championships.
Most of New Zealand’s top riders will be on the start line. However the day is also fun-filled for riders of all experience. Along with novice and graded races there are Penny Farthing demonstrations, kids races and a celebrity tandem event where people can bid to race with celebrities. Proceeds go to the Festival of Cycling charity, Cure Kids NZ.
"We’ve got Olympians and Commonwealth Games medallists, amputees, new mothers, people who haven’t ridden a bike since they were kids, a blind tandem entrant… When we first thought of this concept the idea was to get people out riding bike around Christchurch’s most iconic ride. It’s great to see that coming to fruition." said the organiser's.
Among the entries for the New Zealand Criterium Championships on Sunday is a who's who of New Zealand cycling, with the entire New Zealand track pursuit team being the latest starters. Darren Shea, Sam Bewley, Wesley Gough, Jesse Sargeant and Marc Ryan are using the weekend to fine tune for the Moscow track world cup.
These youngsters, however, will need top form to topple one of the best national fields ever assembled. They face Olympic and Commonwealth riders such as Hayden Roulston, Gordon McCauley, Hayden Godfrey, Fraser McMaster, Tim Gudsell, Clinton Avery, Robin Reid and Heath Blackgrove.
The Elite women's field is headed by last year's champion Marina Duvnjak. She will compete against local favourites Tammy Boyd and Natasha Buck and Road Nationals silver medallist Yvette Hill-Willis. The women would also be wise to look out for Katri Laike and Elizabeth Williams, both known for their sprinting abilities on the track.