First UCI race of 2021 in New Zealand starts on Wednesday
Tuesday January 12, 2021 at 11:02 AM
The 2021 road season begins Wednesday. In New Zealand, the New Zealand Cycle Classic (UCI 2.2) is on the program, a five-day stage race in the Wellington region with only local riders at the start.
Several international-looking Australian competitions, including the Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, have been canceled for some time. A solution was found for the Tour Down Under in the form of the Santos Festival of Cycling, with national teams and riders from their own country.
The same goes for the New Zealand Cycle Classic, which during the southern hemisphere summer months has always been very focused on cyclists from Oceania. In the past ten years, the overall victory has gone to a local driver six times and an Australian four times. The general winners are future pros George Bennett (2011), Jay McCarthy (2012), Nathan Earle (2013) and Ben O’Connor (2016).
Fisher-Black in Strong
This year’s edition can count on participation of fourteen teams of five or six riders each. Among them, the Jumbo-Visma Development rider Finn Fisher-Black (19), who competes on behalf of the national team. For the occasion, Corbin Strong (20) from SEG Racing Academy is also his teammate. In addition to more than seventy New Zealanders, seven also make Aussies, a Briton and an American.
Of New Zealand Cycle Classic starts next night with a 10 kilometer team time trial. Then come an uphill finish, a sprint stage, an uphill stage and another criterium in Wellington City. For night owls: all online races end between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Dutch-Belgian time. The winner of the opening time trial will be known around 7.45am our time.
New Zealand Cycle Classic 2021 (UCI 2.2)
Wednesday January 13, stage 1: Masterton – Masterton (TTT, 10 km)
Thursday January 14, stage 2: Masterton – Masterton (158.1 km)
Friday January 15, stage 3: Masterton – Martinborough (126.3 km)
Saturday January 16, stage 4: Masterton – Admiral Hill (126.9 km)
Sunday January 17, stage 5: Wellington – Wellington (1 hour + 3 laps, criterium of 1.1 km)