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World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, is supporting the concerted effort of the City of Tshwane to establish the Bestmed Tshwane Classic as a major sporting event on the African continent.

The third edition of the Bestmed Tshwane Classic, in partnership with Jacaranda FM and Office National, takes place on 3 November this year, starting and finishing at the historic Voortrekker Monument in South Africa’s capital city.

“We are excited to see the development of this wonderful initiative. We are giving our full support to the city and will assist to entrench the race as a major sporting event for the African continent,” said World Cycling Centre Africa (WCCA) Director, JP van Zyl.

Van Zyl, who became South Africa’s first World Championship track medallist in 1999, is passionate about cycling development in Africa and through his efforts as UCI Africa delegate he has overseen the establishment and incorporation of 51 African cycling federations into the UCI.

“When I started the WCCA initiative for Africa 13 years ago there were only 7 recognised federations on the continent. Today Africa is up there and competing with the best in the world and producing champions of its own.”

Dimension Data’s Pro Tour team members Merhawi Kudus, Nic Dlamini, Mekseb Debesay, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Daniel Teklehaimanot are all products of the World Cycling Centre where they were coached and trained by Van Zyl.

“The UCI has a strong focus on developing the sport and its riders in Africa and we are delighted to see the efforts of the City of Tshwane to bring a cornerstone cycling event to the African continent in South Africa’s capital.

“I was present during the organisation last year and the race was presented very successfully. All the important building blocks are in place for the race to become a true city event and I won’t be at all surprised if it rivals the Cape Town Cycle Tour and Ride 947 in the next few years.

“The city successfully closed off the route last year to ensure safety of cyclists and, with the support of Jacaranda FM this year to drive the messaging behind the event, participants are likely to increase year-on-year.

“The route is absolutely delightful and presents a true challenge for all types of riders. Whether you’re trying to achieve a certain finishing time or merely just trying to finish – the City of Tshwane has the stated aim of accommodating everyone, making it truly the peoples’ race,” he said.

Besides the signature 95km race, which takes riders past all the major historical landmarks in Tshwane, fun riders are also catered for with the 50km and 20km routes, while kids can have a bash at either 5km or 500m at the Voortrekker Monument.

“For the professionals and the veterans racing categories, the Tom Jenkins ascent 15km before the finish creates balance in the route and presents the perfect platform to attack. It’s a steep climb close to the finish and this differentiates the Tshwane Classic route from its other city peers in South Africa,” commented Van Zyl.

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.

“All bus and taxi routes are being diverted, and the race route is closed effectively by predominantly barricading and with the assistance of a massive personnel base from SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police,” said race organiser, Mauritz Meyer.

“The Tshwane Metro will call on its residents to have patience on the roads on 3 November. As was the case with the Cape Town Cycle Tour and 947, they expected some resistance from residents in the first two years, but the positive response was remarkable.”

Charities that benefit from the Tshwane Classic include the Tshwane Green Caps recycling initiative, the Winter Woollies knitting project and the Tshwane Clinic upliftment project.

For more information go to www.tshwaneclassic.co.za

Caption: Pictured at a recent Tshwane Metro event presentation, from left to right, race organiser Mauritz Meyer, Tshwane Finance MMC Mare-Lise Fourie, Tshwane Community and Social Services MMC Sakkie du Plooy and UCI Africa Delegate JP van Zyl.

RELEASED BY DE VILLIERS CYCLING EVENTS, ON BEHALF OF THE TSHWANE CLASSIC.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES EMAIL WYNAND DE VILLIERS ON DEVILLIERSCYCLING@MWEB.CO.ZA OR PHONE 0832697659

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