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Tour de Raro time to beat 42:16

Tuesday 15 May 2012 | Published in Regional


Triathletes will today try to best a record that is now 10 years old in the round Rarotonga cycle race, the Tour de Raro.

The Triathlon Association’s main cycle race known as the Turtles Tees Tour de Raro will be held today starting at 4.45pm in the town centre.

It is 10 years ago this month that the race record of 42 minutes 16 seconds was set by Australian ironman triathlete Luke Bell. New Zealand’s Cathy McManus holds the women’s record with her time 45:44.

Geoff Stoddart and Jennie George claim the local race records, having completed the ride in 44:38 and 45:47 respectively.

The event is kindly sponsored by long time supporter TurtlesTees Sportswear.

Last year 51 cyclists raced on a wet and windy day, down on the previous year’s field of 87 riders. It is expected that at least 50 riders will enter.

Cyclists should note that several groups of riders spaced a few hundred metres apart will form in the first few kilometres of the race depending on riders abilities.

Cyclists are asked to order themselves on the start line with the expected fastest riders at the front and the slower near the rear.

The Tour de Raro race goes clockwise – the opposite direction to the triathlon cycle.

Organisers are asking people to take extra care in the first two kilometres of the race, especially at the roundabout and through to Tupapa village, where traffic islands and intersections may act as obstacles.

Under triathlon association rules, cyclists are not allowed to use aero bars when riding within the peloton group.

Only once riders have reduced to groups of four or less in line are aero bar positions acceptable. To avoid accidents, do not follow too closely.

If conditions are windy, extra care will be required by all riders.

Avoid following too close and be especially wary of sideways movement in wind gusts. Cyclists might best position themselves behind rather than beside.

A police motorcycle escort will proceed 50 metres in front of the leading riders.

The Triathlon Association has arranged electronic timing of the race by Sports Timing New Zealand Ltd under the skilled management of Richard Brewer and Stuart White.

An ankle strapped transponder will be allocated to official entrants. The finish line arrangements, in a coned off section of the road, will be advised in a race briefing shortly before the start.

Cyclist are asked to gather at the start line area from 3.45pm to get your name on the start board and receive a transponder.

Within an hour of start time, most riders will have circled the island and be ready to wind down at the after race function and prizegiving to be held at the Edgewater Resort and Spa from 7.30pm.