Leading Australian professional cyclist Carla Ryan has entered the Christchurch to Akaroa cycle event Le Race on Saturday 20 March.
The 24 year old won the woman's event in 2007 and last year convincingly won the Australian time trial title for the second time in three years as well as the elite woman's road race to record a rare double victory.
Based in Queensland, Ryan races for European professional team Cervélo – Lifeforce and is currently in Australia preparing for her European season that starts in late April.
Ryan could not defend her Australian titles this year as she had to attend a team camp in Portugal but says she is looking forward to competing in Le Race again this year.
"My season begins bit later than most as my focus in the stage races, including women's Giro di Italia and Tour De Laude," she said.
"I am really excited to return to Le Race and Christchurch. The course is probably the most scenic race I have ever done, not that you can take a lot of notice while you're racing, but the views from Akaroa are amazing."
"The course is really tough. I love climbing hills, so it suits me, but nevertheless still challenging. I am really happy I can race Le Race again, with my late European season start."
With a focus on training Ryan has not raced since last year, saying she doesn't plan to be in top form until May, but that Le Race is a great opportunity for a tough days training under race conditions.
Competitors can enter the event online at www.lerace.co.nz.