The Vantage Criterium National Championships are moving south, with Christchurch confirmed to host the event on 17 November this year.
As one of New Zealand’s premier one-day cycling events, the Vantage Criterium National Championships will see around 150 of the country’s top road cyclists compete for National Elite and U17 titles on a proposed central city road circuit.
The event sees the return of championship level cycling to Christchurch for the first time since 2015 when the city ended its tenure hosting the Vantage Elite Road National Championships.
Cycling New Zealand CEO, Jacques Landry says the Criterium is an ideal event to showcase both the sport and the city.
“We believe that Christchurch, and in particular the re-development of the central city area, will be ideal for Criterium racing which traditionally draws big crowds and capitalises on the central city hospitality offering”.
With Takapuna, the longstanding home of the event, unable to host the event due to significant urban re-development works taking place in the second half of 2019, Cycling New Zealand has decided to share the hosting rights between the North Island and South Island on a year-about basis.
Christchurch will host the event in 2019, 2021 and 2023 with it returning to the North Island in alternative years.
“We’re grateful for the support of Christchurch City Council in hosting this event and look forward to working with them and local businesses to stage an exciting and popular event and drive value for the city,” said Landry.
The 2019 Vantage National Criterium Championships is scheduled to take place during NZ Cup and Show week, adding a new dimension to an already action-packed festival week in the city.
Nigel Cox, Head of Recreation, Sports and Events at Christchurch City Council, is delighted to see championship level cycling return to Christchurch.
“We are thrilled to have secured this event for Christchurch. It is going to be a great addition to the Cup and Show Week line up and we’re really looking forward to seeing our country’s top cyclists competing on our city streets,’’ said Mr Cox.
As well as National Championship title races, the event will also offer age group racing for the recreational cyclist to get involved before settling in to watch the elite racing.
“Criterium racing is a real spectator experience – fast, frenetic action on a street circuit. It’s exciting racing to watch, and with such a strong cycling community in and around Christchurch, we’re looking forward to cycling and general sports fans alike coming out to be part of it and see some of New Zealand’s top riders going head to head for the national title” said Mr Landry.