Jorge Sandoval has been hoping for the best and preparing for the worst over the last month.
As the event director for the popular Trust House North Island Team Series, a team road cycling series raced through out the Wairarapa over five separate weekends, Jorge has been keeping an extra close eye on the Covid-19 Alert Levels and the implications they pose for events.
“I always look forward to staging the Trust House North Island Team Series as it’s a great event for cyclists to kick-start their season. This year things still very challenging with Covid-19, however it was great to see the region move into Alert Level 2 today which has given me the confidence (pending any significant changes to running outdoor events in the Delta Alert Level 2 environment) to continue with planning as I know there is a strong desire from our riders to return to racing. Since I announced I would run this Series in Alert Level Two with additional changes that comply with Government guidelines, I have been inundated with entries,” says Jorge.
This year’s series has attracted 22 teams with riders from Manawatu, Wellington and Wairarapa, who will make up the four race categories.
With Covid-19 restrictions currently in place under Alert Level 2, Jorge has taken advice from Cycling New Zealand about best practise for holding cycling events during different Covid- 19 Alert Levels (based around the available guidelines issued by Sport NZ and the Government), to ensure the safety of riders and of officials as well as sign up to the ‘Voluntary Code for Events’ which follows best practice expectations, based on Ministry of Health guidance.These measures include all riders and officials needing to sign in for contact tracing purposes and adhere to good hygiene practises (including mask wear while not racing) and staying home if they are sick. Non-essential supporters and other spectators to also asked to stay at home. In addition each grade category will be raced separately with separate facilities. . At the conclusion of the race, riders will need to return home and forgo any prize giving. If, at the conclusion of the five race series, the region is in Alert Level 1, Jorge will look at hosting a final series prize giving.
“There’s been a lot planning going into ensuring this series is run under the new Alert Level 2 guidelines and I have communicated this with all our riders so they understand what responsibilities they have to ensure we race while following best practise and to support us being able to continue to deliver events during changing Alert Levels.”
For the second year in the Series’ history, riders will race in grade categories rather than age groups. Also, a women’s grade will be run due to the growing demand from female riders.
“Over the last few years, I’ve listened to feedback from riders who have taken part and last year revamped the Series, so riders are grouped in their ability category as opposed to their age. This worked really well and I will be doing the same this year so riders will now race against riders of the same ability.”
There are three teams representing Wairarapa in this year’s series with two sponsored by Tararua Builders and the Coupland's/Booth's Group.
“The boys have been training hard over the last few weeks in order to have a good series and hopefully win a title,” Sandoval said.
The first race in the five-race series begins and finishes at Alfredton School, north of Masterton on Sunday, 12th September. Teams competing in categories 3 and 4 will complete 65km while those in category 1 and 2 will complete 102km.
Sunday 12 September 2021
Race One: Alfredton Circuit - Alfredton
Distance: 65km and 102km
Sunday 3 October 2021
Race Two: Alfredton – Pongaroa - Alfredton
Distances: 80km and 110km
Sunday 24 October 2021
Race Three: TTT and Criterium races
Sunday 14 November 2021
Race Four: Rangitumau – Mauriceville - Rangitumau
Sunday 5 December 2021
Race Five: Masterton – Bideford - Dreyers Rock – Masterton
For further information, please contact:
Race Director Jorge Sandoval
Mobile: 0274 464300