Earthquake destruction cancels the fifth round of the Benchmark Homes Cycling Tour
Due to the 7.1 magnitude earthquake which rocked Christchurch district early Saturday morning, the fifth round of the Benchmark Homes Cycling Tour has been cancelled.
The damage caused by the massive earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks has meant that the race, planned for the Cust area of north Canterbury on Saturday, has been abandoned.
“The main concern in making this decision was the impact on people involved with the series who are still working through their own personal losses and damage, as well as the impact on teams trying to find accommodation,” said Race Manager Lisa Ward.
Benchmark Homes owners Natasha and Richard Evans support the decision to cancel the race.
While there was not significant damage to the course the organisers were hesitant to use the roads and the local facilities.
Series leader and Christchurch local James McCoy (Benchmark Homes Cycling Team) agrees with the decision made.
“I completely support the decision. Others have lost a lot more, so it is nothing for us to miss one bike race. It’s a hard time at the moment with everything going on. As keen as I am to race, it wouldn’t be appropriate for the race to go ahead,” said McCoy.
“It’s a blessing in disguise really as I have had very little sleep over the last few nights!”
Other roads around the Canterbury region are unsafe for cycling, with many boulders blocking the favourite Port Hills training loop.
The next race will take place as scheduled on the 26th September in North Canterbury. The final route for this race has not yet been finalised.