Wairarapa businesses have come to the party to support one of the region’s major sporting events, the New Zealand Cycle Classic.
Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton has been announced as the naming rights sponsor for the five-day tour being held from January 10–14, while former world superbike star Aaron Slight has also stepped up to support the event.
The new major sponsor has supported the iconic cycle tour for several years by sponsoring the King of the Mountain jersey and hosting stages from its Ngaumutawa Road premises, including the time trial.
Manager Brent Stewart said the business decided to answer a recent call for community financial support from race director Jorge Sandoval after the previous naming rights sponsor, Trust House, stepped down. Stewart believes it’s important the event remains in Wairarapa.
“This is a great sporting event for Wairarapa. It has put the region on the international stage as a premier cycling destination, and with stages held across our towns and villages, including the popular stage in Martinborough, it helps promote the region far and wide.”
Slight, a cycling enthusiast, has also put money behind the event under his 111
[his former superbike racing number] business.
“Year after year, this event has attracted New Zealand’s top cyclists and many top international riders who’ve gone on to achieve great success in Europe or at the Olympics – the likes of Aaron Gate and George Bennett, and I think this leaves a lasting legacy for young aspiring riders to see they can achieve success too,” Slight said.
“But perhaps even more importantly, it also help create a love of cycling for riders of all ages and stages that encourages a lifelong participation in the sport.”
Cycle Classic race director Sandoval is thrilled to have the backing of Mitre 10 MEGA Masterton and Slight, which follows the support of another generous sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Their belief in our vision and dedication to staging this event here in Wairarapa and Wellington, providing countless athletes with a platform to showcase their talents and bring joy to our community, is very exciting.”
The 2024 UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic, to be raced over five days, is expected to attract a field of 120 international and national riders.
The complete race routes will be announced next month, along with some of the national and overseas teams who will be racing.