Cycling South Africa pulled off another major coup by winning the rights to stage final of the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour in Pietermaritzburg.
The announcement was made at the International Cycling Federation (UCI) Management Committee meeting in Copenhagen on Wednesday, attended by Cycling SA President Greg Till and the event director of the Msunduzi Road Challenge Alec Lenferna.
Till said after the announcement that the awarding of the rights to host the final of the 2012 World Cycling Tour, formerly known as the Masters Road World Championships, followed the successful hosting of the UCI MTB World Cup and the BMX World Champs in Pietermaritzburg, entrenching the city’s status as a global cycling mecca.
“We got it!” enthused Till from Copenhagen after clinching the rights to the 2012 final.
For Lenferna, the awarding of the rights to the 2012 final of the UCI World Cycling Tour adds more importance to the Msunduzi Road Challenge on October 29 and 30 as this will give local riders a gilt edged chance to qualify top take part in the finals in their own backyard.
“It’s fantastic news that we have been awarded the 2012 UWCT Final,” said Lenferna from Copenhagen. “This is an important event for us in that not only does it again show the UCI’s faith in our cycling structures and capabilities here in SA, but it is another step towards confirming KwaZulu-Natal and Pietermaritzburg as an extremely important worldwide cycling venue, and the hub of cycling on the African Continent.
“We have to be realistic and understand that pro road cycling is not huge in South Africa like it is in other places around the world,” he added. “But if there’s one thing we do know here, it’s recreational road cycling.
“This event allows us the opportunity to show the rest of the world what it is that we can do here, as well as to show what a fantastic country and region we have and to turn the many hundreds of international riders that will be coming here for the event into ambassadors for KZN and the city and to carry the message into the rest of the world when they return to their own countries,” he added.
Entries for the 2011 Msunduzi Road Challenge are steadily arriving at the CyclingSA head office, underlining the desire of ordinary road cyclists to be part of a world-class event in and around Pietermaritzburg on 29 and 30 October.
The event organisers have confirmed that the final date for accepting normal entries has been extended to 18 October to allow as many recreational riders as possible to make arrangements to be part of the 2011 Msunduzi Road Challenge, particularly now that this event has been confirmed as the 2012 series final.
The Msunduzi Road Challenge takes place in and around Pietermaritzburg on 30 October 2011, preceded by a time trial on Saturday 29 October. More information can be found at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za
Photo above: Cycling SA president Greg Till (left), UCI president Pat McQuaid (centre), and Msunduzi Road Challenge event director Alec Lenferna (right) toast the awarding of the rights to the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour final to the Pietermaritzburg event at the UCI Management committee meeting in Copenhagen earlier this evening © Gameplan Media