The Vodafone bicycle race will take place on Saturday. This is the third edition however this is the first under the Vodafone label.
Vodafone Marketing Manager, Natasha Liwuslili, says Vodafone is committed to supporting community events and youth.
Ms. Liwuslili says this year’s edition will take place at Freshwota as the community requested that this year’s race coincide with Freshwota community day celebration. She says the race will commence at the Freshwota park stage.
There are two categories, BMX and mountain bike. Ms. Liwuslili says the BMX race covers 4km around the sealed outer roads of Freshwota. However, the mountain bike race covers 25km starting from Freshwota park and through the street, past the field to Survival school.
From there it goes up to Beverly hills and descends downhill to Tassiriki, crossing the bridge to Erakor village and coming back to Enam Presbyterian church where the riders will head to club Hippique and go onwards to Teouma bridge where they will turn at the intersection to Teouma bay. They then will head back to USP and down to Au Bon Marche where they will head down to Freshwota clinic and go uphill the Vanuatu institute of technology. They will go further uphill to the VMF camp and descend downhill to the former National Housing Corporation, then follow the street back to the Freshwota park past JB barber shop.
Both races kick off at 8am. Ms. Liwuslili says police will control traffic to ensure the safety of the ridders. She says the race is open to both boys and girls 12 years and above, however those under 18 need signed parental permission.
Though it is not compulsory to wear a helmet, she encourages all riders to do so and also to make sure their bicycles are in safe condition before the race.
Ms. Liwuslili hopes to see new winners this year. She says a similar race took place on Santo during Luganville Day. She says they are looking at staging a race on Tanna however that would depend on the number of bicycles there and the interest of the youths.
Prizes are as follows for Saturday, in the BMX the prizes are: VT20,000, VT15,000 and VT10,000 respectively. In the mountain bike category, they are: VT30,000, VT25,000 and VT15,000.
Ms. Liwuslili acknowledges Vanuatu Beverage and Sun Productions for working together with them to run the bike races.