This year’s edition of the Bestmed Tshwane Classic will avoid the inner-city during the final 10km of the race by routing past Loftus Versfeld before turning back to the Voortrekker Monument. An added benefit of the new routing is that the iconic event will now start and finish in Eeufees Road in front of the Voortrekker Monument.
The Bestmed Tshwane Classic, presented in association with the City of Tshwane, Office National and Jacaranda FM, takes place on 3 November 2019 and 12 000 cyclists are expected to take part in Pretoria’s big annual cycling bash.
Race Director, Darren Herbst, has been hard at work with Tshwane Metro Police events logistical head, Wynand Scholtz, sourcing a route through the city. Their efforts have paid off with a flowing route which now avoids the congested city centre.
“Although it constituted a wonderful occasion to route the event through the very epicentre of the inner-city over the past two years, we needed to improve rider experience and sanitise riding conditions for the field,” said race director Darren Herbst.
“We couldn’t disregard the fact many riders felt intimidated on this section. The new routing past Loftus Versfeld will give them peace of mind.”
The new course through the city takes the following routing:
Following the descent past the Union Buildings in Government Avenue, the race goes left onto Madiba Road, left into Stanza Bopape (Church Street) and then right into Eastwood, which becomes Kirkness where it passes Loftus Versfeld.
Once the race has passed the home of the Blue Bulls (on the left) and the Afrikaanse Hoër Meiseskool (on the right), riders turn right into Jorisson, and then split right into Kotze and thereafter again split left into Visagie Street.
The race carries on with Visagie all the way to Schubert Street (R101) where cyclists do a left turn into Schubert. Schubert Street runs into Kgosi Mampuru II Street, past the prison with the same name. Cyclists then take the R101 Trichardt Road off-ramp shortly after the prison towards the Monument.
The last left turn is the off-ramp onto Roger Dyson and the race finishes on the off-ramp climb before the left turn into Roger Dyson. Roger Dyson becomes Eeufees Road and constitutes a neutral zone for riders back to the Monument for drinks and medals.
“We’re a lot more comfortable with the logistics to ensure a traffic and pedestrian free environment on this section. It’s also more flowing with fewer turns and it’s more beautiful than its predecessor.
“Riders will still pass memorable landmarks such as Loftus Versfeld and City Hall, so the Tshwane Metro is happy that the route ticks all the boxes required from the city’s perspective.
“The big differentiator from last year, however, is that it increases rider safety and enjoyment.”
Some riders will be relieved that the new routing over the last 4km now avoids the final climb towards the finish line at Freedom Park. It’s a fast and flat run into the finish line with only a slight incline on the Roger Dyson off-ramp before the finish line.
“Once they finish cyclists will be much closer to their vehicles because most of the main parking arteries are on the Southern side of the Voortrekker Monument off Eeufees Road.
“Loved ones will be able to get easy access to the finish line to spectate. Last year spectators had to park a kilometre from the finish line and then walk through Freedom Park to get to the line.
“It all adds up to a better and more rider friendly experience all-round, and we’re extremely thankful for the Tshwane Metro’s support in endorsing this new section and making barricading and personnel available to ensure safe passage,” he said.
Mauritz Meyer, Director of Hectic Promotions, a non-profit organisation that founded the Bestmed Tshwane Classic, is elated at the change. “This year is only the third edition of the Bestmed Tshwane Classic and we have worked tirelessly to refine the event over the past three years.
“This brings a big change and cyclists and their loved ones will be better served.”
“This move is a major catalyst to position the Bestmed Tshwane Classic alongside the Cape Town Cycle Tour and 947 as signature mass participation city cycling events in South Africa. We are now firmly set on this path,” he smiled.
The race was presented for the first time in 2017. It was a remarkable success, attracting 5000 riders. Last year the event reached a participant total of 7000 cyclists.
According to Meyer, support from the city increases year-on-year. “This is pivotal to create safe passage for cyclists in the city centre, and it enables the event to pass by important landmarks on the Pretoria landscape.”
He says the route selection is at the essence of the event’s success – an element underlined by participants on numerous social media platforms after last year’s race. “The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) has grown immensely with us in route planning and control, especially in the inner-city.
“The Bestmed Tshwane Classic is an event which brings the people of Pretoria together for one day in a year to celebrate the city’s beauty, amazing sense of community and camaraderie.
“These are all crucial elements in bringing positive change in difficult socio-economic conditions in South Africa. We are proud that the Tshwane Classic is an enabler in this environment,” he said.
“The event is also an amazing journey for all of us in the organisation, which consisted of almost 700 individuals on race day last year,” he said.
The Tshwane Metro has supported the race from the outset. Councillor Sakkie du Plooy, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community and Social Development, says the city has the stated aim of vesting the Bestmed Tshwane Classic as one of biggest sporting events in Africa.
The Bestmed Tshwane Classic starts and finishes in the heart of Pretoria at the Voortrekker Monument. The Monument presents the perfect venue for a mass participation cycle race with ample secure parking and venue space to activate a delightful race village.
Follow the race on Facebook @tshwaneclassic
Bestmed is a non – profit, mutual medical scheme registered with the Council of Medical Schemes. It has been providing quality healthcare to the lives of South Africans for over 52 years.
Bestmed owes its continued growth and success to its loyal members’. Bestmed is by members, for members and this philosophy is at the essence of the organisation. Bestmed is passionate about enhancing the quality of healthcare for its members’ and takes pride in its tailored Beat, Pace and Pulse plan options.
For more information, please visit www.bestmed.co.za
About Hectic Promotions: Hectic Promotions is a registered non-profit corporation and boasts a proven record of accomplishment in presenting mass participation cycling events which fulfil the requirements of sponsors, stakeholders and participants.
It is one of the foremost cycling event organisation companies in South Africa with a long history of presenting prestigious events on the national cycling calendar that benefit several community-based charity projects.
Released by De Villiers National Cycling, on behalf of the Bestmed Tshwane Classic, presented in association with the City of Tshwane, Office National and Jacaranda FM.
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