New Zealand cycling's magnificent seven have synchronised
watches and will compete in this country at the same time.
All seven of New Zealand's world tour professionals will
contest the national elite road championships in Christchurch
Greg Henderson, Julian Dean, Jesse Sergent, Sam Bewley,
Hayden Roulston, Jack Bauer and George Bennett are confirmed
for the championships on January 11-13.
Event organiser Simon Hollander said it was rare for all
seven riders to be in the same event.
''They all have many obligations and commitments at the start
of the year, so to have all of them on the start line is very
exciting. It's not happened before and I would hazard a guess
that it will never happen again.''
Hollander said while this group would be in the early stages
of preparing for the European summer season, the lure of the
black jersey as national champion would ensure it was a very
''All of the domestic riders, including a fantastic bunch of
under-23 talent, will all be peaking for this, while the pro
riders are just in build-up phase, so they won't have things
their own way.''
Changes to the 183.7km course mean there is one less ascent
of the Dyers Pass Hill, resulting in a final 20km flat run
for the finish. The championship week begins with the time
trials from Lincoln College on January 11.
The women's elite road race (120.5km) begins the following
day and will comprise eight laps with six climbs of Dyers