4 July 2014
The Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic road cycle race, which takes place between Pietermaritzburg to Durban, was on Thursday named the new South African qualifying event for the 2015 UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT).
It takes place on 12 October and replaces the Msunduzi Road Challenge as the only African qualifier for the UCI Amateur Road World Championships.
The UWCT is known as the amateur World Championships qualifying series, and consists of 15 qualifying events all over the world.
From those events, the top 25 percent of finishers in each of the Masters’ age groups qualify to participate in the Amateur Road World Championships, where the champions receive the coveted rainbow-striped jersey.
2012 UWCT Final
In 2012, Pietermaritzburg and its surrounds hosted the UWCT Final, when the Msunzduzi Challenge served as the race to determine world champions. A number of South Africans claimed the prestigious rainbow-striped jerseys.
Lynette Burger, who retired from professional cycling in 2011, won gold in the individual time trial and the road race in the 30 to 34 age category. Further road race gold medals were won by Pauline Cound (women 50 – 54), Anette Loubscher (women 40-44), and Gary Beneke (men 50 – 54).
Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic
The 106km Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic, which begins at the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg and finishes at the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World on Durban’s Golden Mile, is KwaZulu-Natal’s premier cycling race and has been in existence since 1986.
Last year, a total of 11 000 cyclists took part in the event.
For those cyclists looking for something a little shorter, a 65km half challenge, from Cato Ridge to Durban, is available, while there is an even shorter 35km route from Hillcrest to Durban.
‘An adrenaline rush for all’
“With the decision to add exciting new events to our line up, cyclists and spectators can expect to see a variety of riders crossing the finish, which always creates an adrenaline rush for all,” race organiser Annie Batchelder said in a statement on Thursday.
“For the more serious riders, there’s the criterium, and for the kids a fun ride, which is set to commence along the newly completed Snell Parade to Durban’s Blue Lagoon and back. This way, with so much on offer, we have pedalling good fun for everyone.”