After two incredible years in 2012 and 2013, the Tour of New Zealand has cemented its place as one of the best multi-day cycle races in the world and will be back in 2015 on the 11th-18th April. It's an 8-day amateur event that celebrates everything good about cycling, scenery, competition and community, played out on some of the best roads the country has to offer.
The Tour has something for everyone, from occasional riders looking for a motivating, achievable goal through to hardcore racers aiming for a week of perfect suffering. And as any of the hundreds of Tour riders from 2012 and 2013 will tell you, it's a brilliant road trip for riders and support crew alike.
The Tour of New Zealand is a competitive/social event. The journey takes competitors through some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery. Daily stages are set out on the website but may be altered due to changes in road conditions. The start and finish locations will be confirmed once Council/Transit approvals have been granted.
The Tour is really flexible ...you can choose to enter a 4 or 5 person team where the same riders can do every daily stage, or the team can swap riders each day, making the Tour accessible to riders of varying abilities.
Alternately, enter as an individual and ride the whole Tour - every day, every stage. However, as a guideline, all competitors should be able to ride approx 100km in less than five hours on undulating terrain.
Entry numbers are limited to 325 riders at any time in each of the North and South Islands.
The length of stages varies from 70km to 130km, and will take most participants three to six hours riding time, depending on the terrain, weather and the caliber of the riders.
For the latest, head over to TourofNewZealand.co.nz.