Cycling Southland officials are hoping for a bit more love from the weather gods ahead of the 30th Junior Tour of Southland, which gets under way tomorrow.
Last year's race was heavily affected by the weather, with the Saturday afternoon stage having to be cancelled after snow started falling.
Sponsored for the 30th year by Yunca, the tour gets under way with a prologue and kermisse at Teretonga Park tomorrow, followed by stages on Beast of the East and New Vale Coal circuits on Saturday, and the inner-city criterium and Grove Bush-Springhills stages on Sunday.
Cycling Southland chief executive Nick Jeffrey said about 140 riders from around New Zealand and Australia would be involved in the racing, which covers riders from under 13 to under 19.
Numbers were down by about 30 from last year.
"There aren't quite as many Australians coming over, although there's still quite a good contingent. Last year was a bit of a one-off when we had a bit of a spike in numbers. To be fair, there may also have been a few put off by the snow of last year."
The Junior Tour of Southland is widely considered one of the best events of its type in Australasia.
Many of New Zealand's leading riders got their first taste of stage racing in the Southland event.
A track carnival for junior riders will be staged on October 8 and 9.
- © Fairfax NZ News