Three time Olympian, Ed Clancy has been confirmed in the five man squad along side New Zealander, Alex Frame who led JLT Condor to their first UCI victory of 2016. Former World Pursuit Champion, Frame will be on home soil in the race which starts on 22nd January in Wairarapa on the North Island.
Clancy will link up with Kiwi sprinter Alex Frame on the sprint stages of the five day tour. Steve Lampier, who finished 5th overall in the previous edition of the race, will lead the team’s charge in the overall competition.
Ed Clancy, MBE
The Classic is the squad’s first UCI race of the season, and John Herety was mindful of the quality of the competition in this years addition of the race. “The New Zealand National Squad, Australia’s IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team both bring strong teams and NovoNordisk of USA are another outfit to watch during the race.”
The event will be Ed Clancy’s first appearance in a stage race since the 2015 Tour of Britain after which and his career threatening back injury. Clancy has ear marked 2017 as his year on the road.“Ed is looking forward to helping Alex Frame on the sprint stages of the race.” explained John Herety who has been working with riders at their Australian training camp.
The opening stage
The opening day is predicted to be a day for the climbers. Riders will leave the host town of Masterton and head 121km east towards the coastal finish town of Castlepoint.
“The final 5km runs parallel with the ocean, there is a chance that coastal winds will affect the race adding to the nervousness of the bunch on the first day. It isn’t going to a straight forward run to the line, tactics are important.” added Herety.
Racing beings at 10.00 am local time (9.00pm GMT) from Copthorne Solway Park Hotel & Resort, Masterton. Predicted race finish 1pm local time (12.00 am GMT).
Highlights are available on news channels on TV1 and TV3 in New Zealand.