The cancellation of the Giro del Capo has left a gap in the South African cycling calender in the build up to the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour. Race organisers announced yesterday that the The Tour of Boland will replace the cancelled Giro del Capo.
“This is the fifth year in a row which the Tour of Boland will be held,” said Cycling South Africa’s road commission director Hendrik Lemmer.
“It was always held a week before or after the Giro to help prepare our elite riders before they leave to compete in Europe.
“Without the Giro, we will now have the new Tour of South Africa, then a week’s break, then the Tour of Boland.
“That should give the guys enough racing time under their belts before they leave to compete overseas.”
The Tour of Boland would be sponsored by Le Coq Sportif International, the organisers said in a statement.
It would be held between March 8 and 12 over a similar route to the Giro, which was cancelled last month because of a lack of funding.
Lemmer said the 2011 Tour of Boland would have national status, but not International Cycling Union (UCI) status, and the organisers would be restricted to only three overseas teams.
The race will consist of five stages, including a short sprint race of 45km on the first day, three road stages of between 120km and 150km, and a hill climb or criterium.
“One of the major objectives of this tour will be the development of cycling in South Africa,” the organisers said.
“There will be a development team from the Cape region competing as the Le Coq Sportif team, as well as the South African Cyclelab Academy Team captained by Nic White.”
The organisers were expecting “all the top club teams in South Africa, UCI teams as well as teams from overseas” to compete in the race.