The Gravel and Tar Classic Union Cycliste International 140km elite men's is Oceania region's hardest single-day road race and it's back for a fifth year.

Pros and first timers in teams of six will ride the 140km course on sealed and gravel back roads of the Manawatū on January 25, 2020.

Last year was the first time women entered the GandT La Femme UCI on a 130km course, and they'll be back next month.

Although a shorter course, the Slicks and Stones 100 is no less strenuous, but is an opportunity for junior, masters, and "weekend warrior" riders to ride 100km on the undulating roads and gravel sectors that the elite riders will race on.

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Twenty-five international and national teams will be competing including teams from Japan, Malaysia, Sweden, Guam, Ireland, France and Australia, a New Zealand national team and a new NZ pro-cycling team.

The January 25 event starts in the Feilding Town Square with registration in front of the FMG Feilding office between 9am and 9.45am for those who have not already entered online.

Riders in the Slicks and Stones will be briefed at the assembly line at 9.50am, ready for the 10am start which will be a slowed, controlled pace until Makino Rd is reached, 3.7km from the start.

Cyclists will be given a free meal when they finish at the "Over the line" event at Memorial Park on Main St, and share the VIP marquee along with other entrants in the Gravel and Tar Classic and La Femme.

Live music, food and drink stalls and children's entertainment will add to the cyclists' prizegiving event where Riverdale School will be given their 22 bikes in the Great Bike Giveaway.

For more information: http://www.gravelandtar.com/ https://www.facebook.com/gravelandtarnz/