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Wellington Tour’s 2011 route announced

New Zealand's Michael Torckler (Cardno Team) took a surprise stage victory.

New Zealand's Michael Torckler (Cardno Team) took a surprise stage victory. (Image credit: Pete Bruggeman)

The 2011 Tour of Wellington is set to include a new penultimate stage, the event’s organiser has announced. While much of the tour will remain similar to this year’s edition, its fourth and penultimate stage will be held on a circuit around the Wallaceville Hill in Upper Hutt.

Race organiser Jorge Sandoval is expecting a strong field for the event’s 24th edition. “Next year’s is the 24th version of the tour and we are looking forward to a great celebration,” he said. “The tour is now recognised overseas as the best cycle race in this country and I expect a big number of national and international riders. Six UCI continental teams will be invited to take part in the race,” Sandoval said.

The race will again finish with a criterium in Wellington and will once again not include a time trial in the event’s five stages. “Each year our event seems to discover new talent, riders come to the tour and we see them later winning stages in the Tour de France, Tour of Italy or winning world championships titles such as stage four winner in this year’s race Michael Matthews, who become the new Under 23 World Champion in last week’s World Championship in Melbourne,” said Sandoval.

The event’s queen stage will come early in the race, on just the second stage. The 125km stage includes more than five major hills, before reaching the 1.4km Te Wharau hill and then the 12km Admiral hill for a top of the mountain finish.

2011 Tour of Wellington route:

Stage 1: January 26 - Wellington to Masterton, 118km
Stage 2: January 27 - Masterton Circuit, 125.3km
Stage 3: January 28 - Masterton to Pahiatua to Masteron, 164km
Stage 4: January 29 - Upper Hutt Circuit, 120km
Stage 5: January 30 - Wellington City Criterium

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