CYCLING

Cyclists in the 2013 Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic race Cyclists in the 2013 Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic race CREDIT: Graham Dainty

Homer Hundred set to be popular addition to Milford event

Wednesday 31 July 2013, 12:48PM
By Sport Southland
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MILFORD

The third annual Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic will have a third distance option for cyclists when it is held on January 25 next year and organisers are predicting the 101km route will be a positive addition to the already popular event.

In its first two years the event has included a 120km Milford to Te Anau option, and the shorter 65km Eglinton Challenge – both open to individuals or two person teams.

This year the longest course option – the 120km cycle from Milford to Te Anau – was shortened to 101km, after the New Zealand Transport Agency closed the road from Milford to the Homer Tunnel due to fears of a rockfall.

That move brought relief to some competitors – the initial 19km is a gruelling climb from sea level to 940 metres – and the shortened route proved so popular that organisers have opted to include it on the menu this year.

Known as the Homer Hundred, the event will start on the eastern side of the Homer Tunnel and, like the other two distance options, will traverse some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

Te Anau Community Events Charitable Trust chairman Don McFarlane was already looking forward to the 2014 event.

“We received some really positive feedback from people about the 101km route this year, so we’re excited to be able to offer it as an option this year and hope people will take on the challenge,” he said.

“From what was a reasonably challenging time, this really positive addition to the event has sprung and we think it will really open the event even further to all cycling abilities.”

“We have ideal springboards for competitors – those who compete in an Eglinton Challenge team the first year can step up to the Eglinton Challenge individual, then the Homer Hundred then the full Milford Mountain Classic – there’s a natural progression for competitors who opt to come back year after year.”

“Despite the course change this year, I think almost everyone who participated in the event went away raving about it and we’ve no doubt that the 2014 event will be even bigger and better.”

“We’re keeping an eye on the progress at the western entrance to the Homer Tunnel and will be in close communication with NZTA. We are confident that, come January 25, we’ll be running three distances – 120km, 101km and 65km.”

The Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic is co-ordinated by the Te Anau Community Events Charitable Trust and supported by Fiordland College, Cycling Southland and Sport Southland. Entries are now open online at www.milfordclassic.co.nz.

THE EVENT

Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic road cycle race

Saturday January 25

THE DISTANCE OPTIONS

Distinction Hotels Milford Mountain Classic
120km Milford to Te Anau
Individuals or two person teams

Homer Hundred
101km Homer Tunnel to Te Anau
Individuals only

Eglinton Challenge
65km Knobs Flat to Te Anau
Individuals or two person teams

ENTER

Online at www.milfordclassic.co.nz
Early-bird pricing available until August 31