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The Founder of NZ Cycle Classic 

April 11, 2014
The Founder of NZ Cycle Classic

Jorge Sandoval MNZM arrived in New Zealand as a non-English speaking refugee, having been tortured as a prisoner in a Chilean concentration camp during the 1973 Pinochet regime. Jorge received the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006. A passionate cyclist, Jorge now runs the highly successful UCI ranked New Zealand Cycle Classic and the NZCT Women’s Tour of New Zealand.


I grew up in…
The south of Chile in a town called Tome, 600km south of Santiago.

I am reading…
I only read cycling internet sites and cycling magazines.

People tell me I am…
Too passionate about cycling and that my races are the hardest to compete in.

My life is linked to the cycling world because…
I wanted to be a boxer but found out it was too painful, and I suck at soccer. One day I saw an Eddy Merckx photo with blood all over him after a crash. I wanted to be a cyclist.

My favourite cycling story to tell around the dinner table is…
Tour of Qinghai 2009. A rider got dropped and ten minutes later we see at the back of the convoy on the opposite side of the road the rider’s team car doing about 100km/h. As the car passes me, I see the rider being held in the air by this big team masseur. The masseur drops the rider about 50 meters from the back of the bunch, and like a bullet he goes straight to the front, much to the amazement of riders in the bunch looking at each other as if asking, where did he come from?

A typical working day for me involves…
Taking my grandson Oscar to the school bus, coming home to feed the cows, checking the internet for news, working on planning my events or going to meetings, trying to fit in a ride during the day (at least 4 – 5 times per week).

When I get spare time, I…
Watch sports on television and visit my children.

Over time, my list of injuries now includes…
Back operation due to a nasty crash in a race in New Zealand, and an elbow operation after another crash.

If I could ride anywhere tomorrow, I'd go…
I’d love to do the Alpes d’Huez because it is such a famous hill, and a tradition in the Tour de France.

If I could go out for a ride with anyone, it would be…
My son because I love and miss him. There’s nothing better than going for a ride on a nice day with someone you love.


my second ever race in NZ 2


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