Tour History - the legends that have ridden it!

The NZ Cycle Classic is a key event on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar as the only UCI 2.2 stage race to bring together the best of Oceania. The tour is a real showcase of tomorrow's champions.

Established in 1988 by Jorge Sandoval, the tour has given riders a platform to prove themselves and launch into the professional ranks of world tour cycling.

Among the famous names counting the NZ Cycle Classic as one of their first major victories are Robbie McEwen, who won in 1995, only a few years before success in the Tour de France and other world class events. Followed by Julian Dean 1999, Chris Jenner in 2001, Matthew Lloyd in 2005, Hayden Roulston in 2006, Travis Meyer in 2008 George Bennett in 2011 and Jay McCarthy in 2012.

Over the years, riders from all continents have lined up at the start as potential winners. Many of them have gone on to brilliant careers in professional cycling. The New Zealand Cycle Classic (or Tour of Wellington as it was known until 2012) became a UCI event for the first time in 1997.

Here is a list of some of the riders who have gone on from the New Zealand Cycle Classic to experience success at the highest professional level.

Robbie McEwen (Australia)
Winner of the 1995 Tour of Wellington
Participated in the Tour de France 12 times, he had 12 stage wins and three times winner of the points classification of the Tour de France (2002, 2004 and 2006).

Julian Dean (New Zealand)
Winner of the 1999 Tour of Wellington
Participated in the Tour de France eight times, five Tours of Italy and three times in the Tour of Spain.

Brendon Vesty (New Zealand)
Winner of the 2000 Tour of Wellington
Went to join the German Nurberger Pro team and later the USA Navigators Pro team.

Chris Jenner (New Zealand)
Winner of the 2001 Tour of Wellington
Went to ride professionally for French team Credit Agricole for six years. Until 2009 Chris Jenner remained the only Kiwi cyclist to have won a stage at the Tour de France; a team time trial with Credit Agricole in his only tour, back in 2001.

Eric Wohlberg (Canada)
Winner of the 1995 Tour of Wellington
Multi race winner in America and Europe.

Matthew Lloyd (Australia)
Winner of the 2005 Tour of Wellington
King of the Mountains winner Giro de Italia 2010, participated in the Giro de Italia four times, Tour de France three times and the Tour of Spain twice.

Hayden Roulston (New Zealand)
Winner of the 2006 and 2007 Tour of Wellington
Turned pro in 2009 with Cervelo, Team HTC 2010-2011 and Radio Shack 2012-2015.

Richie Porte (Australia)
Came to the tour twice in 2007 and 2008
Signed pro with Praties in 2008 and later with Team Saxo Bank and in 2012 with Team Sky, Winner 2013 Tour of Italy.

Travis Meyer (Australia)
Winner of the 2008 Tour of Wellington
Signed pro in 2010 with Garmin-Transitions and later with Green Edge, Rode Tour de France 2013 and Tour of Spain 2012.

Michael Torckler (New Zealand)
Winner of the 2010 Tour of Wellington
Signed with American Bissel Pro cycling team

George Bennet (New Zealand)
Winner of the 2011 Tour of Wellington
Same year signed with Trek Livestrong and a year later with Team RadioShack-Leopard.

Steele Von Hoff (Australia)
7th in the 2011 Tour of Wellington, the following year signed with Garmin-Sharp.

Jay McCarthy (Australia)
Winner of the 2012 NZ Cycle Classic Tour of Manawatu
Won the 2012 tour and went straight to the Pro tour team Saxo-Tinkoff.

Nathan Earle (Australia)
Winner of the 2013 NZ Cycle Classic Tour of Manawatu
Signed a few months later by Sky Procycling team.

Campell Flakemore (Australia)
Stage winner in 2012, finished 3rd on final GC – World ITT U23 champion in 2014
Signed by BMC for 2015.

Ben O'Connor (Australia)
Winner of the 2016 NZ Cycle Classic with Avanti team, ten months later signed with Pro tour Team Dimension Data.

Alex Frame ( New Zealand)
Two stage wins in the 2017 NZ Cycle Classic, signed a two-year contract with UCI World Tour outfit Trek-Segafredo, the former team of Fabian Cancellara and Alberto Contador

Past Winners

1988  Darien Rush  -  New Zealand
1989  Brian Fowler  -  New Zealand
1990  Brian Fowler  -  New Zealand
1991  Brian Fowler  -  New Zealand
1992  Brian Fowler  -  New Zealand
1993  Clark Richards  -  New Zealand
1994  Ric Reid  -  New Zealand
1995  Robbie McEwen - Australia
1996  Ric Reid  -  New Zealand
1997  Corey Sweet - Australia
1998  Hayden Bradbury - Australia
1999  Julian Dean - US Postal - New Zealand
2000  Brendon Vesty  -  New Zealand
2001  Chris Jenner - Credit Agricole  -  New Zealand
2002  Robin Reid  -  New Zealand
2003  Matthew Yates  -  New Zealand
2004  Eric Wohlberg - Canada
2005  Matthew Lloyd - Australia
2006  Hayden Roulston  -  New Zealand
2007  Hayden Roulston  -  New Zealand
2008  Travis Meyer - Australia
2009  Peter McDonald - Australia
2010  Michael Torckler - New Zealand
2011  George Bennett - New Zealand
2012  Jay McCarthy - Australia
2013  Nathan Earle - Australia
2014  Michael Vink - New Zealand
2015  Taylor Gunman - New Zealand
2016  Ben O'Connor - Australia
2017  Joseph Cooper - New Zealand
2018  Hayden McCormick - New Zealand
2019  Aaron Gate - New Zealand
2020  Rylee Field - Australia