The BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge is now very much established on the cycling calendar as one of the ‘must do’ cycling events for riders of all abilities, a 7-day stage tour that engages with the competitor in everyone, whether it is a competition just to get to the finish as fast as possible near the front of the field, or to finish high amongst a riding category, or simply to finish each day and enjoy a beer or orange juice amongst friends.
Preparing for its 5th edition in February 2015, the event is also generating a whole new category of competitors as corporate teams line up to take on each other, the 7-days and 13 stages of riding through heartland New Zealand as they compete for a prize package valued at $100,000 – all of which will be donated to a charity of their choosing.
Introduced for the first time in 2014 and attracting 11 teams, the corporate category already has 10 signed up to be on the start line on February 15 2015 with more in the mail, and Nathan Cox of event organisers Dynamo Events expects plenty of good natured rivalry on and off the bikes during the week.
“The corporate category was a great success last year and already the word seems to have spread with many of those teams and a few new ones signing up for next February. What we found is that the corporate category was no different to the rest of the participants, regardless of ability and ambition, the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge is welcoming of all riders. There are some teams that will be riding at or near the front of the race every stage and others who will be more sedate in their approach.
“The common factor across all the corporate teams and in fact all riders is the social side of the ride, the camaraderie that develops through the week, it really is something special. There will be some great rivalries develop between teams – always in good humour, and the general buzz around the riders is something to see as they achieve each stage and each day of the ride to then share a drink and a meal at the nightly prize giving in some great towns along the way.”
Already confirmed or having indicated their entry for the BDO Challenge are BDO (2 teams), ASB (2 teams), Westpac, 2 Degrees (2 teams), Novartis and Fidelity Life. Teams can either have riders committed to the entire week or have riders drop in and out of the BDO Challenge throughout, allowing engagement with regional offices as the ride makes its way up the North Island, visiting places such as Masterton, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Ohakune, Taupo, Hamilton and then to the finish line in Pukekohe. Teams must have a minimum of four riders per stage and a maximum of six.
Novartis is a new entry in the Corporate Category in 2015 and has special reason to be on the start line and enjoying each stage along the way, they are the pharmaceutical company that supplies the much needed drugs to Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand – the official event charity. Novartis will be riding with and for MS throughout the week, highlighting the great work done by the charity and helping raise money for them.
Individual riders are encouraged to fundraise amongst friends, colleagues and families for MS, in itself a bit of a competition amongst participants to see who can raise the most for a great cause. Corporate Teams must nominate their own charity should they win the Corporate Challenge, that charity will be donated a prize package totaling $100,000 in goods and services, including the use of a Ford car for a year, accounting services, cash in a bank account, advertising and marketing services and more.
Cox expects similar numbers to line up in 2015 as previous years.
“The BDO Wellington to Auckland Challenge has established itself within the cycling community as an experience like few other events can offer, a genuine stage tour on some amazing roads. We will again have over 200 cyclists lining up across all event categories, from the faster men and women in Category 1 to the more social riders in Category 3 there is a speed and bunch to suit everyone.
“There will again be some great characters on the ride, some who have ridden before and others that will be new to us. The beauty is over a week of riding and socializing is that everyone gets to know everyone, either on the bike or over a meal and a drink in the evenings.”
Entries remain open online, with a variety of price categories from the Full Monty to riding only.
For more information and entry details for the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge, CLICK HERE.
The BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge
· Feb 15 to 21 2015
· 7 Days
· 13 stages
· 110km per day (approx.) – stage distances vary from 38km to 122km
· Three individual rider categories to suit your average speed
· Team category (two riders)
· Corporate Team Category
· Run by Dynamo Events, Director Stephen Cox (former Commonwealth and Olympic cyclist)