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Share the Road team mates Jeremy Yates, Brett Tivers and Chris Macic are preparing for a return to Southland roads, with the trio signing up for the Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic.
Macic signalled his intention to ride the inaugural race from Milford to Te Anau about two weeks ago. Now, Yates, Tivers and Yates’ partner and top female cyclist Serena Sheridan, will join him on the start line come January 11.
Neither Yates, Tivers nor Macic are strangers to Southland road cycling – Yates competed in his eighth Tour of Southland this year, and Macic and Tivers, their fourth.
The trio rode for Share the Road during last month’s PowerNet Tour of Southland but, come January, they will be battling it out against each other for race honours in the Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic.
Macic had an impressive tour for Share the Road and is looking forward to a return to Southland.
“I rode that road from Milford to Te Anau a couple of years ago, with (Sport Southland event manager) Matt Sillars driving behind me and Matt indicated there were plans in the community for a race,” he said.
“It’s just beautiful scenery up there, comparable to the Pyrenees or the Central European Alps, and that’s what has attracted me to enter.”
The Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic is a 120km road cycle race from Milford to Te Anau, scheduled for January 11, 2012. There is also a shorter, 57km Eglinton Challenge, and both distance options can be entered as individuals or in two-person teams.
Both options present a challenging, but rewarding ride, set in the midst of some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.
Sillars was thrilled to have the experience of Yates, Macic, Tivers and Sheridan on the start line, and added that the race was not just for elite cyclists.
“It is fantastic to have cyclists of their calibre enter the race. Chris, Jeremy and Brett were all strong for Share the Road last month and it will be great to see how they go in the Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic,” he said.
“The organising committee is really looking to attract a mix of elite and recreational cyclists and the distance options ensure that this is an achievable event for anyone with a road bike.”
The race is supported by the Te Anau Project Group – a sub-committee of Destination Fiordland -, Sport Southland, Fiordland College and Cycling Southland and is designed as a fundraiser for the college.
Macic, who is currently Auckland-based, says he is likely to stay in Southland after the Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic, and will base himself there in preparation for another European season.
He is approaching the race as he would most others – “I just want to go and enjoy myself … if I win, that’s a bonus,” he said.
Entries for the Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic or the Eglinton Challenge can be made online at www.milfordclassic.co.nz.