18/04/2011 - Last year was filled with many highlights but one of the most memorable was a day in the middle of the year when the ILT Velodrome was packed to the rafters as 34 corporate teams and their respective armies of supporters turned on one of the biggest cycling parties this city has seen.
Cycling Southland's Harrex Group-sponsored Corporate Pursuit opens its public entries this morning and weve got a hard act to follow.
Already the demand has been high last years entrants have been busy putting together their squads in the hope of shaving a second or two of their personal bests and a lengthy list of newbies who have registered their interest throughout the year will be doing the same from this morning. Now the net is being cast even wider with general entries opening today.
The concept is pretty straight-forward all you need is a team of six from your business (there does have to be some connection, however tenuous between the team members.) You'll be coached all the way by some of Cycling Southlands finest, so no previous experience is necessary. In fact its the perfect way to be introduced to the world-class ILT Velodrome if you havent been out there and the chance to get a look at what all the fuss about cycling is about.
Is it competitive? For some, of course it is. But for most teams the real focus is having a crack and having a laugh at the same time and, as you could guess, it doesnt take long for the inter-team banter to reach fever pitch. Plus, if you need to sell it to the boss, you can pitch it as one of those team-building exercises one of the best going around actually.
We introduced over 200 riders to the sport last year. Many have continued in the sport some going on to represent Southland at the recent Track Nationals. So, it doubles as a decent recruitment and talent identification programme for Cycling Southland.
We will again be building on the party atmosphere on the day. Ive havent yet made it to Wellington for the Rugby Sevens but if you threw a roof on the Cake-Tin I reckon we wouldnt have been a mile away from it last year. Team supporters really got into it, dressing up (and down), bringing banners and yelling themselves hoarse and that was only the Waihopai Health Centre supporters! This year the recipe will be the same, just up a few notches.
We have pushed the event back slightly to accommodate netball and basketball commitments so this years Grading Time Trial is to be held on Sunday July 24th with the Corporate Pursuit finals a week later on Sunday the 31st.
For all of the event details and to enter visit www.cyclingsouth.org.nz/corporatepursuit or you can text the word bike to 244 (texts cost 20c). Entries close on May 13th so get online or if you have queries contact the Cycling Southland office on 2173215.