New Zealand’s premier multi-stage road cycling tour for junior cyclists, the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland, takes place from October 1 to 3 this year.
This is a truly international event with 164 entries, including many of New Zealand and Australia’s best junior riders.
Yunca general manager, John Fry, said the firm had been proud to support the tour continuously for the past 26 years.
"We’re serious about supporting young sports people and our sponsorship of this tour fits in well with that philosophy. Our sponsorship also includes 15 scholarships that we offer to distant New Zealand riders to help defray the costs of travel,” he said
The Yunca Tour is the road cycling tour that all junior cyclists work towards during the road-racing calendar, and Southland cycling has strong hopes with a real depth of talent among its many highly competitive cyclists.
The tour begins with the Prologue Individual Time Trials at Teretonga on Friday October 1.
On Saturday there are two stages: a circuit starting at 9am from Otautau, through Thornbury and Isla Bank and back to Otautau; then at 1pm from Tuatapere through Orawia and Clifden, before returning to Tuatapere.
On Sunday morning a spectator-friendly, competitive and fast-paced criterium race will be held around the Tay, Clyde, Forth and Nith Street circuit in Invercargill between 8.30 and 11am approximately.
The tour finishes with a final stage in the afternoon that starts at Lorneville Corner, travels through Springhills, Hedgehope, Dacre and ends at Donovan Park.
Tour manager Sier Vermunt said many months of hard work had been put into the tour by the organising committee and volunteers.
"We’re thrilled with the support from the wider community. A huge number of volunteers have also come on board to help out with tasks from road marshalling to judging, time keeping, hospitality and rider support.”
Tour organisers encourage the public to watch the event and look out for young competitors on the road during its course.