With the creation of an array of road cycling events in Pretoria over the past three years, the nation’s capital has established itself as a new hub for road cycling in South Africa.
The big Tshwane Classic, which started in 2017, signalled the revival of road cycling in the city and it was followed recently by the South African Road Championships, which took place in February this year.
With more than 10 000 cyclists expected at the start line this year, the Tshwane Classic, presented by Office National and Jacaranda FM, undoubtedly remains the capital’s flagship event, but it has given birth to an array of other well-organised road events of which the Tshwane Diamond Classic is the latest pristine example.
The Diamond Classic, presented in association with Ultimate Office National, takes place on 26 May this year and according to Hectic Promotions director, Mauritz Meyer, the entry response to the event has been remarkable.
“Cycle race presentation in Pretoria was ignored for quite some time following the demise of road races under the previous leadership of the Tshwane Metro. The Metro has now identified cycling as a major tool to showcase the city and its hosting capability,” he said.
Pretoria boasted some fantastic road events in the past, but they all fell by the way side due to dwindling logistical support from the city. Among these events were the Jacaranda Traffic Classic and the OUTsurance Tshwane Mayoral Ride.
These events attracted more than 5000 cyclists in their day but, following their demise, no other event has managed to create a noticeable footprint until the Tshwane Classic rooted itself in 2017, attracting 5000 cyclists in its first staging and more than 7000 cyclists in 2018.
“It’s insightful to note that road cycling events all over the country are showing a decrease in participant numbers and some races have even been called off over the past year.
“Contrary to this, the sport of road cycling is very healthy and growing in in Pretoria, and it’s great for Hectic Promotions to be the enabler in this environment to bring great races to the people of Tshwane.
“We believe the Tshwane Classic will rival the 947 in participant totals within the next three years,” said Meyer, who founded the Tshwane Classic.
For bicycle store owners in Pretoria these races have been a major contributor to the trade growth that they’ve experienced over the past three years. “The reintroduction of well-organised road races such as the Tshwane Classic and the recently launched Tshwane Diamond Classic has been a big catalyst for this,” said David Labuschagne, owner of TheBicycleCompany in Centurion.
Labuschagne is also the route designer of the Tshwane Diamond Classic and heads up the Bestmed BicycleCompany cycling club, which now boasts more than 1000 members.
“The new Tshwane Diamond Classic is going to become hugely popular. I don’t believe it’s going to become quite as big as the Tshwane Classic – I think the Tshwane Classic will boast more than 20 000 participants in years to come – but it might well position itself as the second largest race in Pretoria.
“The route is beautiful, and the roads quiet and in very good nick throughout. I think this is going to be a great event. A lot of our club members have already indicated that they are going to take part.
The Tshwane Diamond Classic is presented by Hectic Promotions (NPC), the company that also organises the Tshwane Classic, presented by Office National Jacaranda FM, as well as the Bestmed Cycle4CANSA, presented by the Optimum Group.
“Before the establishment of the Tshwane Classic two years ago, Pretoria didn’t have a signature mass participation cycling race,” said Meyer. “That’s changed now, and we would like to build on our good relationship with the Tshwane Metro to create more recognised road events for Pretoria cyclists.”
“The Diamond Classic start venue at the Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility falls within Pretoria’s city limits, but it’s the perfect vantage point to access the quiet and perfectly suited road race route that takes cyclists to Cullinan, Rayton, Bronkhorstspruit and back.
“They will feel like they’re not cycling in a city at all, but yet they wouldn’t have to travel more than 15 minutes from the city centre to get to the start/finish,” he concluded.
TSHWANE DIAMOND CLASSIC – QUICK FACTS
Date: 26 May 2019
Venue: Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility, Pretoria (Zambezi Drive off-ramp R513 off N1 towards Cullinan)
Distances: 110km, 50km
Kids Rides (2-4-year-olds and 5-7-year-olds) and 5km Fun Walk: 08h00 (enter with a R10 donation at Rugby Stadium Race Office on the morning)
On-line entry fees:
Timed by RaceTec
To access the 110km Strava Route go to https://www.strava.com/routes/16875005
To access the 50km Strava Route go to https://www.strava.com/routes/16874877
The event caters for all categories of licensed CSA cyclists as well as open/seeded riders. Riders will be seeded in bunches according to the Cycle Events National Seeding Ladder.
Race info and entries: www.cycleevents.co.za
Phone: 083 534 7979
RELEASED BY DE VILLIERS CYCLING EVENTS, ON BEHALF OF THE TSHWANE DIAMOND CLASSIC.
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES PHONE 083 269 7659 OR EMAIL DEVILLIERSCYCLING@MWEB.CO.ZA