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New women's UCI race for New Zealand

The New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) Women's International Cup of Cycling, a new event for 2009 in Masterton, New Zealand on March 1, has been granted a 1.1 rating by the UCI according to race promoter Jorge Sanodval.

"My team and I have been working to bring the World Cup back to Wellington," Sandoval said. "It didn't work out this time but the UCI has offered us encouragement with the 1.1 rating one-day race. It's ranked just below a World Cup race and there's plenty of UCI points on offer.

"This is great news for our sport and the region," continued Sandoval. "One-day races graded 1.1 usually only take place in European cities. I'll be running the event as though it was a World Cup race on the platform already established in the Wellington region by sponsors, officials, organizers and supporters. We must reproduce the momentum created in the World Cup rounds of 2005 and 2006. To have the NZCT on board for a second time is very special. It gives us the confidence to put on two first-class women's events on our own soil in 2009, and beyond."

Prior to the one-day race on March 1 will be the New Zealand Community Trust Women's Tour of New Zealand, a UCI-sanctioned stage race in the Wairarapa region from February 25 to 27.

NZCT chief executive Mike Knell said his organization was happy to help. "We are the largest founder of amateur sport in New Zealand and we're pleased to contribute to the success of these outstanding events. The one-day classic is a great challenge for participants, and an added boost to cycling's already high profile in the region."

For more information see www.cycletournz.com

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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.