6 September 2013
The Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race has been granted International Cycling Union (UCI) race status for 2014, making it only the second South African stage race to be awarded the prestigious classification.
The seven-day stage race, which takes place each year in late October in the Western Cape province, has shown appropriate compliance to the UCI’s grading criteria. It will begin as a UCI S2 level status event, the first tier of three for international stage races and can improve its grading over time.
The Absa Cape Epic is the only other South African stage race that holds a UCI grading.
“We are very pleased with this news,” Cape Pioneer Trek Race director Henco Rademeyer, said in a statement on Friday.
“It’s been on our list of goals for some time. With not many other international stage races taking place in October, we felt that the combination of the Cape Pioneer Trek’s quality race route, high organisational standards and its calendar position, would all work in our favour.
“It’s essentially a badge of prestige that attracts a higher level of international riders at the competitive end of the race,” Rademeyer added.
‘The world’s best racers’
“That’s not to say we’ll take any focus off the enjoyment factor for the majority of the entrants, who will, from next year, be competing alongside a number of the world’s best racers.”
Bridge CEO Emile Aldum commented: “The UCI status echoes the level of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek as a world class race and it yet again strengthens our pride in being the title sponsor of such an esteemed event.”
The fifth edition of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, which takes place from 20 to 26 October, has attracted some of the biggest names in the world of women’s marathon mountain bike racing. The UCI grading will ensure even more top women and a strong international men’s field in 2014 too.
By being granted UCI status, a race is obliged to offer a minimum amount of prize money in Euros and pay prize money down to at least 10th position in the men’s and women’s Elite categories on each stage and in the General Classification rankings at the end of the event.
Graded events also offer UCI rankings points to top performing riders.