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Watch out for GrapeRiders

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 07:10 02/04/2014

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Motorists and cyclists are being encouraged not to take any risks on the road as Marlborough gears up to host the South Island's largest cycling event.

Around 2500 cyclists will take part in five races between tomorrow and Saturday as part of the Forrest GrapeRide.

Race organiser Pete Halligan said mutual respect between motorists and cyclists would enhance safety along the 101km course which stretches from Forrest Estate Winery in Renwick, onto Picton and Havelock and back to Renwick.

"I would ask motorists not to toot their horns behind cyclists and respect that they are on the road," Halligan said.

Motorists are encouraged to travel to Picton only if necessary between the hours of 8.30am and 11am on Saturday during the flagship GrapeRide, Halligan said.

No roads have been closed during the races, but motorists are asked to keep parked cars as far off the side of the road as possible.

"Marlborough Roads think there has always been pretty good behaviour from motorists and cyclists in previous years and we hope that continues," Halligan said.

Cyclists, too, are being warned to stay safe. "The safety record of cyclists is getting better and better each year as we attract more skilled cyclists.

"We are totally intolerant of any bad cycling behaviour," Halligan said. "We will report riders breaking any traffic regulations.

"We have sent police information in the past about riders and they have been prosecuted.

"We haven't had to do that in the last three or four years."

The best vantage points for people wanting to cheer on cyclists are along the starting line at Forrest Estate Winery and along Wairau Rd in Picton, he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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