The Vantage Elite and U23 Road National Championships are moving further north, with Cambridge confirmed as the new host after a successful four year tenure in the Hawke's Bay.

The championships will be the new flagship event of the RIDE: New Zealand's Cycling Festival, which runs from February 13 to 16 in Waipā.

Cycling New Zealand CEO Jacques Landry said it was important for the integrity of the competition to head to a new destination after a three or four year period.

"Changing the location means national titles are contested on a new course, on different terrain, ensuring variety and a fair approach that doesn't favour one type of rider over another in the long term.


"It reinvigorates the event for the riders, and also exposes a whole new audience to top level road cycling as our most talented road riders battle it out for national jerseys."

The championships will include time trial and road races with full event details, including course details and the official race schedule due to be released in the coming months.

"This is a great step for riders like myself, with the professional season now being so long. Preparation for a national championship so early in the New Year wasn't ideal, early January is the only time we get to spend with our families and friends in New Zealand which is more important than anything so we [world tour riders] are all behind this change," said Team Jumbo-Visma professional George Bennett.

The new date gives domestic and world tour riders the opportunity to stretch their legs and gain race fitness through competing in key national and UCI events that take place in January across New Zealand and Australia, before contesting national titles.

As the headline event of the Hawke's Bay Summer Cycling Carnival, the Vantage Elite & U23 Road National Championships gained a strong following and great support from the local community and council.

Cycling New Zealand is confident that with the support of Waipa District Council, the team from RIDE Festival will produce an event that continues to capitalise on the momentum and reputation that the championships has gained.

RIDE Festival chairman Simon Perry said the festival is delighted to be to be given the opportunity to host the Vantage Elite & U23 Road National Championships.

"We look forward to delivering the event as part of the wider festival which will offer a range of events for spectators, community engagement and recreational cyclists alike."
Waipā and the wider Waikato region is known for its road riding as well as cycling trails and infrastructure.


The region's active road cycling community are kept busy with a number of community cycling events throughout the year and Cambridge itself is a widely accessible destination for many New Zealand cyclists and fans.

Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest welcomes the event.

"Waipā hosts many world-class and national events that bring huge benefits to our communities and contribute to such a great lifestyle. We've got a proud tradition of raising and nurturing world-class sports people and it's fantastic for the young people in our community to see these talented athletes in action as part of this outstanding event," he said.