‘Tour de Fern’ pedals Olympic hype in Tauranga

Olympic cyclists Sam Dakin and Ellesse Andrews at ‘Tour de Fern’ in Auckland at Westfield St Lukes. Photo: supplied.

Bay of Plenty residents are invited to polish that winning spirit ahead of the Olympics with a dynamic nationwide event Tour de Fern – Sprint for the Fern, coming to town this weekend.

The Tour de Fern is a public cycling simulation, presented by Cycling NZ, that will visit Tauranga Crossing this Sunday, May 26, with two Kiwi Olympians to add to the excitement.

Attendees can jump on a stationary bike and embrace some friendly competition with their peers and some Olympians.

Using state-of-the-art Technogym Ride smart bikes, riders will experience a simulation of what it’s like to race 300 metres along the Champs-Élysées.

In an immersive digital zone, the famous Parisian avenue will be shown on screens in front of riders and displayed on larger screens for those cheering them on from behind.

A taste 

All participants will be entered on a nationwide leaderboard to see who can sprint the course the fastest, being ranked against the Olympic cyclists’ times.

Leaderboard scores can be accessed via the easy-to-use Technogym app, and there will be spot prizes up for grabs at each location.

Plus, selected current and past Olympians will attend each activation, allowing the public to mingle with and cycle beside them.

Sunday’s event in Tauranga will have star speed climber Julian David on-site 9am and 1pm and Rugby Sevens player Shiray Kaka present from 1pm-5pm.

Nigel Avery, chef de mission of the New Zealand Olympic team, says he is thrilled to be giving New Zealanders a taste of the Olympics – which is fewer than 100 days away – through the Tour de Fern – Sprint for the Fern.

“It’s going to be a fantastic event and we’re encouraging communities up and down the country to come along, show their support for our team and have a bit of fun in the process.

“We’re going to have Olympians popping in as we take the event on tour, so it’s a great opportunity to connect with them and see how you stack up against our elite athletes on the bike.”

Tour de Fern kicked off in Auckland, and will finish in Invercargill on June 24.

Olympic cyclists Ellesse Andrews and Sam Dakin at ‘Tour de Fern’ in Auckland at Westfield St Lukes.

185 Kiwi athletes 

About 185 New Zealand athletes are heading to the Paris Olympics, to compete in sports from rowing to rugby sevens, swimming, canoe sprint, sailing, athletics, cycling and more.

The Games will take place from July 26 to August 11 at iconic landmarks including the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower and along the Seine.

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