BikeNZ will launch a new National Points Series as part of 11 major cycling road events throughout the country.
It begins with the Pro-Velo Auckland 1000 event in the Franklin district near Pukekohe this Saturday and concludes with the crowning of the inaugural men's and women's national series champions at the Around Brunner cycle ride in April 2009.
BikeNZ chief executive, Roger Thompson explained that the idea was to build the race series around events that are also popular with non-licensed riders. "We have a number of public participation cycling events around New Zealand which have been growing significantly and provide a great experience for the increasing number of kiwis who have taken up the sport, either still on a serious basis or as a means to remain active.
"We felt that our initiative, working in with the organisers of the various events, will provide an opportunity for elite cyclists to compete in a well structured nationwide series and also help raise the profile for the riders and the events.
The goal is to create a ranking system so the top-level cyclists have a benchmark for their development through the high performance programme.
Thompson was happy with the support from all sides. "We are grateful to the event promoters and organising clubs who not only run outstanding races but have backed our idea fully. Without their support it would not have got off the ground."
The National Points Series will include: