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After two incredible years in 2012 and 2013, the Tour of New Zealand has cemented its place as one of the best multi-day cycle races in the world and will be back in 2015 on the 11th-18th April. It's an 8-day amateur event that celebrates everything good about cycling, scenery, competition and community, played out on some of the best roads the country has to offer.
The Tour has something for everyone, from occasional riders looking for a motivating, achievable goal through to hardcore racers aiming for a week of perfect suffering. And as any of the hundreds of Tour riders from 2012 and 2013 will tell you, it's a brilliant road trip for riders and support crew alike.
Meet you in the middle
As a rider in the Tour, you'll ride the length of one of New Zealand's main islands- your choice, North or South. The North and South tours run simultaneously, covering around 100km per day for seven days. On the eighth day everyone meets in Wellington for a head-to-head criterium in the grounds of Parliament to decide the winners in each category.
You can enter individually, ride in a team of three or more, or join for day stages. Yes, it's competitive, with plenty of serious team and individual riders chasing minutes and seconds as the week unfolds, but how hard you go is entirely up to you. There's always someone to ride with at your level... and in the tours to date there has been a solid contingent of coffee and cake connoisseurs sniffing out convenient refueling stations along the way.
No better way to do Down Under
If you're looking for an excuse to visit Middle Earth, the Tour is a way to experience New Zealand at a far deeper level than your typical tourist itinerary allows. For the 2012 and 2013 tours we welcomed riders and support crews from more than 12 countries worldwide, united by the unique camaraderie that develops when strangers join together in the spirit of adventure. So bring your family, bring your friends, and get ready to ride the real New Zealand.
I'm hungry. When's dinner?
In case it all sounds a bit exhausting, remember that it's not all about the bike. The riding is over by midday, leaving afternoons free to enjoy New Zealand's beautiful autumn scenery, tell lies about your heroic efforts in the morning, eat, and enjoy the Tour's social events.
"The nightly Peloton Party really buzzed with competitors receiving spot prizes, enjoying a drink, and discovering some amazing new cycling buddies that in 8 days would become life long friends." - Ross Buckley, KPMG Executive Chairman.
We really hope you can join us for the next Tour. We'll be back online in 2014 with route details, travel and accommodation packages, and everything else you need to be ready to roll in April 2015. In the meantime, please contact us anytime if you'd like to find out more.
Peter Yarrell and the Tour of NZ team
Tour of NZ Highlights from Tour of New Zealand on Vimeo.