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The UCI Women’s Tour that was scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the 33 Days of Cycling event series in February 2013 has been postponed until 2014.
The postponement has occurred due to the increase in costs of conducting drug test on the competitors. New drug testing standards were required by the UCI, cycling's governing body, following the fallout from the Lance Armstrong drug scandal.
The 33 Days of Cycling event series created by Sport Manawatu is significant for the region and showcases the Manawatu as the best place to ride a bike. While it is unfortunate that the Women’s Tour has been postponed until 2014, there are still many other events for both competitors and spectators to enjoy.
“The Manawatu region has some of the best cycling facilities in the country and Sport Manawatu is passionate about highlighting these to the rest of New Zealand and the world,” says Sport Manawatu’s chief executive officer Mike Daisley.
“We introduced the 33 Days of Cycling to showcase what we have to offer in this region for everyone from elite riders to people who may not have been on a bike before and we will continue to put a lot of resource into this again for 2013,” continues Daisley.
There has been a big growth in women’s cycling that Sport Manawatu is keen to see continue. Last year’s La Femme fun ride event was such a success that in 2013 it will have increased resources. It will also feature some of New Zealand’s top female cyclists.
Destination Manawatu are very supportive of the 33 Days of Cycling event series.
“The 33 Days of Cycling will still kick off with the UCI sanctioned men's tour - the New Zealand Cycle Classic Manawatu 2013 managed by Jorge Sandoval, and we think that it is important that we end of the 33 Days of Cycling programme on a high note,” informs Lance Bickford, Destination Manawatu’s chief executive officer.
Destination Manawatu have agreed to support the programme by moving The Country Road Cycle Classic (traditionally held at the end of April) to Saturday, 16 February. The route for the Country Road Cycle Fun Ride will be altered to provide an 85 km course that heads from The Square up the spectacular Pohangina Valley and back to finish at Memorial Park. The event will be able to be done as a team event.”
Mr Bickford said it is important that the region consolidates its position as a great place to ride a bike. “Moving this event into The 33 Days of Cycling achieves this. We're pleased also to be able to be able to lend our support to La Femme held on Sunday, 24 February. This event will be surrounded by two full days of entertainment and cycling related activities for women. We will work closely with Sport Manawatu to promote both weekends as part of the 33 Days of Cycling.
Race director Jorge Sandoval is very supportive of the UCI Women’s Tour and hopes that by postponing it a year he can generate sufficient sponsorship to be able to reinstate it for 2014.
For information about the 33 Days of Cycling event series, visit www.33daysofcycling.co.nz