News & Events

Cycling celebration hits the city this weekend

Thursday January 23 2020

Palmerston North is getting behind this weekend’s Gravel and Tar cycling events by hosting a public celebration – Over the Line – at the finish line in Memorial Park on Saturday (25 January).

“We’re encouraging people to come to the event to show support to the competitors as they complete one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world,” says Palmerston North City Mayor, Grant Smith.

Over the Line is a free event for all ages with live music from Jimmy and the Jets, Ripple Effect and other local performers. Food trucks, bouncy castles and face painting will add to the celebratory sense, and the Park’s pools will be operating as usual.

“We’ve got international competitors in our city for this challenging event and what better way to show our support than to give them a rousing reception at the finish line.”

Gravel and Tar’s main event, The Classic is a team-based elite cycling race for national and international riders. It’s 140kms in length and will be held on roads around the Manawatū district encompassing both sealed and unsealed (gravel) roads. It has become known as one of the toughest cycling races on the international cycling calendar.

For the second year, Gravel and Tar la Femme is being held with five gravel sections making up 40km and another 90km on the tarmac. It’s been labelled as "the hardest women’s race on the planet".

Slicks and Stones is the third cycling event which is an opportunity for novice or amateur cyclists to try out the challenging course.

All three events will finish on the top carpark of Memorial Park, with the celebrations and prizegiving happening in the Park. Local business Etech Engineering has created two stunning steel fabricated trophies for the winners of the two elite events.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to witness the strength and endurance of the international and national cyclists during the endurance race. A map of the course is available in the Race Manual on the Gravel and Tar website.

Road users are also asked to be careful around competitors racing during the event and respect the role of the voluntary marshalls assisting with traffic management.

Gravel and Tar received funding from Palmerston North City Council's 2019-20 Major Events Fund.