Two of New Zealand's top riders, Kashi Leuchs, of Dunedin, and Marcus Roy, of Invercargill, have joined forces to create Team RoadCraft, which will embark on a heartland tour of some of New Zealand's most pristine adventure rides.
"The initiative came about through the drive to rediscover what 'true' mountain biking is all about," Leuchs said. "We spend all year with the pressure of the European-based World Cup circuit, and we always look forward to coming home to ride and have fun with family and friends."
The RoadCraft MTB tour will see Leuchs and Roy roadtrip around to some of New Zealand's best mountain bike endurance races.
Leuchs has represented New Zealand at the Olympics three times and hopes to use the tour as a build up to the World Cup circuit to which he'll be returning to in March with his new team, Felt International. He will be based out of Annecy, France.
"My idea was to get out there and into New Zealand's breathtaking landscapes and meet nice people in a relaxed atmosphere. This is a great opportunity to showcase the incredible scenery and races we have in our backyard. Then, at the same time, (I will) get fit for my international race season," Leuchs said.
Key events of the tour will include the 43km R&R Sports Otago Peninsula Challenge on February 1, the inaugural Alpine Epic 260km stage race from Mt Somers to Tekapo from February 25 to 28 and the 50km Motatapu Icebreaker starting at Glendhu Bay, Wanaka on March 14 and finishing in Arrowtown.