Date: Thursday, 18 June 2020

Many of New Zealand’s leading cyclists will be expected to race around the inner-city streets at the Vantage Criterium National Championships which will return to Christchurch in November.

Following the successful 2019 event, Cycling New Zealand and the Christchurch City Council today announced the return of the championships to be staged on Sunday 15 November.

Christchurch was set to share the event year-about with long-time host Takapuna but its downtown rejuvenation plan was delayed. The Christchurch City Council was enthusiastic to step in to host the event for a second straight year after the strong support for the championships late last year.

Cycling New Zealand CEO Jacques Landry said the organisation was delighted when Christchurch agreed to host the event again, with the Takapuna course unavailable.

“Christchurch really embraced the Vantage Criterium National Championships last year and with the strong support we received from both businesses and the community, it made sense to return to build on this momentum,” said Landry.

“We are confident that many of our leading riders will be itching to race in this event, especially so after missing a fair bit of racing this year and with the positive feedback from competitors last year.”

Christchurch City Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events Nigel Cox is thrilled Christchurch will get to host the championships three years in a row.

“Cantabrians love their sport so we know people will get behind this event and come out to support our top cyclists as they compete for national honours. The nature of the Criterium street circuit means the action is fast-paced and it’s easy for people to come along and cheer on the riders.

“With the proposed circuit so close to the bars, restaurants, cafes and shops in our city centre it makes for a great day out. We’re really looking forward to welcoming our elite cyclists back to Christchurch,’’ Mr Cox says.

Sponsorship Manager Jess Roberts from naming sponsor Vantage Windows & Doors said: “Vantage Windows & Doors are proud to support the Vantage Criterium Nationals. With a strong cycling community in and around Christchurch, Vantage Windows & Doors are looking forward to seeing cycling and general sports fans alike coming together to be part of this great event.“

The proposed inner-city Christchurch circuit offers a traditional criterium taking in iconic Christchurch landmarks such as the Avon River, Bridge of Remembrance and the Art Gallery. It is adjacent to the bars and restaurants of the famous Oxford Street, and with more cafes and bars lining the proposed course, it will make for a spectator-friendly, fast-paced afternoon of entertainment.

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