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German’s Taking On NZ’s Best

 
German’s Taking On NZ’s Best

 

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 and this year two of Germany’s top riders will be adding their name to the list of stars.

Scheduled this year for December 1st and 2nd, more than 1500 riders from around New Zealand and as far afield as the USA, UK, Japan, Australia and Germany are expected for the event that brings world class and recreational cyclists together for a weekend of riding around Christchurch’s iconic landmarks.

Past winners have included world champions Greg Henderson and Katie MacTier, Commonwealth medalist Hayden Roulston and women’s Tour de France champion Linda Villumsen. This year two well-ranked German riders will be among a star-studded field.

Britta Martin and Janosch Wintermantel will race in both the Avanti Long Bays Classic on December 1 and the Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium on December 2. Martin is currently training in New Zealand with the Peak Fuel squad, but during the year she races professionally on the European scene for Team Stuttgart. The 19-year-old Wintermantel is tipped as one of Germany’s up and coming riders and races professionally for the Under-23 squad, Team Bergstrasse.

They will face a strong Kiwi field that so far includes former world junior champion Jeremy Yates and recent Oceania Games medallists Joseph Cooper (Wgtn) and Reon Park (Timaru), and New Zealand’s pro women’s team Jazz Apple.

The 2007 Armstrong Peugeot Festival Of Cycling 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 2007 is the Avanti Long Bays Classic, an 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 2 the action moves down town for the Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium. Based around the Oxford Terrace café strip, 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.

Organisers are hoping for more than 1500 riders in 2007. For more details: www.festivalofcycling.co.nz

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