The phenomenal success of the inaugural 2011 Tour de Free State has opened the doors for the second running of the annual event to be featured as a UCI 2.1 WE race by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), making it the only Olympic qualifying road cycling race for women in Africa.
Besides being the first ever UCI Women’s road cycling tour in South Africa, the 5-day tour that runs from 23rd to 27th May is also the last opportunity for nations to increase their national rankings before the UCI’s May 31st deadline for the qualification of London Olympic Games places.
Following the great success of the inaugural 2011 Cell C Tour of South Africa, it is with regret that news was received on Monday concerning the cancellation of the Tour of SA.
According to Primedia, Cycling South Africa’s commercial partners entrusted with securing the funding for the Tour, various critical milestones have not been achieved – the unavailability of sufficient financial funding being one of the most important criteria.
Hilton rider Edward Greene stole the limelight with a comprehensive victory in the 126km road race of the Msunduzi Road Challenge after a decisive break on the closing stages of the race.
The team RSAWeb rider was part of an eleven rider breakaway that split the front peleton shortly after the halfway point at Dalton, and made his move as the contenders reached the outer city limits, and reached the finish at Alexandra Park alone after a gutsy solo break.
Entries are still being taken for the road race of the Msunduzi Road Challenge in and around Pietermaritzburg as interest in the only African leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour continues to gain momentum.
The specialist time triallists have been rostered into startlists for the 27km time trial in the Lion Park area on Saturday 29 October, while the field for the 90km, 111km and 126km road race continues to grow daily with late entries.
Popular junior mountain biker Luke Roberts is eager to make an impression on the Msunduzi Road Challenge cycle race on his road bike and says the race, Africa’s only leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour, is ideally placed in the cycling calendar.
Having recently earned himself an impressive third place finish in A-batch of the Amashova Durban Classic, despite having competed on his much heavier and slower mountain bike, Roberts is now eager to tackle the challenging yet manageable Msunduzi Road Challenge.
Cycling South Africa has selected a strong team to participate in the African Continental Championships to be held in Asmara, Eritrea from 9 to 13 November 2011.
No doubt reclaiming our rightful spot as African Champions will be uppermost in the minds of the riders. The ladies will have an extra incentive as they go all out to rake in maximum UCI qualification points for the 2012 Olympics. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, fresh from her Amashova victory will lead the charge and will be joined by other Olympic hopefuls, Cherise Taylor, Joanna van de Winkel and Robyn de Groot.
The organisers of the Msunduzi Road Challenge cycle race on 29 and 30 October have struck a compromise on their road closure plans to ensure the residents in the New Hanover, Dalton and Wartburg areas are not adversely affected on the Sunday of the road race.
The race, which offers options of 90km, 111km and 126km from Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg, past Albert Falls dam and traversing the midlands via New Hanover, Dalton, Harburg and Wartburg before returning to the start venue, was initially planned for full road closure for the duration of the race on Sunday 30 October.
Pre-entries close a week from today for the inaugural Msunduzi Road Challenge, the anticipated inclusion into the UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) taking place on 29th and 30th October 2011.
Following Cycling South Africa’s recent announcement of winning the rights to stage the Final of the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour in Pietermaritzburg, the dates have already been set for the 7th to 9th September 2012.