A lot can happen in 10 years of cycle racing, so we’re looking back at the SRAM Tour De Ranges and where it all began!
The renowned beauty of the SRAM Tour de Ranges cycle route made the area a regular fixture of the Auckland riding scene over 10 years ago. As soon as the new State Highway 2 road from Pokeno to Maramarua was established, the concept to make the cycle route into a national event became a reality, as the main road wasn’t as busy anymore. Event organisers just needed a place to start and finish, so the Clevedon Community Board suggested the Clevedon A&P Showgrounds with the perfect capacity and location. SRAM got on board as a sponsor from the very beginning and in 2009 the SRAM Tour de Ranges was born.
Looking back at year 1:
The event was incredibly popular from the moment it launched with 951 entrants. The first ever winners were Kaytee Boyd & Peter Latham who won prize money each of $700. The main difference in the riding back then was that there were more individual riders, and the bikes had one set of wheels (rather than training and racing sets of wheels). The bikes weighed about 7.5 - 8kg compared to the 7kg or less bikes we see now.
One memorable couple who entered in year one were excited to be in their first ever cycle event. They stopped every 15km for a cup of tea and at Kawakawa Bay they set up lunch on a picnic blanket. Needless to say it was a long wait for organisers to see the leisurely couple arrive back.
The feedback from year one was that it was a great course and a nice time of year to ride on quiet Auckland roads.
What are some changes that have affected riding in the last 10 years?
The Dynamo Team Championship concept has become popular recently and resonates with riders as it adds another level of professionalism and competition to riders whether they are at a social or elite level. Those involved have team jerseys they wear in the race and at prizegiving as well as leader jerseys and a point system. The concept has encouraged more riders, especially those over 30 to get engaged again in riding in events.
What makes SRAM Tour de Ranges special?
When you see Dion Smith who got second in the SRAM Tour De Ranges three years ago, becoming the first NZ rider to don the famous polka dot King of the Mountains jersey at the Tour De France this year, you realise what a special thing it is that an event like this has the elite professionals lined up next to weekend warriors in the same race on the same day. That’s something pretty special.