The Bestmed Tshwane Classic boasts a very special venue and this year various refinements are being implemented at the Voortrekker Monument to improve the experience for the 12 000 cyclists expected at Pretoria’s signature mass participation cycling race on 3 November.
According to race organiser Mauritz Meyer, the significant annual increase in entries for the Bestmed Tshwane Classic, presented by Office National and Jacaranda FM, has meant that the organisational committee has had to continually think on their feet to ensure that rider experience isn’t jeopardised at the venue.
“We haven’t had the luxury of the gradual growth, which the Cape Town Cycle Tour and 947 experienced in their founding years. The Tshwane Classic has proven to be extremely popular from the outset. We hosted 5000 cyclists in the first year and last year saw a 50% increase in participant numbers.
“This remarkable growth has kept the organisation very honest in the way that we hold ourselves accountable. We have had to ensure that we accommodate this rapid growth.
“During this process it was important to have the right partners and in this instance the Voortrekker Monument has been exemplary,” he said.
The big change for 2019 at the Monument is that the finish moves to Eeufees Road where the race also starts on the morning. This cuts out the previous final climb towards the finish line at Freedom Park and brings a fast and flat run-in to the finish via Trichardt Road. The finish is at the top of the Eeufees Road off-ramp off Trichardt Road.
Cyclists will be closer to their vehicles once they finish their ride as most of the main parking arteries are situated on the Southern side of the Voortrekker Monument adjacent to Eeufees Road where the race also starts.
“In the previous two years, most riders had quite a way to get back to their cars from the one side of the Monument to the other. It included a nasty hill past the Amphitheatre, which added insult to injury following their ride,” said Meyer.
“Bringing the finish to Eeufees Road makes sense for so many reasons. This brings a big change and cyclists and their loved ones will be better served.”
Referring to cyclists’ supporters, Meyer said loved ones will this year 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 up to the finish line.”
With all the action moving to the Southern side of the Monument this year, the race village also moves up to the parking lot at main entrance of the actual Voortrekker Monument building to be closer to the finish line.
The Blikkantien Restaurant and Avocado Deli will increase their capacity on the day to ensure cyclists can get enough to eat and drink while a big beer garden also forms part of the picture this year. The beer garden will be set up on the platform overlooking the city next to the Blikkantien.
Riders can also book for the very popular Voortrekker Restaurant buffet lunch this year. The Voortrekker Monument Restaurant served as last year’s prize giving venue. With the move of the race village up to the Monument itself, the restaurant can this year offer its signature buffet to cyclists.
Bookings for the lunch buffet are essential and these riders are advised to park at the Voortrekker Restaurant grassed parking on the Northern side of the Monument on the morning before their ride.
In a delightful new initiative, all riders can book a visit to the Monument itself for up to five family members at a 50% discounted rate when they enter on-line. Guides will be on hand on race day to provide guided tours through the Monument building.
“This is a wonderful new addition,” said Meyer. “This means families can spend some time inside the Monument while they wait for their loved ones to finish the race. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time and well worth the visit!”
To round things off at the venue, the prize giving function is being hosted at the Memorial Garden amphitheatre. “This is a very special venue as well and we are very fortunate that the Monument is making this area available for the prize giving.
“I am well-pleased at the changes we are implementing. I believe it all adds up to a better and more rider friendly experience all-round,” said Meyer.
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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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