During my 2 weeks in China regarding the Tour of Poyang Lake I got to know this great guy! Our sport director, Emil Unaas, knew him for some years back, and asked if he wanted to join our team in the stage race. Besides he's a extremely nice guy with a real good sense of humor, he's also a strong rider, and have and incredible sprint. Brad is from New Zealand and know the roads really well over there. Over the last weeks, we have been looking at lot on different places for cycling in Southern Europe, but finally we are going abroad our own continent. Enjoy!
New Zealand has many great places to ride. I am from the South Island so this is where the focus will be.
In the last 5 years a lot of development of off road cycle trails has occurred. The most famous is the Central Otago rail trail a scenic 160km route through fantastic landscapes. Usually best to attempt over two or three days.
For the racers there are two major 1 week tours the most famous and tough Tour of Southland and the UCI 2.2 NZ Cycle Classic. The biggest one day race in Lake Taupe Cycle Challenge 160km over 12,000 people take part. I am from a city called Dunedin which is very hilly.
We also have the famous Otago peninsula with a cycle way down most of the 40km. There is also a challenging highcliff road which goes over the top and looks down on the bays of the harbour below. It was recently named in the Lonley Planets world top 10 bike riders!
The best regions for cycling in the South Island are Central Otago including Queenstown with its Adventure Tourism activities. Nelson Marlborough is also a fantastic region with many vineyards and hills to climb. The biggest city in the South, Christchurch also has some great riding on the Banks Peninsula. Best time to come is in Summer from January to March.
Best airline is Air New Zealand with flights from London via LA. Also if you are looking at going to Australia New Zealand is very close and there are connections from all major Australian cities to Queenstown, Christchurch. Wellington and Auckland.
What are you waiting for?