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Controversial Champion for ChCh Cycling Festival

Controversial Champion for ChCh Cycling Festival

Christchurch’s Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling continues on its quest become the premier cycling event in New Zealand with the signing this week of controversial champion cyclist Hayden Roulston.

Close to 2000 riders, both elite and recreational, are expected for December’s Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling. The two-day event, scheduled for December 2 and 3, features a 75k road ride around the Lyttelton Harbour bays and an inner city criterium around the Oxford Terrace café strip that will double as the New Zealand Criterium Championship.

On recent form, early favourite must be recently crowned New Zealand road champion Hayden Roulston, who this week signed to ride the Christchurch event.

The hugely talented Timaru rider has always made waves in the sport both on and off the bike. His latest notoriety came in August when the Commonwealth Games silver medallist announced his career was over after being diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, a heart condition that doctors said could kill him if he continued with the extreme stresses of top level sport.

Just a few weeks later, however, Roulston announced he was undergoing alternative treatment and promising early results had convinced him to resurrect his promising career. Last weekend he confirmed as much with a massive 7min win ahead of many of the country’s best riders at the national championships in Dunedin.

Roulston, who has ridden for some of the world’s top professional teams, will contest both the 75k Harbour Ride and NZ Criterium Championship at the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling. He is renown as a hard-charging rider who likes to take races by the scruff of the neck and his match up against Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Gordon McCauley, who signed for the Armstrong Peugeot event two weeks ago, will be a highlight of the weekend long cycling festival.

The 75k Armstrong Peugeot Harbour Ride is scheduled for Saturday December 2 and is open to riders of all ability. It starts at McCormack’s Bay Reserve in Redcliffs and heads out around Cashmere, Halswell and Motukarara before climbing over Gebbies Pass to Lyttelton Harbour. The course then undulates along the northern bays and through Lyttelton itself, before climbing Evans Pass for a final stretch down through Sumner to finish back at McCormack’s Bay Reserve.

The next morning the Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium will bring a taste of European cycling to Christchurch with an exciting morning of multi-lap racing around the inner city’s café strip. The event will feature the New Zealand Criterium Championship, but also events for riders of any ability, including a celebrity tandem fundraising race for Cure Kids NZ.

Entries for the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of cycling are still open. For more details: www.festivalofcycling.co.nz

ENDS

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