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Women’s World Cup Cycle Race to hit city streets

21 February 2006

Women’s World Cup Cycle Race to hit city streets

Wellington’s CBD will be transformed into a spectacular race circuit on Sunday 5 March for one of the toughest races in the 2006 Women’s World Cup Calendar.

The event returns to the capital with more than 120 riders from 20 countries expected to take part. For many participants the event is part of their Commonwealth Games preparation with riders heading to Melbourne directly after the race.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast is delighted to have the race back in the city. “This is a world-class event with accompanying media coverage that will appear in 84 countries. Because of the hilly nature of our CBD, Wellington provides one of the most interesting, exciting and challenging uphill circuits in the international calendar. I encourage people to get to a great viewing point in one of our city streets to watch the fast-paced action. If you can’t get to the Commonwealth Games this is your chance to see the athletes before they go.”

Cyclists participating in the race include Sarah Ulmer – two-time World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, and German Judith Arndt, 2004-05 World Champion. The competitors will complete 20 laps of the roller-coaster circuit – totalling 124km – in a test of strength, stamina and endurance. This year’s start time has been put back to noon to minimise inconvenience to churches and nearby residents.

The course starts at Parliament grounds and includes Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Boulcott Street, The Terrace, Bowen Street, Tinakori Road, Hill Street, Molesworth Street, Aitken Street, Mulgrave Street, Thorndon Quay to Parliament.

For the safety of the competitors and public, the race will take place on a circuit completely closed to traffic. Streets will be progressively closed to traffic early Sunday 5 March and reopened from 4.30pm the same day. Traffic delays are likely and alternative routes may have to be taken. Motorists crossing town should stick to the motorway or the waterfront and leave earlier in case there are delays.

Buses will also be diverted away from the city centre. For further bus service information call Metlink on 801 7000 or 0800 801 700 or visit www.gw.govt.nz

To welcome the athletes to Wellington an athletes’ procession will take part on Tuesday 28 February from Parliament to Civic Square. The athletes will then be officially welcomed by Mayor Prendergast and local MPs.

ENDS

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