Palmerston North turned on a hot summer's day for the 133.2km Gravel and Tar cycle race, now in its fifth year.

The Gravel and Tar La Femme 115km elite international and NZ female cyclists started at 11am in Feilding Town Square.

New Zealanders Niamh Fisher-Black won in 3.28.57 with first-time G&T competitor Samara Sheppard 28 seconds behind her, and Australia's Ella Bloor in third place, crossing the line 1 hour 51seconds later.

The Gravel and Tar La Femme gravel section.
The Gravel and Tar La Femme gravel section.

New Zealand again set the winning pace from Australia and Guam cyclists in the UCI men's elite classic.

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Hayden McCormack and Luke Mudgway took first and second placings ahead of Sweden's Samuel Volkers.

McCormack raced the Feilding to Palmerston North course in 3.27.32, and Mudgway at 3.30.55 who just pipped Volkers at the finish.