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Cycling stars' mega ride

Last updated 10:09 08/02/2013
Bike to Auckland
Riding again: New Zealand’sm 1982 Commonwealth Games Times Trial team - Jack Swart, Blair Stockwell, Stephen Carton and Stephen Cox - are back in the saddle.

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Cycling stars of the past will be in Lower Hutt on Sunday.

New Zealand's ''famous four'' - the 1982 Commonwealth Games 100m time trial team of Jack Swart, Blair Stockwell, Stephen Carton and Stephen Cox - are back together again for the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge.

 Lower Hutt is the starting point of the 13-stage, 700-kilometre race, which finishes in Pukekohe.

Carton, who grew up in Lower Hutt; Swart, Stockwell and Cox will be among the 145-50 contenders in the event, which  coincides with Bikewise Month (see www.bikewise.co.nz/events).

Cox is the event director. He said getting the ''famous four'' back together again has encouraged him to get back in the saddle.

''I virtually haven't ridden in 20 years, so getting the four of us back together again on the front row has motivated me to ride
.
''I keep in touch with them all the time, and this year we can all make it. With BDO as our sponsor this year and some extremely high-calibre cyclists among the contenders, the Cycle Challenge is shaping up to be the best yet.''

Cox will ride only stage one, as far as Ohakune, to help raise funds for the event's beneficiary charity THINK, a head injury organisation. He will spend the rest of the time as ride director.

The three others will complete all 13 stages.

The Famous Four

Cox  was selected for the 1980 Olympics, but as New Zealand boycotted those games he did not compete at them. He did compete in the 1984 Olympics.
He  competed in 1978, 1982 and 1986 Commonwealth Games.

Blair Stockwell rode at the 1972 Olympics and at the 1979, 1974, 1978 and 1982 Commonwealth Games, winning three Bronze medals.
The 63-year-old now lives in Brisbane.

Jack Swart 58, who  lives in Hamilton, was also selected for the 1980, but did not compete due to the New Zealand's boycott.
 He competed in  the 1978 and 1982 Commonwealth Games, winning a silver and bronze medals.

 Stephen Carton, 51, rode at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, winning a Bronze medal. He now lives in Melbourne.
Other top New Zealand athletes competing in the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge include Erin Taylor, who was part of the kayaking pair with Lisa Carrington  at  the 2012 Olympics; Fiona Southorn, para-Olympian bronze medallist at the 2012 games.

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- The  BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge takes place from February 10-16. Starting from Lower Hutt, Kiwi riders will cycle side-by-side with international riders in a 13-stage event covering 100kms per day and finish in Pukekohe. See http://www.dynamoevents.co.nz/

- Hutt News

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