NZ’s Cycling Festival
NZ’s Cycling Festival
Christchurch has long been recognised as New Zealand’s cycling capital. Whether commuting, competing or recreating, the Garden City is our most cycling-friendly centre. But on the first weekend of December the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling makes Christchurch the absolute epicentre of cycling in this country.
Scheduled this year for December 1st and 2nd, more than 1500 riders from around New Zealand as far afield as the USA, UK, Japan and Australia are expected for this exciting concept. Every city has a fun ride and some cities have a top class cycling event, but the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling brings world class and recreational cyclists together for a weekend of riding around Christchurch’s iconic landmarks.
It opens on December 1 with the Armstrong Peugeot Harbour Ride; a 75km ride around the spectacular Port Hills and Lyttleton bays via Gebbies and Evans Pass. Entrants can compete in a variety of ways ranging from the solo ride, two person team relay and tandems, to special categories such as the retro rider for bikes older than 20 years and a Clydesdale category riders over 100kg.
New for 2008 is Avanti Long Bays Classic, and elite only race within the overall Harbour Ride. A popular innovation has been the new SBS Kids MiniBays, which will see several hundred kids between ages eight and 14 enjoying their own blast around the bays.
On December 2nd riders and spectators alike get a taste of cycling Euro-style when the action moves downtown to the Oxford Terrace café strip for the Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium. The exciting closed circuit course includes elite races, but also fun events such as kids races, novice races, penny farthing demonstrations, and a celebrity tandem event benefiting CureKids NZ.
Past winners at the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling have included world champions Greg Henderson and Katie MacTier, Commonwealth medalist Hayden Roulston and women’s Tour de France champion Linda Villumsen. The first star to sign up for 2007 is former world junior road cycling champion Jeremy Yates.
The Hawke’s Bay rider has been enjoying a return to top form, winning the national club title and Coromandel 200k K2 during October. He will come to Christchurch supported by his new Subway Cycling Team, who has consistently been the country’s strongest domestic squad in recent years. Their support will make Yates the odds-on favourite for both the Avanti Long Bays Classic and Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium.
Organisers are hoping for more than 1500 riders in 2008.