And so the final countdown to launch of the 2011 PowerNet Tour of Southland arrives. This iconic sporting event, which brings unparalleled media coverage for Southland is less than one week away.
Last week I wrote about the storylines that were likely to unfold on the ILT Velodrome at the ILT Track Carnival and National Omnium Championships (many did, by the way). This week I could easily fill my word count with a once-over-lightly about what the PowerNet Tour could throw up when it starts on Sunday. Hayden Roulston goes in search of a fifth Tour title; Pure Black Racing, now a year old, is ready to make its mark at home after a successful debut season off-shore; Share The Road look to get Jeremy Yates into yellow for the end of the race as they did so expertly at the start of the week, 12 months ago; in the battle for the U23 classification – which could likely be even more competitive than the overall title - a youthful PowerNet team including Southlanders Tom Scully and Cameron Karwowski will look to get one of their number into the Pink Young Rider jersey, but the return of Mike Vink (Mico – Protrain Cycling Team) and Paddy Bevin (Ascot Park Hotel) along with the returning George Bennett (Kia Motors) will all have something to say about that. Like I said, no shortage of stories.
But my focus today is on how you, the Southland sporting public can get involved. Our PowerNet Tour Launch Party starts on Sunday (30th) from 2.30pm at Feldwick Gate, Queens Park with our traditional Ride With The Stars. Young and old can bring their bikes and helmets and ride through Queens Park with the stars of the PowerNet Tour. Then the Tour teams will be officially presented at 3.00pm before our Family fun day will take us up to the start of 2011 PowerNet Tour with the Team’s Time Trial. We have made the move to feature the opening prologue on Sunday evening to make the Tour start more spectator-friendly. Join us to launch the event in style at Gala Street.
Then, as the PowerNet Tour winds its way around every point of the southern compass, get out and support the riders. Visit tourofsouthland.com and click “Spectator Information” for our 2011 Viewing Guide, offering the best vantage points to see the tour peloton. Friday November 5th will also features two new additions. Our Supporters Tour will provide a behind the scenes look at the Tour. This fully escorted day of hospitality on our Supporters Bus is the ultimate Tour experience. And that night our first Legends Dinner will be held at the ILT Velodrome featuring eight-time winner Brian Fowler, cycling identity Stephen Cox, BikeNZ Track coach Tim Carswell and the stars of the 2011 PowerNet Tour. More information on both events can be found at tourofsouthland.com or by contacting Cycling Southland.
It is an iconic Southland event and the more ways we can get Southlanders like you involved, the better.