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Manawatu Slicks and Stones 100 to become an ultimate sporting challenge

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Manawatū is well known for hosting enduring sporting events. The annual Gravel and Tar Classic for professional male cyclists introduced two new events this year - Gravel and Tar La Femme (for professional women cyclists) and the Manawatu Slicks and Stones 100.

ManawatÅ« Slicks and Stones 100 is steering to become an illustrious event on the national sporting calendar. It is open for amateur cyclists on the same day as the professional races and travels over a similar gravel and tar circuit. Already touted as ‘one of the toughest events in the Southern Hemisphere’ - it’s expected to become a ‘mark your calendar’ event for amateur cyclists seeking the ultimate sporting challenge.

A participant in this year’s Slicks and Stones commented afterwards that the event was excellent with a fantastic group of riders who were friendly and helpful. While they admitted to losing some skin and a bit of pride, they enjoyed the event immensely and look forward to returning next year.

Many entrants made the same comment and are spreading the word and expect that Slicks and Stones will grow into a much larger and renowned event.

In 2020 it’s being held on Saturday 25 January.

This year, Gravel and Tar La Femme, paid equal prize money with the men - one of the first events in the cycling world to do so. "Our race is leading the development of professionalism in women’s cycling," said Greasy Chain Charitable Trust Chair, Steve Stannard.

The first winner of the event, Australia’s Brodie Chapman said, "It was the most fun I’ve had on the bike - ever!"

Palmerston North City Council is again partnering with event organisers for 2020. Sacha Haskell, General Manager, Marketing and Communications agreed that the events all have the potential to become internationally renowned. "Having UCI status for both the men’s and women’s races means the arduous course will attract top national and international riders and means this event is on its way to becoming a highlight on the national and international sports calendar. Slicks and Stones allow amateur riders to have a go and experience more of the ManawatÅ« and to test their skills in a challenging, picturesque setting."

Westpac can also see a bright future for the Slicks and Stones 100 and the benefits it will bring to Manawatu and have also come on board as a major supporter for the next three years. The Greasy Chain Charitable Trust manages all three events and is launching the Slicks and Stones on 15 August, at Westpac Bank, Terrace End at 5.30 pm.

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