Cycling: Bikes to burn down Eat St in city

Top cyclists will be flying down Rotorua's Eat St as part of an inner city street race held during the Rotorua Bike Festival.

The Novotel Lakeside Rotorua City Street Criterium will see the inner city transformed into a cycle circuit, with riders racing laps around the CBD.

The racing will be held next Sunday from 3pm to 5pm.

Cycling Rotorua president Peter Clark said top cyclists would hit speeds in excess of 40km/h only metres away from spectators and restaurant goers on Eat St.

"Spectators get the opportunity to view the riders up close every 90 seconds and appreciate the speed and intensity of the event."

He said the circuit, which starts outside Novotel, is only 1.1km long and races went for less than 30 minutes at a time.

Clark said riders would be going flat out in the sprint races and there would be plenty of entertainment both on and off the bikes.

"The course is very physical with road humps, a roundabout with cobblestones, a hotdog U-turn just before the finish and four 90-degree corners."

Clark said anybody could enter the contest with separate races and prize money for each category, ranging from youngsters and beginners right up to elite riders.

Riders from cycling clubs in Taupo, Tauranga, Whakatane, Opotiki and Tokoroa are all expected to attend.

Olympic medallist and professional cyclist Sam Bewley was on the cards to take part in the contest but has recently pulled out due to international racing commitments.

"The circuit they have looks awesome and I think a big crowd will be attracted," Bewley said.

The circuit starts outside the Novotel and heads down to the roundabout turning right onto Whakaue St, left on to Rangiuru St, left onto Arawa St, left onto Tutanekai St through Eat St and then looping back.

The Rotorua Bike Festival Parade will follow the street race, starting outside the Novotel at 5.30pm.

To enter the Novotel Lakeside Rotorua City Street Criterium follow the links on the Rotorua Bike Festival website. You can also enter on the day outside the Novotel before the event.


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