GrapeRiders cool off

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:31 07/04/2014

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The 10th Forrest GrapeRide held in Marlborough at the weekend was the most successful event yet, says spokesman Duncan Mackenzie.

More than 2500 riders took part in the South Island's biggest recreational road cycling event, which covered either a 42km or 101km course that took in Blenheim, Picton and Havelock.

Mackenzie said both cyclists and supporters were "absolutely buzzing" about the event.

"It's the most successful event we've ever had in terms of satisfaction factor," he said.

"We've had an overwhelmingly positive response about the event itself and the whole Marlborough experience."

Planning for next year's GrapeRide had already begun, he said.

The team was planning a new electric bike category where bikes with motors built into the rear wheel could compete.

"We're tapping in to the good old Kiwi can-do mentality," Mackenzie said.

"We want to challenge people to create innovative electric-assisted bikes."

Mackenzie's highlight of this year's GrapeRide was getting a promise to return from Tino Tabak, a New Zealand cyclist who raced in the Tour de France in the 1970s.

Tabak, in his 60s, told Mackenzie he planned to get on his bike for next year's race.

St John Marlborough territory manager Murray Neal said the GrapeRide was the most difficult event the ambulance service covered in Marlborough.

Five St John ambulances and a rapid response car treated more than 50 cyclists aged in their late 20s to late 70s.

Ten cyclists were taken to Wairau Hospital in Blenheim after falling off their bikes, he said.

A woman in her 30s was one of two people taken to hospital with moderate head injuries. Two more had shoulder injuries, one person had an asthma attack, and the remaining five had "relatively minor" bumps and bruises.

A further 40 people were treated at Forrest Estate Wines, the end point of the race in Renwick.

HARPER POWERS AWAY FRO GRAPERIDE WIN

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- The Marlborough Express

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