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Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling

Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling

Whether commuting, competing or recreating, Christchurch has long been recognized as New Zealand’s most cycling-friendly centre. But every year on the first weekend of December, the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling makes Christchurch the epicenter of the sport in this country.

Scheduled this year for December 6 and 7, the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling promises to be bigger and better than ever. Established just four years ago, the weekend-long event brings elite and recreational riders together to showcase Christchurch’s cycling culture.

It opens with the Armstrong Peugeot Harbour Ride, an 80km fun ride around the iconic Port Hills and Lyttelton Harbour bays. The following day festivities head downtown with riders and spectators alike getting a taste of cycling Euro-style with the Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium.

This Armstrong Peugeot Harbour Ride has been the must-do ride among Cantabrians since the 1930s. Known within cycling circles as “Long Bays”, the challenging but achievable route has become the benchmark for Olympic medalists and mere mortals alike, with Beijing Olympic medalist Hayden Roulston having won here in 2006.

The Armstrong Peugeot Harbour Ride rolls all that history and hubris into a celebration of cycling where weekend warriors rub shoulders with world champions and Olympic medalists around the regions icon ride. The concept was dreamed up one summer’s day when a group of mates cruising around the circuit wondered aloud as to why there wasn’t a really great race to celebrate this spectacular ride. Within a year there was.

Following the Harbour Ride, Sunday’s Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium promises a world-class display of European-style racing on a closed circuit outside the Oxford Terrace café strip. Two years ago Beijing Olympic medalists Marc Ryan and Hayden Roulston wiped the floor with New Zealand’s best around this circuit.

The Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling has always attracted a world-class line up. As well as New Zealand’ s recent Olympic heroes, past winners have included Kiwi world champion Greg Henderson, Australian world champion Katie Mactier and Denmark’s women’s Tour de France champion Linda Villumsen

The City Criterium, however, is also a fun-filled day for riders of all experience. Along with novice and graded races there are Penny Farthing demonstrations, kids races and a celebrity tandem event where people can bid to race with celebrities to support the event charity, CureKids NZ.

New features for the 2008 Harbour Ride include the SPARC Para-Cycling categories and new cult cycling categories such as single speed, retro and recumbents. Categories such as these, and others like Clydesdale section for 100kg-plus, and the New Mothers category, and the SBS Kids’ Mini-Bays, all show that the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling is an event with something for everyone. For more details:


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