Queenstown skifield roads will host a new road-cycling race that will be the richest one-day cycling event in New Zealand.
Organised by a cancer rehabilitation trust, the first 20 kilometre mountain time trial will run from near Arrowtown to the Coronet Peak base building on March 12 next year.
Tipped to attract thousands of elite and recreational riders from New Zealand and Australia, it will offer $10,000 for both the winning men’s and women’s pairs.
The race will alternate between Queenstown’s two skifield roads, with the cooperation of skifield operator NZSki.
The Remarkables skifield access road is expected to be fully sealed before the 2017 event, which will possibly start at Jack’s Point.
Time trials, which attract thousands of participants in Europe, used to be held regularly in New Zealand before going out of fashion.
Cyclists compete against the clock and set off in pairs at timed intervals.
Next year’s event will come a week after the popular Motatapu mountain bike and running event between Wanaka and Arrowtown.
The mountain time trial organiser is the PINC and STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Trust, founded by Auckland physiotherapist Lou James.
The trust’s supported more than 5000 women and men since its inception in 2006.
James was Next magazine’s Woman of the Year in 2012 and is an AMP Scholarship ambassador.
She’s also a former junior triathlon team world champion.
The event will be launched in Queenstown this Saturday by two-time individual pursuit world champion cyclist and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alison Shanks.