The 2018 Tshwane Classic, in association with Jacaranda FM and Sun Time Square, has the stated aim of breaking down the financial barrier to entry in South Africa’s current tough economic climate.
This was the overriding message at the event launch today at Sun International’s Maslow Hotel at Time Square in Pretoria. It has led to entry fees being reduced significantly for this year’s race, which takes place on 4 November 2018 and boasts total road closure for cyclists.
The second edition of the Tshwane Metro’s official mass participation road race in a traffic-free environment was launched by the Tshwane Health MMC Sakkie du Plooy, amongst a host of mayoral council members, other dignitaries, celebrities, and sports stars.
Entries are now open and the 98km entry fee has been reduced to an affordable R330 per rider. Entry fees for all the other distance options have also been pinned at an affordable rate.
“With entry numbers in all cycling races declining consistently over the past two years we are hearing punch drunk consumers loud and clear. Statistics show the number of cyclists in South Africa keep increasing, yet participation totals in events are plummeting in many cases,” said Tshwane Classic organiser Mauritz Meyer.
Although the Tshwane Classic was the exception to the rule in its inaugural edition last year with more than 5000 cyclists taking part, Meyer is very conscious of the economic climate.
“Our economy is under pressure and we would like to break down the financial barrier to entry and make the race as accessible as possible to everyone who rides a bicycle.
“The reduced entry fees have been made a reality by delightful support from a host of sponsors and the Tshwane Metro, and we can’t thank them enough for their contribution,” said Meyer.
Courtesy of the Tshwane Metro’s support, a total of 342 metro police officers, 250 marshals and more than 20km of barricading will be deployed to ensure total road closure for cyclists in the
According to Meyer the term “total road closure” is easily said and often taken lightly by cyclists, but before it is advertised an organising entity must be 100% convinced that the plan to ensure closure is in place and executable.
“It’s one thing advertising it but implementing it effectively on race day on a total of 98 km of roads only comes after countless hours of meticulous planning by paranoid city experts.
“The logistics around ensuring full closure on a road circuit is a massive task and the Tshwane Metro worked tirelessly and relentlessly, overcoming many obstacles along the way, to ensure their plan was solid and executable last year,” said Meyer.
“All bus and taxi routes were diverted, and the race route closed effectively by predominantly barricading and with the assistance of a massive personnel base from SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police.”
According to Meyer, signage will be erected on the race route one month prior to the event to alert motorists about closures. Various billboards in Tshwane will also be used for this purpose.
In preparation for race day the Metro is filling potholes on the route and will also sweep the entire route the day prior to ensure a debris free surface for cyclists.
“The Tshwane Metro is serious about the event and it’s positioning alongside the two other big city road races, and it’s wonderful for us to be a part of the process,” said Meyer.
According to Meyer the major challenge with total road closure is that operations don’t only focus on the management of the race circuit where intersections must be controlled. “The bigger task is the management of traffic around closures and creating awareness in the lead-up.”
“This starts in the months leading up to the event already with an awareness campaign on all major media platforms in Pretoria. On race day countless traffic signs and officials ensure traffic flow via detour routes.
“The Tshwane Metro will call on its residents to have patience on the roads on 4 November 2018. As was the case with the Cape Town Cycle Tour and Telkom 947, they expected resistance from some residents in the first year, but the positive response was remarkable. Tshwane has embraced the event and understand its value for the city.”
The Tshwane Classic in its first year already joined the elite ranks of road events elected by the Cycle Tour Trust that serve as premier seeding events for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
Entries and more information on the race are on www.tshwaneclassic.co.za. The event features distance options of 98km and 60km as well as 20km, 5km and 500 metre fun ride options.
Presented by Hectic Promotions in association with the Tshwane Metro, it’s wonderful news for the South African cycling community that the city is enforcing total road closure on the route to all other traffic except cyclists on race day.
Charities that benefit from the Tshwane Classic include the Tshwane Green Caps recycling initiative and the Winter Woollies knitting project.
For more information go to www.tshwaneclassic.co.za
MEDIA ENQUIRIES EMAIL WYNAND DE VILLIERS ON DEVILLIERSCYCLING@MWEB.CO.ZA OR PHONE 0832697659