The city of Pietermaritzburg will be placed in the world cycling spotlight once again after being awarded a Qualifying event forming part of the UCI World Cycling Tour.
Cycling South Africa has been triumphant in their campaign to bid against various competing countries for one of the Qualifying events of the new series of mass participation road races specifically targeting amateur riders. The Msunduzi Road Challenge, as the event will be known, will take place in KwaZulu-Natal’s capital city from 29th to 30th October 2011.
Collectively, ten events are staged in various countries around the world, contributing toward the UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) Final, reviously known as the UCI Masters Road World Championships.
The aim of the UWCT presents cycling enthusiasts the opportunity to be crowned World Champions, whilst contributing to the international promotion of the UCI’s “Cycling for All” events. This perfectly parallels CyclingSA’s “2020 Vision” strategy, to cater for both the elite cyclist as well as the everyday two-wheel lover.
The Msunduzi Road Challenge will be run in the same way as any mass participation road event, and will consist of a Time Trial and a Road Race however, Masters wanting to qualify for the UWCT Final need to finish their required distance within the top 25% of their field. In doing so they will automatically have the right to compete in the UWCT Final and race for the coveted UCI Rainbow Jersey. However, the general public can also enter and ride any of the race distances as they would in any other mass participation event.
As a mass participation UCI-ranked road race, the Msunduzi Road Challenge is added to the already impressive repertoire of CyclingSA-hosted events, including the UCI BMX Supercross and World Championships and the UCI MTB World Cups, which were all held in the city of Pietermaritzburg. The city will also be the venue for the 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships. Beautiful weather, good and challenging routes and an easily accessible location has made Pietermaritzburg a favourable environment conducive to hosting world-class athletes, and a mass- participation event of this calibre is certain to boost the tourism in the area. This has been acknowledged by KZN Tourism and the KZN Government, who is once again putting their financial support behind cycling and is the hosting sponsor of the Msunduzi Road Challenge, as well as SA Tourism, who is a support sponsor. Other sponsors will be announced soon.
CyclingSA has submitted a bid document to the UCI to host the 2012 UWCT Final, which will be awarded at the UCI Management Board meeting in September 2011.
Further information about the Msunduzi Road Challenge including where and how to enter, routes, website details, etc will be forthcoming soon so watch this space and start training to be part of another great CyclingSA event.