World class road cycling will return to Wairarapa and Wellington next year after race director Jorge Sandoval confirmed the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic will take place from January 10th – 14th 2024.
Sandoval, who is an Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to the sport of cycling for over 36 years, says the highly anticipated five-day Tour will weave through rolling country roads in Wairarapa before concluding in New Zealand’s capital city and is expected to attract a field of 120 international and national riders.
“It’s going to be great to welcome international cyclists to the New Zealand Cycle Classic again next year and I am confident the racing will make a significant impact in Wellington, with a vibrant street circuit race taking part in the inner-city and presenting locals with a unique opportunity to witness an exceptional sporting spectacle,” says Sandoval.
The New Zealand Cycle Classichas taken place in New Zealand for the past 36 years, with 22 of those years it being recognized by the UCI as a 2.2 event. Sandoval says throughout its history, it has seen many aspiring riders kick-start their careers – using it as a stepping stone towards achieving their dreams of racing for top Pro Tour teams in Europe.
“Most recently we saw 2021 New Zealand Cycle Classic winner Corbin Strong race in this year’s Tour de France for pro team Israel Premier Tech and perform extremely well. Prior to that we’ve seen the likes of Aaron Gate, James Oram, Campbell Stewart and George Bennett claim a stage or the yellow jersey in this race and the capture the attention of the world’s cycling media.”
Sandoval also says next year’s event will be held without the support of previous sponsor Trust House Foundation, however, he is looking forward to announcing a new sponsor for 2024’s event in the coming weeks.
“I am deeply thankful for Trust House Foundation’s support over the years. Their unwavering commitment has been a driving force behind the growth and success of the event, shaping it into what it is today—the cherished and prestigious annual international sporting event for Wairarapa and the only international cycle race in New Zealand,” says Sandoval.
“Their belief in our vision and dedication to our cause enabled us to stage and expand the event year after year, providing countless athletes with a platform to showcase their talents and bringing joy to our community. As we bid farewell to Trust House’s Foundation support, we now embark on a new chapter full of gratitude and optimism and I’m fortunate to be in a position to announce a new sponsor for 2024’s event soon.”
Sandoval says this support will sustain the event and allow him the opportunity to connect with potential sponsors, ensuring the event’s continuity from 2025 and beyond.
The five-day New Zealand Cycle Classic is the only UCI road race being held in New Zealand next year and will begin in the Wairarapa on Wednesday 10th January. The complete race routes will be announced later this year, along with the national and overseas teams who will be racing.
The 2024 NZ Cycle Classic will also take place thanks to the generous support from Mobile Communications Service, Wizwireless, Fagan Motors, Pedal Project, plus all three Wairarapa District Councils and Wellington City Council.