Huri Huri News
8 June 2016
The New Zealand Cycle Classic will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in January 2017 with new stage routes for riders and an exciting line-up of community events that are part of Huri Huri: Wairarapa’s Festival of Cycling.
The five-stage elite international men’s road cycling race is the only Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) sanctioned race to be held in New Zealand in 2017. Staged entirely in the Wairarapa from January 22nd – 26th 2017 it will feature three new routes, including the opening 156km stage which takes riders from the Wairarapa’s biggest town of Masterton to the spectacular coastal community of Castlepoint. The other new routes include “The Five Towns” which will see riders cycle through all of the Wairarapa’s characterful townships and a fast and furious 12 lap, 10km circuit just west of Masterton.
Race director Jorge Sandoval is looking forward to next year’s 30th celebration of the Cycle Classic.
“The New Zealand Cycle Classic is recognised overseas as the road tour with the highest international standing in this country and to be celebrating 30 years is wonderful. I am looking forward to staging a memorable event with three new exciting stage routes and I’m expecting it will attract another quality field of Kiwi and international riders.”
Being held simultaneously with the NZ Cycle Classic is Huri Huri; Wairarapa’s Bike Festival. ‘Huri Huri’ comes from the Maori word Huri meaning to turn over, to revolve and to spin. The 2017 Festival will celebrate the Wairarapa’s bike-friendly roads, tracks and trails; the people that ride on them and the bikes they ride with a variety of events and activities catering to all levels of involvement in biking and for all ages.
“Having the New Zealand Cycle Classic and Huri Huri held simultaneously will give the community a chance to see some of the world’s best riders in action and provide them with opportunities to get out on their own bikes and discover the Wairarapa one road at a time,” says Mr Sandoval.
“We will invite our local cyclists and their friends and families to take part in a variety of events including a fun ride to be held on the same circuit as the professional riders.”
Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock is pleased both events are returning to the region’s summer calendar following Wairarapa’s successful hosting of the events in January 2016.
“We received a great endorsement from the UCI and several international riders who attended the 2016 New Zealand Cycle Classic and various Huri Huri events. It helped confirm the Wairarapa as an international cycling destination as well as showcase the whole region,” says Mr Hancock.
“We are very excited about having another double-header week of cycling events in January 2017 that will be held right throughout the region and encourage a lot of community involvement. These events will also help the region attract new visitors and positively contribute to our economy – in terms of accommodation, spend at local cafes and retail outlets.”
Mr Sandoval agrees.
“Road cycling is gaining momentum in New Zealand, and we as Tour Directors, must design stages that are going to test the riders and attract public interest,” says Mr Sandoval. “Tour racing is a test of strength, stamina, and endurance, and I’m really happy I’ve been able to lift the demands on the riders a further notch or two by including new circuits in the 2017 New Zealand Cycle Classic.”
Details of the five stage routes for the 2017 New Zealand Cycle Classic.
Stage One, 156km
Sunday 22 January 2017 NEW ROUTE
Riders start from Masterton and complete a circuit of Mauriceville and Whangeahu Valley before finishing at the coastal community of Castlepoint.
Stage Two, 152km
Monday 23 January 2017
This is arguably the hardest stage of the tour and includes a traditional hill-top finish on Admiral Hill in Gladstone. Riders will also climb hills at Whareama, Limeworks and the steep Te Wharau and are expected to reach top speeds of 80-90
Stage three, 136km
Tuesday 24 January 2017
“The Five Towns” will see riders begin in the north in Masterton and head south cycling towards Featherston via Carterton and Greytown, before completing a lap around Lake Wairarapa and finishing in the wine village of Martinborough in the south.
Stage Four, 143km
Wednesday 25 January 2017
This is another long stage around the Gladstone area with riders finishing in Martinborough with eight laps of an 8km circuit.
Stage Five, 120km
Thursday 26 January 2017
The final stage promises to be fast and super spectator friendly. Beginning in Masterton, riders will complete 12 laps of a 10km circuit around the Upper Plain/Westbush Road.