Entries are now open for the 2021 Tour of New Zealand road cycling event, which is set to take place in a revamped format with no North Island stage.
The bi-annual cycling event was initially run over two stages, with competitors given the choice of starting at the bottom of the South Island or the top of the North (Cape Rēinga at first, Kaitaia in 2017), making their way along each stage over a week before meeting to finish the last day together with a criterium cycle-off in Wellington.
Event founder Peter Yarrell said the sheer logistics involved in running both stages simultaneously, combined with the event's steadily increasing popularity, had forced organisers to revamp the format.
The tour had gone ahead in a shortened format last year, from the lower half of the North Island riding south and the upper half of the South Island north, with both legs arriving in Wellington for the traditional criterium day climax.
Next year will be a South Island stage only, starting in Glenorchy on Saturday April 10, covering distances ranging from 50 to 100km until the criterium in Wellington a week later.
Yarrell said the 2023 version of the tour would be a North Island stage only. While the route was still to be confirmed, he was confident that the Far North would be involved.
"Everyone is looking forward to that. We have had quite a lot of pressure from riders wanting to cycle on 90 Mile Beach," he said, inviting Far North cycling enthusiasts to get their registrations in early for next year's tour.