Renowned American sports adventurer Katie Spotz is among 170 cyclists leaving Glenorchy on Saturday for the eight-stage Tour of New Zealand fundraising ride/race.
In 2008, she became the first person to swim the entire 523km length of the Allegheny River between New York State and Pennsylvania.
Two years later, aged 22, she became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Tour of NZ field, also comprising riders from Ireland, England, Canada, Russia, Australia and NZ, competes in a 36km time trial from Glenorchy to Wilson’s Bay on Saturday.
Sunday’s 76km second stage runs over the Crown Range from Arrowtown to Wanaka.
The riders, whose final stages are in the North Island, finish in Wellington next Saturday.
Riders choose from a range of charities to support.
Spotz, who also competed in 2015, is raising money for NZ aid agency Tearfund to help stop human trafficking in Southeast Asia.
“The plight of so many people caught up in modern-day slavery is appalling, and this is one way I can do something about it,” she says.
The first four Tour of NZ races raised more than $1.3 million for charities.