K2 cyclists ready to tackle Coromandel
Cyclists are gearing up for the toughest one-day challenge in the country at the Flight Centre K2 starting from
Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula this Saturday 28 October.
All events finish in Whitianga this year but starting points vary depending on the distance to be raced. The 50km
Nicholas Browne Challenge starts in Tairua at 9.30am. Cyclists in the Cervelo K1 100km race start in Thames on Albert St
The 200km cyclists start and finish in Whitianga with staggered starts on Buffalo Beach Rd, beginning with the men’s
elite at 7.45am. They will face the toughest climb of the day early up when they reach Whangapoua, heading over the hill
to Coromandel and along the Thames Coast Rd to Thames before a gruelling section over the Kopu-Hikuai Hill.
“K2 is the longest and toughest one day race in New Zealand and every year cyclists of all ages return to this great
race to challenge themselves,” says coach Josh Page, who shared his eight top tips for a successful K2 on Road Cycling
NZ online magazine.
Co-organisers Keith and Rita Stephenson and Andy Reid give proceeds of the event to various charitable goals including
the establishment of an outdoor education centre on the Coromandel under the Spirit of Coromandel Trust.
“We have more than 1000 entrants joining us this year from as far as Singapore and Australia,” says Keith. “We love
hosting riders from all over the globe and we appreciate drivers’ taking it easy and watching out for our visitors and
locals who are taking part in the event.”
Also strong in the lineup of riders are the women. Some 20 percent of competitors are female in this year’s event.
Course outlines can be found on the K2 facebook page and results will be posted live onto the K2 website at
Andy says the Flight Centre K2 tests your mind, body and soul. “There’s been a huge amount of training by competitors
including some participants who have never competed in the event before and others who returning to the K2 who have
never missed a single year. We are like family and we welcome them all.”
The event also tests your bike. There was also a great deal of preparation going on this week as riders check and
re-check their gear and motorists were advised of the need to share the road on Saturday.
“We work closely with the Eastern Waikato Police to make sure every Flight Centre K2 event is safe for cyclists,
spectators and motorists,” says Andy. “Cyclists have been fully briefed on the need to cycle no more than two abreast at
a time and allowing traffic to pass when it is safe to do so.”
The Flight Centre K2 is one of three largescale outdoor events organised by the Spirit of Coromandel Trust, which was
set up in 2000 to encourage people of all ages in to outdoor activities, particularly sport.
General Manager of Destination Coromandel, Hadley Dryden, described the K2 as one of the most enduring and iconic events
in The Coromandel. “It is a great spectacle that shows off the dramatic landscapes and amazing coastline our region is