The award winning Forrest GrapeRide is the largest and most popular cycling event in the South Island of New Zealand.
Set in the heart of the world renowned wine growing region of Marlborough, it starts and finishes at the award winning winery of Forrest Wines, Renwick.
The standard 101km course is a ride through what can only be described as a picture postcard of some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenery. Many believe it to be the nicest 100 plus kilometre course in the world with almost 40km winding through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. New for 2016 is the 'Doctors Rest Clinic' which is stopping at the half way mark at Momorangi Bay. Click here for more details.
There is the shorter 42km 'Taster' course right up to the 202km 'Magnum' to choose from with multiple innovative categories within those distances.
Once riders have completed their ride of choice, it is a case of sitting back and enjoying watching the 100 grape crushing virgins do their stomping of 3 tonne of pinot noir grapes in the huge oat vat or simply sample the various food and wine options as the event builds up to the final prize giving ceremony.
This event has a real focus on fun, fitness, friends and family.
The Forrest Graperide has successfully run its first of three qualifying events for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship. This means the event will continue as the same enjoyable cycling challenge as always but with more opportunities for you as a rider. Over 300 riders have qualified to compete at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship in Perth, Australia having been placed in the top 25% of their age group in the Forrest Graperide. Click here to see if your name is on that list of qualifiers. Age grades for the UCI event are 19-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59,60-64, 65+. Riders who make the 25% will also automatically qualify for the Individual Time Trial final. If you miss the top 25% don't despair, if someone above you turns down their place in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship the next rider on the list gets an invitation to compete.
*Here is multisport legend Steve Gurney and 72 year old local Marlborough rider, Peter Preedy assisting a grape crushing virgin in the big vat of grapes!
Every year since the very first event back in 2005, one hundred women riders are chosen to tread 3 ton of the finest Forrest Estate pinot noir grapes in a purpose built oak vat. This centuries old european tradition is just one of the many features of the event. The juice is used to make the thousands of bottles of pinot noir wine are giving away to the returning riders from the previous years event. So if you rode in the 2015 and return for 2016 you will receive a 750ml bottle of the wine as part of your race pack!
'The Doctors Rest Clinic' will be a first and yet another innovation for cycling events where riders will be able to stop at the half way mark (54km), which just happens to be the beautiful Momorangi Bay and rest their weary bodies. You will be able to take on a coffee, tea, water, muffin and other sources of energy to revive you for the ride back to the venue. The clock will stop for you you get to Momarangi Bay and won't start again till you get back on your bike to finish the remaining 50km!