16 May 2024

Olympics 2024: Your chance to race like an Olympian

2:02 pm on 16 May 2024

The New Zealand Olympic team is calling on everyone to get their cycling on.

With under 80 days until the Paris games, the team has launched 'Tour de Fern-Sprint for the Fern' in partnership with Cycling NZ.

The event encourages people to use the state-of-the art Technogym Ride smart bikes to have a taste of what it is like to race 300m along the Champs-Élysées.

Olympic medallist Ellesse Andrews speaking to RNZ journalist Symone Tafuna'i at the Tour de Fern-Sprint for the Fern event.

Cyclist Ellesse Andrews. Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro

"It's so cool you can get that little experience of being in France," Olympic medallist Ellesse Andrews said.

Participants witness an immersive digital zone as the Parisian boulevard is projected onto the screen in front of the riders and cheering crowd sounds play in the background.

Andrews, 24, won silver at the 2020 games in Tokyo in the keirin by coming from the back of the field to scoop up a podium finish in her final two laps.

"Tokyo was such a whirlwind it was such a crazy time with the games being changed to 2020 to 2021 (after the outbreak of Covid-19)," Andrews said.

"It's going to be such a different experience leading into Paris 2024. The families are going to be there, and the spectators are going to be there. It's going to be absolutely different."

Cycling olympic representatives would be confirmed next week. Andrews said they "want to be bringing home medals".

"We want to go out there and put our absolute best foot forward and hope that brings home some cool results."

Cyclist Sam Dakin speaking to RNZ journalist Symone Tafuna'i at the Tour de Fern-Sprint for the Fern event.

Cyclist Sam Dakin. Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro

Fellow Tokyo competitor Sam Dakin was gunning for his second Olympic games alongside Andrews.

"I am very excited with the prospect of making the Paris team again and going to my second Olympics," the 27-year-old said.

"Training has never been better. Lots of personal bests in the gym, getting stronger, lots of muscle being put on so excited to see what the next 77 to 80 days bring as we prep for Paris."

Track cycling in Paris begins on 6 August.

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