Media Release - Tuesday 22 December 2020
But look closer and you will see all the registered names for the start list are Kiwis including 2014 Tour winner Michael Vink. This is because the New Zealand Cycle Classic is one of three UCI level 2 sanctioned events taking place in New Zealand next year and the sole Oceania UCI road tour after all six Australian races usually run early in the year were cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vink will be joined by Dylan Kennet, James Harvey, Matt Zenovich, Hamish Keast and Baily O’Donnell in racing the five-stage tour which begins in Masterton on Wednesday, January 13th. It concludes in Wellington city five days later with a criterium being held around the city’s streets.
St.George Continental Cycling team spokesperson Brett Dutton says with limited race opportunities in 2020 and possibly 2021, means the team needs to take any opportunity it can.
“We are pleased to be able to give our New Zealand riders an opportunity to race the New Zealand Cycle Classic. Our riders are aware of the importance of the event and will be training to be in peak condition,” he says.
“We go into every race with the aim of doing our best and taking part in the race, not just following. We will aim to win the race.”
With the field of just over 100 riders being 98 percent domestic, (normally it is 80 percent international), Dutton says the team will take the same approach as always and that is to be active in the race.
“By this I mean to be seen in breakaways and to make the race. We aim to be aggressive from the drop of the flag on day one. We have some new riders from New Zealand and I am sure they will take this opportunity to show us what they are capable of.”
New Zealand Cycle Classic Race director Jorge Sandoval is looking forward to seeing the team in action particularly because they have featured so dominantly in previous years.
“I’ll never forget Dylan Kennet’s amazing speed and power during stage five at this year’s Tour. He earned his place on the podium that day and was backed up by his team. Vink has also featured so strongly in the past and knows the Wairarapa roads very well, so I am expecting big things from him as well.”
The 2020 NZ Cycle Classic is able to take place thanks to the generous support from Trust House, Wellington City Council, Mobile Communications Service, Wizwireless, Fagan Motors, Mitre 10 Mega Masterton, Tineli and Lion Foundation plus all three Wairarapa District Councils.
Another new feature of the Tour in 2021 is its associated community event Cycle The Golden Mile being staged in Wellington on Sunday 17th January 2021. Cycle the Golden Mile is an opportunity for cyclists of all ages and abilities to bike along Lambton Quay as roads will already be closed off to traffic ahead of the fifth and final stage of NZ Cycle Classic.