NZ Women's races equipped with tracking system

Both the women's World Cup race in Wellington and the preceding Trust House Women's Cycle Tour, starting tomorrow, will be equipped with a tracking system to control the outcome of the events. While the system is already used at all ProTour, World Championship, Olympic and Commonwealth Games events and will eventually be in common use, it is the first time the devices will be used in New Zealand.

A microchip will be attached to the front wheel of the bike of each rider in the 124-strong field. During the three-day tour around Wellington and Wairarapa, the chip will be picked up by sensors at the start and finish of each stage. During the World Cup race in Wellington, there will be additional sensors around the course to help officials keep track of the field.

"Previously when they've had a blanket finish they've had to rely on video replays to sort out the placings. That can take a lot of time and it's not always reliable," said Race Director Jorge Sandoval. "This technology will give them an accurate run down of the placings within minutes. And during the World Cup race it means we'll be better informed about what's happening out on the course."

The riders were issued with their microchip today when they registered for the Trust House Cycle Classic. The women's peloton then took to the streets of Wellington in a parade from Parliament to Civic Square, where they were given a Mayoral Reception. The Trust House Tour starts on Wednesday, March 1 with a criterium around the Lower Hutt CBD, starting at 7pm. On Thursday the tour heads to the Wairarapa for two stages and then on Friday it returns to Wellington for a time trial around the Miramar Peninsula.

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