Cycle events are becoming increasingly popular and the Country Road Manawatu Cycle Classic is a prime example.
In its second year, organisers introduced a new 80k solo women’s recreational ride and they believe this part of the event will grow.
The Cycle Classic is a recreational event, encompassing stunning rural Manawatu countryside and it’s open to all cyclists of all abilities. It offers a wide range of experiences including stunning views of rural New Zealand back country farm land and plenty of challenges along the route.
Tough hill climbs and long wide fast descents after Apiti are a feature of the course, which starts and finishes in central Palmerston North.
The event caters for all levels of cyclists with several options to choose from - Premier Male 160kms, Solo 160kms, 2 person relay 80kms each, 3-4 person relay 160kms.
And at the end there is good kiwi hospitality, with food and refreshments and after-race entertainment.
Organised by Events Taranaki, the race counted as a seconday selection race for the New Zealand team to the Age Group Long Distance Triathlon World Championship in Spain next month.
Participants were ecstatic in their praise for the event, held for only the second year.
It makes the most of the region’s scenic assets. The swim is 2km in the city’s inner harbour area, with a small beach run between laps.
The bike leg is 90km out and back along the Surf Highway, passing through the townships of Oakura and Okato and turning just north of Rahotu.
The 21.1km run is three laps of a circuit that takes in part of the 11km world-class coastal walkway which goes from Port Taranaki to Bell Block and offers magnificent west coast ocean views.
Tied in with the Half Ironman was a separate half marathon and 10km run/walk. Both began after the start of the triathlon swim and also made the most of the coastal walkway, which proved ideal for out-and-back distances.