Central Hawke’s Bay’s community is preparing to welcome over 1,200 visitors to Waipukurau this weekend, descending on the town for this year’s Vantage Age Group Road National Championships, Cycling New Zealand’s first road cycling championship staged since the COVID-19 lockdown.
The event, which includes that Para Cycling Championships, is being run in partnership with Cycling CHB and will be held across a mix of urban residential and rural roads throughout Waipukurau from Friday 17 July to Sunday 19 July. It will see some of New Zealand’s most prominent Age Group riders compete for Time Trial and Road Racing titles.
500 of the best Age Riders from across the country have registered to compete, including the Cycling New Zealand Endurance Track Squad made up of Points race world champion Corbin Strong and Team Pursuit world silver medal winning teammate Campbell Stewart, Aaron Gate and Waipukurau’s own Regan Gough, who hails from the town.
Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay, Alex Walker, is thrilled with the prospect. “The opportunity to welcome some of New Zealand’s best riders, along with their friends and families, to Waipukurau is a very exciting one for all of Central Hawke’s Bay – and particularly for our retail and hospitality community.
“Not only do we have an exhilarating weekend of time trials and racing to enjoy, but with 1,200 visitors sleeping, eating, drinking and shopping in our district, we’ll see a real boost to our economy across the three days which will prove incredibly valuable to the economic recovery of our businesses following COVID-19 and the drought,” says Mayor Walker.
The event was originally scheduled to take place in April, however was moved to July to comply with the restrictions put in place in response to the global pandemic.
“The Hawke’s Bay region has got right behind the event, making sure it was safely secured despite the setback of COVID-19,” says Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.
“Host district funding from Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, and additional funding support from Napier City Council, assisted in giving Cycling New Zealand the confidence that they could continue to deliver a successful event.
“It puts us in a fantastic position to develop our district’s capacity for hosting larger scale events in Central Hawke’s Bay in the future, as part of Council’s wider domestic strategy,” continues Ms Davidson.
Time Trials will take place Friday 17 July. Spectators wishing to view the Time Trial should head along Takapau Road, Hatuma and reach the intersection of Hatuma/Woburn/Arlington Road and park on Hatuma Road, well off the road.
Road racing will take place throughout the Saturday and Sunday of the event. The official viewing area for spectators during the Road Race is the top of Waiou Hill. To reach this spot, spectators must travel along Takapau Road then turn onto Hatuma Road and slowly head up the hill following any cyclists. A designated parking area is situated at the top of the hill.
Spectators leaving the viewing point must continue in the same direction as the cyclists and turn right onto Maharakeke Road to return to the race venue via Takapau Road. This is the only spectator area to view the race during the Road Race.
The full event schedule can be found here: https://www.cyclingnewzealand.nz/events-and-results/national-events/vantage-age-group-road-national-championships/
13 July 2020
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