Latest Kiwi Star Starting Festival
New Zealand newest professional cyclist is the latest road cycling rock star to sign up for December’s Armstrong Motor
Group Festival of Cycling.
In just its sixth year Christchurch’s Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling continues on its quest to become New
Zealand’s premier cycling event. Scheduled this year for December 4th and 5th, the latest to sign up for this annual
gathering of New Zealand’s best cyclists is Christchurch teenage phenomenon Josh Atkins.
Atkins lines up at the Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling having just signed a professional contract with Lance
Armstrong’s development squad, Team Trek-Livestrong. The local Benchmark Homes rider will now be based in Boulder,
Colorado racing on the American and European circuits.
The still only eighteen year old came to the attention of international teams following success both at home and away.
He has won just about every national junior title available on the track, road race, time trial and criterium and last
year took a 3rd and fourth at the World Junior Track Championships. More recently the still only 18 year old claimed a
classy sixth only a handful of minutes behind Olympic and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Hayden Roulston, current
national professional champion Jack Bauer and current New Zealand number one Jeremy Yates.
Atkins will get another chance to roll the rock stars at the Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling. He will line up
for both the Avanti Long Bays Classic and the City Criterium, where he’ll face established Kiwi stars such as Hayden
Roulston, Jeremy Yates, Gordon McCauley and Robin Reid. Considered a climbing and time trial specialist the 80k Avanti
Long Bays Classic is a ready-made for a Josh Atkins break away on either Gebbies Pass or Evans Pass.
There is much to look forward to in 2010 Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling. On day one the 80k Harbour Ride will
see recreational riders following the Avanti Long Bays Classic on the same historic route around the spectacular
Lyttelton Harbour bays. Last year’s inaugural mountain bike option will return, with the 30k course offering options for
both experienced and recreational riders. The opening day concludes with the Benchmark Homes Kids Mini Bays, where
hundreds of kids aged eight to 14 take on a fun 5k or 10k around McCormack’s Bay, with Olympians and New Zealand
champions for company.
On Sunday December 5th the action moves downtown to the Oxford Terrace café strip for the Armstrong Motor Group City
Criterium. In an action-packed day, events vary from kids’ events, BMX racing to celebrity tandem races, open events for
keen punters to try the Euro-style excitement of criterium racing, to the feature invitational racing, which has been
dominated by Kiwi Olympians Greg Henderson, Wesley Gough, Jason Allen and Marc Ryan. Or you can join the thousands of
spectators taking in coffee and brunch while they watch some of the best cycle racing you’ll see on these shores.
Entries for the Armstrong Motor Group Festival of cycling are open now. For more details: www.festivalofcycling.co.nz