Inaugural Oceania Cycling Confederation Pacific Cup set to boost cycling development in Pacific Islands
The inaugural Oceania Cycling Confederation (OCC) Pacific Cup will be held December 9 and 11 in Guam and will serve as a catalyst for further growth across the Oceania region.
Comprising a time trial on Friday and a road race on Sunday, the Pacific Cup is held concurrently with the Tour of Guam. The two races provide an opportunity for riders across Pacific nations to test themselves in a strong regional competition.
The last pacific island cycling event held was at the Pacific Games in Tahiti in 1995. The 27-year absence of an inter-island cycling competition has seen the Pacific Cup a highlight of the Oceania calendar, with strong entries from across the region.
Competitors from seven nations, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia and Tahiti will contest the men’s events.
In a sign of the strength in women’s cycling, riders from Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia and Tahiti will line up in the women’s race.
The hosting of the Pacific Cup has been made possible thanks to significant Solidarity funding from the Union Cycliste Internationale, who are committed to supporting the development of cycling globally.
Oceania Cycling Confederation President Tony Mitchell said, “The Pacific Cup marks a significant milestone for the development of cycling in Oceania. For the first time ever, our Pacific nations will compete for the title of Pacific Cup Champion.
“This event brings together seven Pacific nations and sees both male and female athletes competing.
“On behalf of Oceania Cycling Confederation, I wish the athletes competing all the best and I thank Guam for hosting the inaugural Pacific Cup. “
Oceania Cycling Confederation Vice President Pacific and Guam Cycling Confederation President Eric Tydingco said, “We’re excited to finally get this event going. As a grassroots cycling country, having the Pacific Cup nested within our annual one-day Tour of Guam race makes the most sense.
“Not only will we be crowning the first Pacific Cup Champions, this race will also determine the Guam National Road Champions.”
Initially planned to be held in December 2020, the Pacific Cup was postponed in both 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2022 edition will feature road time trial and road race, with future editions looking to expand to other cycling disciplines, beginning with mountain bike.
The introduction of the Pacific Cup is the first step in the OCC’s ambitious athlete pathway strategy for pacific cyclists. With the goal to creative competitiveness of pacific riders at Oceania Championships and the return of cycling to Pacific Games in 2027.
The 2023 Oceania Pacific Calendar will be announced in early 2023.