Evans and Odlin headline second Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge
Evans and Odlin headline second Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge.
Fresh from a strong showing in the Tour of Southland, Dunedin's Brad Evans and team mate from Christchurch Paul Odlin start as favorites for the second edition of the 155km Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge amongst a field of around 650 riders.
The course winds its way from Richmond to Kaiteriteri Beach and back in a loop with several strong climbs, including the short but sharp Neudorf Hill and the 2km, 230m climb to the top of Marahau Hill.
Last year's Winner Hamish Bond took the race by storm and lead from the 20km mark to the finish with a winning margin of just under 6 minutes ahead of Ollie Jones and Paul Odlin. This year Evans and Odlin will need to keep an eye on the chasing pack of U23 riders looking to make their mark, namely Joel Yates, Jack Compton and local Mapua rider Daniel Reid. All three riders are representing Team Skoda Racing, a national development team based in Auckland.
New Zealand U19 star Niamh Fisher-Black will be looking for a strong showing on home soil after a stellar 2017-year. The 17 year old is currently riding for Mike Greer Homes Women's Cycling and recently took out the U19 leaders Jersey for the Calder Stewart elite series.
This year's course has been modified to improve the final sprint to the finish and is 3km shorter than last year's. The group of Elite Men is expected to have a crack at Hamish Bond's 3 hour 51 winning time if conditions allow. In behind the Elite Men and Women more than 550 recreational riders will be looking not only to finish the event but also make their mark on this stunning course and in the process tick off another unique 100 mile Kiwi course.
Building on the success of the road-focused event last year, more than 100 MTB riders have entered the first ITM MTB Silvan Super Time Trial at Silvan Forest MTB Park. Riders will start and finish with the road entrants and will work their way around 4-laps of the popular privately owned MTB Park.
Entries are still open and entries along with further Information on the event, can be found at www.atcc.nz