Renowned for being the toughest one-day race in the Southern Hemisphere, the K2 Cycle Race is one of New Zealand’s most popular races on the calendar. The 200km race attracts elite riders, weekend warriors and recreational cyclists, taking riders around the Coromandel Peninsula.
The varied route traverses sub tropical forest, pacific coastlines, rural farmland and the striking Pohutukawa coastline of the Hauraki Gulf. The course includes 2,300 metres of exhausting climbing. But what goes up must come down and the screaming descent is exhilarating.
The K comes from Kuaotunu, a beachside community on the eastern side of the peninsular. In Maori, Kuaotunu means to inspire fear in young animals. This element of fear will certainly be prevalent with around 1500 riders lining up for the 18th edition this weekend.
There’s the full circuit (the K2), the half circuit (the K1), the Nicholas Browne Challenge and the Gravel Ride. It’s a Bucket List experience, and a perfect opportunity to explore the Coromandel region, and then slow the pace down with a leisurely ride on the Hauraki Rail Trail.
This year the race will start in Thames, and travel in an anticlockwise direction through Tairua, Whitianga, Coromandel and back to Thames. The K2 is an extremely tough race, and it’s recommended riders get some training on the course prior to the big day.
If this epic ride tickles your fancy, you've got a whole year to prepare. The event is open to individuals, tandem riders and relay teams of 2. Age categories range from Juniors (under 23) through to Legends (over 75). The K1 and Nicholas Browne Challenge also have an E-Bike category this year. For the full Event Overview, registration, entry categories, map and prize details go to K2 Road Cycle Classic.
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