The historic Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge, which will take place for the 122nd time this year, boasts a new organisational entity following the announcement today that well-known event management company Hectic Promotions has been appointed to stage the meeting.
Hectic Promotions is a non-profit organisation that currently presents two mass participation road cycling events which attract a combined participation total of 12 000 cyclists.
These events are the Bestmed Cycle4CANSA Championship, which is now in its 22nd year of presentation, and the Tshwane Classic, which attracted more than 7000 cyclists in its second staging last year.
The Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge is the oldest cycling event in the world. The meeting has not skipped a year since its inception in 1897.
The event attracts South Africa’s top professionals as well as a host of international riders who tackle each other for a share of the R100 000 prize purse in front of a capacity crowd of 5000 spectators at the Faure Street Stadium in Paarl.
“Boxing Day is not only the biggest track cycling event in South Africa, but also one of the most spectated stadium sporting events in South Africa,” said Hectic Promotions director Mauritz Meyer.
“The meeting rests in the care of the Paarl Amateur Cycling and Athletics Club. The club last year approached Hectic Promotions to assume the responsibility of hosting the event.
“It is an honour for Hectic Promotions to be associated with the meeting. To be appointed as organiser is a prestigious grant indeed,” said Meyer.
Designating a professional event company to assume the responsibility of hosting, is a step that the club has been considering for a while now, according to chairman Hein Kroff. “In the professional era of eventing we weren’t convinced that we were enabling the meeting to realise its full potential.
“Although Boxing Day still attracts a capacity crowd and strong competitors’ base, the media, marketing and sponsorship aspects of the meeting needed to be elevated.
“This agreement is a giant leap for Paarl Boxing day. Hectic Promotions boasts a proven record of accomplishment in presenting cycling events which fulfil the requirements of sponsors and stakeholders. We look forward to start working with them,” he said
Hectic Promotions fund an array of charity projects in collaboration with Cycle4Food. According to Meyer they are extending its reach to Paarl through the Paarl Boxing Day Challenge.
Meyer assured that some of the world’s foremost track cyclists will be in Paarl on 26 December this year. “Bringing cycling to the people is the motto of Paarl Boxing Day. Courtesy of the event Paarl has earned the reputation as hotbed of track cycling in South Africa,” said Meyer.
“Our intent, in conjunction with the Drakenstein Municipality and other event partners, is to create a unique and very marketable cycling concept to showcase the City of Paarl.”
The meeting concludes with the famous 25 Mile Race and the winner of the final event is regarded as the winner of the day. In addition to the generous prize purse, the Minnaar Cup floating trophy, which dates to 1908, is also up for grabs.
Meyer said the 25 Mile Race is really special, “The capacity crowd is left in awe as riders complete 87 laps of the track. Tactics unfold as riders try to gain an advantage during the race, which takes approximately 1 hour to complete.
“It’s scintillating stuff!”
Picture caption: Belgian Rickaert Jones (right) edges out South African Champion Nolan Hoffman to win the 10km Points Race at last year’s Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge.
Picture byline: Owen Loyd
RELEASED BY DE VILLIERS NATIONAL CYCLING, ON BEHALF OF HECTIC PROMOTIONS AND PAARL BOXING DAY.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES EMAIL WYNAND DE VILLIERS ON DEVILLIERSCYCLING@MWEB.CO.ZA OR PHONE 0832697659