2 October 2013
With less than a month to go, South African road racing cyclists in the non-elite racing categories are preparing for the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge, the only leg of the global UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) that takes place on the African continent.
The two-day event takes place in and around the Noodsberg and Wartburg areas, near Pietermaritzburg, on 26 and 27 October.
The UWCT event serves a dual purpose; it offers road cycling enthusiasts a chance to cycle the scenic routes with road closures, and also provides seasoned competitors with an opportunity to qualify for the once-off UWCT Final in 2014. Previously, the UWCT Final was known as the UCI Masters Road World Championships.
This year’s event forms part of the 2014 season challenge, and is the only qualifying event in Africa for the 2014 UWCT Final, which will be held in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.
The race distances for the various Masters’ age categories have been determined, with the Masters once again be racing in the five-year category increments from 30 years of age upwards.
The different distance breakdowns per age category are as follows:
Men – 109km 16-29 / 30-34 / 35-39 / 40-44 / 45-49 / 50-54 / 55-59
Men – 80km 60-64 / 65-69 / 70-74 / 75+
Women – 109km 16-29 / 30-34 / 35-39 / 40-44 / 45-49 / 50-54
Women – 80km 55-59 / 60-64 / 65-69 / 70-74 / 75+
Slightly reshaped routes
The race organisers have slightly reshaped the routes from last year’s courses, with the start and finish areas just outside of Wartburg Noodsburg respectively, to help in alleviating congestion in Wartburg itself, particularly for the racing on Sunday, 27 October.
In a recent press statement, race organiser Alec Lenferna said: “We have tried to create as little negative impact on Wartburg as possible. The people of the town were incredibly supportive but we decided that we needed to have a bare minimum of influence on the town as a whole.”
Four South Africans were crowned world champions at the 2012 UWCT Final in Pietermaritzburg in 2012.
Lynette Burger took the honours in the 30-34 age category in both the time trial and road race, Anette Loubscher won gold in the road race for women 40-44, Gary Beneke claimed the men’s 50-54 title, and Pauline Cound, the future mother-in-law of 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome, claimed the rainbow stripes in the 50-54 age group.
Entries for the Msunduzi Road Challenge may be done online on the Cycling South Africa website.