Cops saddle up for tough bike challenge

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Patrol cars will be ditched for bikes tomorrow when the New Zealand police road and mountain bike cycling champs kick-off. 

About 50 boys and girls in blue are expected to do battle over the two-day event– which involves a tough road race, a 5km climb up Coronet Peak, a cross-country contest at 7 Mile and a downhill challenge at Wynyard Express. 

Not all contenders enter every race. 

It’s the first time in 18 years Queenstown has hosted the competition and local constable Craig Gibson – who is helping organise the champs – says biking is on the up in the area. 

“It’s such a progressive place for mountain biking and road cycling – the industry is really ascending at the moment here.” 

A North/South Island trophy is up for grabs, along with crowns for the king and queen of cycling. 

Gibson says while the contest’s mostly about having fun, “becoming the national champion of the police” definitely plans a part.