Cape Town is the place to be this weekend with the exciting Engen Cycle in the City event lighting up the streets of the Mother City on Saturday afternoon.
With the iconic Cape Town Stadium as a back drop, this pulse-thumping event offers a unique blend of hard hitting criterium racing, live entertainment and fun participation categories. It has also drawn interest from some of cycling’s biggest names.
Team Bonitas’ HB Kruger, winner of the opening leg of the series in Pretoria, will be defending his ‘Street King’ title, bolstered by a team who have been in excellent form on the local professional racing scene recently. It certainly won’t be a walk in the park with Team Giant, Lights by Linea and many privateers chomping at the bit to lay claim to the prized ‘Street King’ title.
Olympian Cherise Stander (Team RECM), fresh off two stage wins at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, together with riding partner Candice Neethling, will be swopping their mountain bikes for road bikes. Stander’s attack on the ‘Street Queen’ title will be challenged by Team Bestmed and the ladies from Time Freight VeloLife, who boast defending ‘Street Queen’ champion, Lise Olivier, in their ranks. What makes this showdown especially mouth-watering is the fact that race favourites Stander, Neethling and Olivier are close friends off the bike.
Olivier opted out of another big race to ride the Engen Cycle in the City event in Cape Town. It was an easy decision, she says, because road racing has always been her passion.
“Although far from my speciality event, criterium racing is exciting and I really enjoyed the Pretoria leg of the Engen Cycle in the City series. It is a cycling discipline that is hugely popular in other countries such as the US and Australia and one that is crucial in the development of young riders due to the fast paced, technical nature of the racing,” says Olivier.
With the recent addition of the Engen Cycle in the City series and other criterium races, Olivier believes there is a bright future for this type of racing in South Africa. “For a Ladies Team that is committed to the development of youngsters this is very exciting and we are happy to support such a great initiative.”
With fine summer weather predicted on the Cape Peninsula this weekend, spectators can soak up the unique excitement of inner-city cycle racing beneath the gaze of Signal Hill and Lions Head. Chart topping band, Monark, will be on hand to provide the soundtrack, while Cape Town’s famous assortment of Food Trucks will offer up lip-smacking fare and thirst quenching craft beer.