The weather gods look set to 'smile' on riders competing in this Saturday's Classic Hits WildCoaster road cycle event.
The event's third edition has had a healthy swell in numbers with over 200 set to ride the 109km along the 'Coast Road' from Cobden to Carters Beach with relay teams changing at Punakaiki Resort. Along the way they'll all also be 'pedalling for a purpose' with the Greymouth St John's chosen as the benefacting charity and set to receive over a $1,000.
Brent "Shorty' Allnutt won last year in 'more than testing' conditions and he's back on the startline keen to eclipse three hours for the journey and hone in on Neil Sutherlands 2.47.48 record set in 2007.
Nelson's seven strong Tasman Glass team are sure to make their appearance felt. The wisdom of Dean Fulton, coupled with their youth including George Bennett, recently returned from his European stint, are sure to form the front peloton, but along the way 'taking no prisioners' on the challenging course.
Christchurch's Susie Gowers holds the womens record, 3.02.22, also set in 2007. Top contenders this year include Tania Causer (Canterbury) and Jeannie Kuhajek (Nelson).
Along with line honours, also up for grabs is 'bragging rights' for the 'west of the alps' regions. At stake is the Blowhard Trophy awarded to the district (Buller, Grey or Westland) with the first 5 riders home, including 1 woman.
A change in venue this year has registration at the Cobden Sports Complex, with riders leaving Jellyman Park at 8.30, neutralised behind the Grey Ford Lead Pilot through to Wingham Park where the starters horn will sound sending the field off along the 80year old road described as one of the most picturesque in the world.
This event is supported by Developmen West Coast.