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Posted: February 26, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Cycling: Interest Builds For Inaugural Tour De Wakatipu

The inaugural New World Tour de Wakatipu on April 11 is attracting widespread interest due to the innovative rural course starting at Queenstown's Millbrook Resort and finishing in the vines at the Chard Farm Winery.

The 45km Easter event has been added to the local sporting calendar by well known event company Southern Traverse. Director Geoff Hunt says they are responding to the ever increasing demand for biking events, both serious and recreational, in the region.

"What is good about this race is that anyone, at any level, can participate and make it as challenging as they want. We are getting a lot of feedback from people who will be competing in their first ever event, to elite riders and bikers who are making a come back to competition."

Beginning at Millbrook Resort the course leads to Speargrass Flat Road, and over Slopehill Road to a single track alongside the Shotover River and across the restored Lower Shotover Bridge. The next stage joins the Kawarau River track via the Shotover delta, and another short section of single track, and then follows a short section of state highway to the privately owned Kawarau River road on Coneburn Station, finishing at Chard Farm.

Rob Hay of Chard Farm, a keen mountain biker, has been part of a group which has ridden the entire course and says it has fantastic variety.

"I love the start at Millbrook and throughout the ride there are some great views. What I particularly like is that the course makes use of some of the tracks prepared by the Wakatipu Trails Trust and people will be able to experience all the good work that has gone on over the last few years round this part of the district."

"I definitely think it will be a testing course but suitable for all ages and experience levels. I am looking forward to the finish at our winery."

Competitors will ride through the vines at Chard Farm to the finish line where a mini wine and food style event will take place.

"We're looking at creating a vibrant atmosphere with music, food and wine," says Hunt. "It will be something quite different and we're certainly getting the impression that there will be a big turnout of locals as well as out of towners keen to take on some new territory."

The New World Tour de Wakatipu will donate funds to Cure Kids which funds research in children's life threatening illnesses.

Entries close on the 27th March.

Southern Traverse Ltd. is a premier international Sport Event Management company. Southern Traverse Ltd. operates and manages elite events around the world, including the Adventure Racing World Championship, the AR World Series and New Zealand's icon adventure race, the Macpac Southern Traverse.

Other New Zealand events include The North Face Peak to Peak, TrustPower Adventure Quest, the Macpac 24hrs of Southern Traverse and 8 hour Adventure Challenge, and the Fresh Choice Womens Triathlon.

The Adventure Racing World Series is an international circuit of premiere adventure races representing 11 countries creating a 12-month calendar of professional events around the world and acting as qualifiers for the Adventure Race World Championship to be held in Brazil in 2008. is the official ARWorld Series web site.
Casio Protrek are the official watches of the ARWorld Series

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