Teams' champs winners from 2017 to bring best riders for Gravel and Tar Classic

Juggling the riders' roster will see Team Skoda Racing put their best cyclists forward when they return for the 2019 Gravel and Tar UCI 1.2 Classic.

The top NZ cycling team will travel to ManawatÅ« in January for their fourth outing at the event, a race in which they have tasted success in the past.

Race director Steve Stannard said the team was the first to get an invite, having competed since the inception.

"They are professional in their approach and always come to win."

Team Skoda will be out to replicate their 2017 performance where they won the teams' classification and had three riders in the top 10.

Team director Brad Tilby said the event was an important part of their summer programme and a great way to gain valuable UCI points.

"It's a good opportunity to test the team against international and top New Zealand riders as we get into the cycling season."

While the Team Skoda roster hasn't been announced, the current crop of world-level juniors transitioning to the senior ranks will likely start the race.

No matter who they send, Team Skoda would bring a lineup to the race that was capable of winning, Stannard said.

The Gravel and Tar Classic starts in Feilding's Manchester Square and finishes at Memorial Park in Palmerston North on Saturday January 1.

Hannah Rowe