Around the Mountain more than a fun day out for top riders

There might not be a premier race in the Taranaki Around the Mountain Cycle Challenge this year but that won't stop some riders treating it seriously.

"It is for fun but in saying that, you get anybody that's good enough to ride around the mountain in a good time and if they try and tell you it's just for fun, well I'll go he," event director Selwyn Brown said.

"There will be an unofficial race going on, don't worry about that."

While a large number of premier riders will be at the Tour of Manawatu, Brown still expected the first riders home in under four hours.

Brown is expecting up to 1200 riders to take to the road today, with entries coming in right up until last night, especially with the weather being good.

"It's forecast to be light winds and that always makes a difference," he said.

While there were plenty of road works around the province, Brown said roading companies had agreed to sweep the roads and make sure they would not provide a problem for the riders.

Riders can take part in the solo category or as part of a two-person relay team or a team of up to six riders.

Starting and finishing on Mason Dr outside New Plymouth's TSB Stadium, the first of the riders will head off at 7.30am.

There are six legs in the main event. The first is a hilly ride from New Plymouth to Okato (27km); the second is from Okato to Opunake, which is undulating (35km); the next is also undulating and covers the 26km to Kaponga; from Kaponga to Pembroke School the route is climbing (18km); leg five, Pembroke School to Inglewood, is relatively easy (25km); and the final leg to New Plymouth is also relatively easy with just two hills before the end (17km).

Taranaki Daily News