The gruelling iconic 100 kilometre Christchurch to Akaroa Le Race celebrates its fifteenth year on the 23rd of March with Coffee Culture as the event's new naming rights sponsor.
Billed as 'a slice of a mountain stage of the Tour de France,' the event also has a new bike shop sponsor, Chain Reaction Cycles, who have recently opened a new Specialized Concept store in Christchurch.
Coffee Culture's resident cyclist Kristie Fogarty says they are proud of their seven year association with the event and that stepping up to naming rights sponsor was a sign of their commitment to the cycling community and support to see local events flourish after the regions earthquakes.
"It's just such an awesome day out and a real badge of honour to say you've completed Le Race, Fogarty said. "Cycling and coffee go together hand in hand. Sweaty riders are welcomed in our stores and the clack, clack of cleats is a very familiar sound."
The race introduced the Ross Bush Memorial Trophy in 2011 which is awarded to the events fastest junior rider. The trophy is in memory of Canterbury cycling icon and earthquake victim Ross Bush and was won last year by national junior representative and member of the Benchmark Homes Cycling Team Hamish Schreurs.
Le Race is limited to 1000 riders and organisers say entries are strong. The event consists of 100 kilometres of fast flats, challenging hill climbs and exhilarating downhills that take cyclists from Christchurch, across an extinct volcano, to the French surrounds of Akaroa.
There are a number of options to take it on. The event can be done in one hit as an individual, either on a road or mountain bike or even a tandem, or tackled in two or three person teams, meaning it is achievable for anyone.
Photo credit: Tailwind Events