PRETORIA – Everything is set for the inaugural Mpumalanga Cycle Tour that takes place over six stages from Monday 18 to Saturday 23 January 2016. The Tour, generally referred to as the “Tour de Force”, is expected to draw some 120 riders. This will include a Lady’s Team from Namibie as well as an All-African Woman’s Team.
“After a thorough recce of the full route of 752 km, supported by all the relevant safety and security authorities of Mpumalanga, we have all systems set to offer a pristine road cycling event to showcase some of the most scenic areas in South Africa” said Mr Hendrik Wagener, Mpumalanga Cycle Tour Organiser and Vice President Cycling SA.
In thanking the comprehensive support from these sectors Wagener said that the road conditions are generally very good. He explained that all safety and security measures have been detailed to ensure a safe ride for the cyclists. The race will consist of four categories: Elite Men, Veterans, Ladies and an Open Category. Teams will compete for five jerseys on each of the six stages, i.e. King of the Mountain, Tour Leader, Points Jersey, Best Young Rider and Best Mpumalanga Rider; as well as a prize pot of R200 000.
The King of the Mountain (polka dot) will compete over 12 sectors with a total climb of 11 500 m, whilst the Points Jersey (green) will be contested over 15 Hot Spots and six finishes. The Leader’s Jersey (yellow) will be awarded to the rider leading in general classification.
Wagener also said that on Sunday 24 January an optional Criterium (Kermesse) for the professional riders will take place around the Mbombela Stadium. “This will form part of a family cycle day with various distances at the stadium on the same day which will start at 07:00” said Wagener.
The race stages will be:
- Day 1 – Monday 18 January 2016: Loskopdam, A Forever Resort to Badplaas, A Forever Resort – 193 km.
- Day 2 – Tuesday 19 January 2016: Badplaas, A Forever Resort to Mbombela – 98 km.
- Day 3 – Wednesday 20 January 2016: Roundabout Mbombela; Kaap Muiden; Baberton; Mbombela – 132 km.
- Day 4 – Thursday 21 January 2016: White River / Hazyview to Mount Sheba, A Forever Lodge via Pilgrim’s Rest – 109 km.
- Day 5 – Friday 22 January 2016: Mount Sheba, A Forever Lodge; Origstad to Blyde Canyon, A Forever Resort – 78 km.
- This stage will be dedicated to the late Ertjies Bezuidenhout.
- Day 6 – Saturday 23 January 2016: Blyde Canyon, A Forever Resort; Graskop; Sabie; Forever Hotel @ White River – 133 km.
- The final prize giving will take place at the Forever Hotel @ White River on the evening of Saturday 23 January.
“The Tour forms part of our extended partnership with the DCSR (Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation) of Mpumalanga, that was formed around the Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon into growing Tourism to Mpumalanga through major sporting events” said Christo Wagenaar, Marketing Executive of Forever Resorts SA. He also acknowledged the comprehensive participation of the various Government Departments and stated that road users will be properly informed of rolling- and related road closures to ensure the safety of the cyclists.
Forever Resorts SA
On behalf of the Mpumalanga Cycle Tour
Tel +27 12 423 5636
Cell: +27 79 523 3250
12 January 2016
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