Nelson cyclists Kaio Lart, Mike Rutledge and Keegan Hornblow are ready to roll this weekend. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Top cyclists to descend on the city

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A pair of the most promising young riders in the region will be among the field for the latest round of New Zealand’s top amateur cycling series.

Keegan Hornblow and Kaio Lart will join 150 other cyclists for round six of the Calder Stewart series in Nelson this Saturday.

Keegan, 18, was part of the New Zealand junior men’s cycling team which finished fourth at the World Track Championships held in Germany last month, while 17-year-old Kaio is a national title and record holder.

Tasman Wheelers president Mike Rutledge says the duo are an indication of just how much talent there is in Nelson.

“We have got some young riders who are just absolutely smashing it at the moment and following in the footsteps of guys like George Bennett.

“To see that level of talent coming through and how our little club is performing on the national stage is fantastic.”

The club will have the chance to showcase that talent this weekend when the Calder Stewart Series comes to the city.

The weekend will see two major events with the Calder Stewart Series race on Saturday and a criterium on Sunday.

Mike says they have got a fantastic course organised for the race.

“I think it will be the hardest of the series, it will take a big loop out the back of Eighty Eight Valley and over Stock Rd, she’ll be a bit of a beast.”

Mike says they will encourage as many riders as possible to stay overnight for Sunday’s closed circuit criterium, which will take place at the yet-to-be-opened Berryfield Subdivision.

“It’s perfect timing.”

Riders will negotiate a “short and sharp” 1.3km course with plenty of turns to keep things interesting.

Mike says it will be a thrill for crowds to see riders going absolutely flat out.

Children will also get a chance to have a go on a three-lap course.

“It doesn’t matter what they ride, whatever they bring with wheels.”

The weekend’s races mark the unofficial start of the cycling season in Nelson.

“It will be interesting to see who has been doing the work over winter.”

For more info go to www.eliteseries.co.nz