One of New Zealand's most cycling-friendly cities will host the Armstrong Peugeot Festival of Cycling. The four year-old Christchurch-based event will bring together elite and recreational riders and is scheduled for December 6-7.
The festival will open with the Armstrong Peugeot Harbour Ride, an 80km fun ride around the iconic Port Hills and Lyttelton Harbour bays. The following day festivities head downtown with riders and spectators alike getting a taste of cycling Euro-style with the Armstrong Peugeot City Criterium.
The Harbour Ride, which draws elite racers and recreational riders, has been known among Cantabrians since the 1930s as "Long Bays". Beijing Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston won it in 2006. The City Criterium will be run on a closed circuit outside the Oxford Terrace café strip. Two years ago, Marc Ryan and Roulston wiped the floor with New Zealand's best around this circuit.
Other past winners have included Kiwi world champion Greg Henderson, Australian world champion Katie Mactier and Denmark's women's Tour de France champion Linda Villumsen.
A variety of other events will be held in conjunction with the festival. Visit www.festivalofcycling.co.nz for more information.
(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer)