14 Nov 2011

Gorge closure dictates changes to cycle classic

2:55 pm on 14 November 2011

The closure of the Manawatu Gorge by landslides has forced a big change to the second stage of the New Zealand Cycle Classic in January.

Tour of Manawatu race director Jorge Sandoval says uncertainty over when the gorge will reopen means it might not be possible close the Saddle Road - an alternative route between Wairarapa and Manawatu - for four hours on 26 January 2012.

As a result, a new stage two has been arranged up Vinegar Hill in Rangitikei.

The new route will include more hill climbs and take riders to a higher altitude than the Saddle Road.