Four World Tour professionals will headline next month's National Road Cycling Championships in Christchurch.
The 2010 champion Jack Bauer, of the Garmin Cervelo team, three-time world championship medallist Linda Villumsen of GreenEdge, and the RadioShack Nissan Trek pair of Jesse Sergent and George Bennett have all confirmed their entries.
Missing from the start list is this year's winner Hayden Roulston and Greg Henderson, both preparing for the Tour Down Under for their new pro teams, while two-time national champion Julian Dean is recovering after fracturing his shoulder blade in a recent training camp in Australia with his new GreenEdge team.
Other leading men to line-up include the 2011 podium finisher Jeremy Yates who has ridden for the Turkish-based Manisaspor team this year, US-based pro Jeremy Vennell, Garmin-Cervelo development rider Tom Scully, in-form European-based pro Chris Macic and the pairing of Tim Gudsell and Scott Lyttle, from the former PureBlack line-up.
Olympic track hopefuls Jo Kiesanowski and Lauren Ellis will start in the women's road race along with talented professionals Emma Crum and Serena Sheridan and duathlon star Melanie Burke, who won the famed Zofingen race three months ago.