Entries open for national classic

Online entries for The Herald VW Cycle Tour, which will bring down the curtain on the four-day South African Road Cycling Championships in Port Elizabeth early next year, opened last week.

The Friendly City is set to be a hotbed of cycling in February as city fathers prepare to host the national championships (2 to 5), The Herald VW Cycle Tour (5 to 6) and a stage of the inaugural Tour of South Africa (22) in February.

In addition, the SA Masters’ Games (which includes cycling) will be held in PE in April.

The Herald VW Cycle Tour race director Shane Bradfield said he had been inundated with phone calls after Cycling SA had announced the dates of the national championships last week. “Many are keen to take part in both.”

He said staging the SAs was a major coup for the city’s premier event and he expected that most of the country’s top professionals would do the double.

He said the cycle tour, which celebrates its 26th anniversary next year, was the second oldest national classic and offered a total prize purse of R100 000.

The 105-kilometre feature race is also one of 14 national seeding events for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

The event includes a mountain bike challenge in the Addo Elephant National Park on the outskirts of the city.

According to Fritz Grobler, of online registration company Cycle Lab, entries for The Herald VW Cycle Tour started coming in as soon as online
entries opened and he anticipated a post-Christmas rush.

Entries for the main race on the Sunday cost R190 while the 80km Schools’ and Open Challenge and 40km Schools’ and Open Challenge cost R130 and R90 respectively.

The 30km Family Challenge (R50), 3km Kiddies’ Challenge (R30) and 600m Toddlers’ Dash (R30), all presented by Powerade, are on the Saturday.

The mountain bike events on the Saturday include the 85km Extreme Challenge (R190), 65km Challenge (R120) and 42km Schools’ and Family Challenge (R60).

Entries for the 5km Powerade Kiddies’ Challenge and Toddlers’ Dash,which are held in conjunction with the mountain bike races, cost R30 per child.

One lucky entrant will drive away in a brand new Polo Vivo courtesy of title sponsor Volkswagen.

Supporting sponsors are: Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment World, Life St George’s Hospital, Mountain Rescue Club, Powerade, Tony’s Appliances and Beds, Nelson Mandela Bay  Municipality, Bukani Print, Town Lodge, Addo Elephant National Park and Action Cycles.

Enter online at www.heraldcycletour.co.za or from December 20 at cycling shops in Nelson Mandela Bay.