Event Director John McIntyre(R) and Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne during the Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge Launch at Nelson Airport. 3 May 2016. Credit Chris Symes/www.shuttersport.co.nz

Nelson Tasman host first road cycle challenge

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The region’s first road cycle challenge is on it’s way and entires opened today.

The Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge which will take place on December 3 is Nelson Tasman’s first ever road cycle challenge.

Competitors will cycle a 160km loop from Saxton Field, through the picturesque Moutere Valley, the Motueka River, through Kaiteriteri, Tasman and Ruby Bay areas before returning to Saxton Field.

Event director John McIntyre says the cycle is a challenge but he’s confident that it’s a realistic goal for keen cyclists of most levels of ability and fitness.

“Cyclists from around New Zealand and our own region will want to make the most of this first opportunity ever to compete in a road cycle challenge on a route which takes in two national parks and some of the most beautiful road cycling terrain in the Southern Hemisphere, including Kaiteriteri Beach, named as one of the world’s top 100 beaches.

“We’re hoping to see plenty of people ticking this off as a great ‘bucket list challenge’ heading into summer, especially if they start training now.”

Cyclists aged 13 years and older can enter the challenge individually, in pairs or in groups of up to four. Businesses can enter a team or several teams. While the event will be timed and competitive, it is not a race.

John says they are hoping to run a competition for the best dressed community along the challenge route.

Communities dotted along the event route are encouraged to enter into the spirit of the challenge by dressing in the event colours of yellow and blue to cheer competitors on.

Tasman Mayor, Richard Kempthorne says Nelson Tasman is steadily establishing itself as New Zealand’s cycling capital.

“This is yet another event to attract both the competitive and recreational cyclist in providing a great course through some of the best scenery to boot. I have no doubt the Challenge will become an event on most cyclists’ bucket lists.”

To enter the cycle challenge go to www.atcc.nz