Gravel and Tar
The Gravel and Tar held its third edition in 2018 over and throughout the beautiful roads and scenery of the Manawatu region in New Zealand.
The Gravel and Tar Classic UCI 1.2 race is a 130km international elite men’s cycling race with five gravel sectors making up approximately 40km. It is gaining the reputation as the hardest single day road race in the Oceania region.
In 2018, after two years of successfully running the Gravel and Tar Classic, the event organisers were awarded 1.2 status of the race by the UCI world governing body.
It was the only UCI 1.2 race on the Oceania calendar in 2018, and only the second one day race behind the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race (UCI 1.1), in Australia.
For the first time in 2019, there will be a women’s Gravel and Tar cycling race to accompany the men’s event. Like the men’s event, the Gravel and Tar La Femme UCI 1.2 will comprise five gravel sectors making up approximately 40km and another 60km on the tarmac.
The event is expected to attract the top Australian and New Zealand women’s teams to compete and it will be a uniquely hard race on the international women’s cycling calendar.
The Slicks and Stones event is a race for the people. It gives junior, masters and weekend warrior riders the chance to experience the same arduous course as the professional riders, by following the Gravel and Tar La Femme course.
It replaces the former Gran Fondo event, which has drawn hundreds of entrants in the past few years.
About Greasy Chain Charitable Trust
The Greasy Chain Charitable Trust, chaired by Stephen Stannard, was borne of a passion for cycling in Manawatu as a way to:
1. Improve public health (particularly the reduction of obesity and type two diabetes) through regular, healthy, outdoor exercise
2. Reduce the current levels of increasing work-related stress in today’s work environment
3. Provide greater independence for people, particularly older people unable to drive
4. Over time, increase the amount of urban cycle trips taken by the public and thus reduce noise and carbon emission pollution
The Greasy Chain Charitable Trust aims to achieve this by operating a not-for-profit charitable organisation to facilitate and manage cycle events through the support and promotion of cycling activities of a charitable nature throughout Manawatu.
What is Union Cycliste Internationale?
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI; French for “International Cycling Union”) is the world governing body for sports cycling and overseas international competitive cycling events.
The UCI, based in Aigle, Switzerland, sets the standards for the sport of cycling and promotes the sport for health and fitness.
It issues racing licences to riders and enforces disciplinary rules.
The UCI also manages the classification of races and the points ranking system in various cycling disciplines, including
mountainbiking, road and track cycling, for both men and women, amateur and professional.
Riders in the Gravel and Tar UCI men’s and women’s events will be aiming to add points early on to kickstart their season points tally.