This report is just in from Manawatu Standard, via online Stuff:

BREAKING NEWS: Palmerston North has been short-listed as one of three possible locations for the New Zealand Cycling Centre of Excellence.

The other two still in the running from an original field of seven are Auckland and Waikato-Bay of Plenty.

Mayor Jono Naylor said he was delighted but not surprised that Palmerston North’s bid had made it through the first round.

Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc) chief executive Peter Miskimmin said the evaluation team would visit each of the sites and hear presentations before a final decision is announced in May.

The four bidders that missed out were Wanganui, Taupo, Hawke’s Bay and Christchurch.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a mystery donor had given a $1 million boost to Palmerston North’s bid.

Palmerston North’s proposal, submitted to Sparc last month, is for a $24.3m facility, including an international-standard covered velodrome, with courts in the centre of the track, BMX and mountain-biking tracks.

Palmerston North City Council has identified up to $8.1m over two years that could be used to support the project, and Massey University has pledged $3m.

Sparc would contribute $7 million towards the facility.

The centre would also be the base for Sport Manawatu, BikeNZ, other regional sports codes and specialist sports medicine practitioners.

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  1. Very sad news for the many, many cyclists in HB. Perhaps we could now think about a new regional swimming pool (although the cost is heaps more than the velodrome would have been)

  2. Palmerston North would be a good result for Hawkes Bay, being so close. They also have the student population and the sports science division with their labs at massey. It’s also a little more accessible than Hawkes Bay. Putting parochialism aside, it’s probably a better location on many counts. Cyclists here have the best weather in the country and some great rides, so they will be OK. The French long ago concluded that if the sun is shining and your countryside is beautiful, why would you want to cycle anywhere else?

  3. Great news indeed. There are so many types of cycling. Mountain biking, Road biking, recreational cycling and yes track cycling. The later needing a fine track to suit the smooth tyred specialist bikes used. Out of all these styles of biking Im picking 98% can still be done throughout Hawkes Bay at any number of venues. My view is that this velodrome was very extravagant and very few of those who payed for it would have got to use it or benefit from the Hotel nights or meals that visiting cyclists would have consumed. With so many of the criterior wide of the mark Im even disspointed the Council spent what they did on such a gamble. It was NEVER going to happen.

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