The Hectic Promotions organising committee today voted unanimously to dedicate the staging of the Tshwane Diamond Classic, presented by Ultimate Office National, to the memory of Pretoria cyclist Andrew Randall.
Randall died in a tragic accident in Centurion last week when he was struck from behind by a vehicle while out on an early morning group training ride.
He was part of a group of 14 cyclists who rode together on the morning. Tshwane Diamond Classic route designer, David Labuschagne, was part of the group and recounts the incident with horror.
“It all happened so fast. It was almost surreal. I was at the front of the group and was very fortunate that I wasn’t hit by the motorist,” said Labuschagne.
The Tshwane Diamond Classic takes place on 26 May 2019 and will feature special edition medals, dedicated to the memory of Randall, and the event will observe a moment’s silence before the start.
According to Labuschagne the vehicle was like a bowling ball ploughing through a set of pins. “He drove right through the middle of the bunch and struck almost everybody. It was like he didn’t realise for a while what was going on and just kept going.
“One of our group members got flung through the vehicle’s front window. I rushed to the car to try and get him out, but the doors were locked.
“I broke the passenger window, dragged the passenger out and managed to get the injured rider out of the vehicle.
“Eight cyclists were taken to hospital but thankfully everyone is in a stable condition. We don’t know whether the driver fell asleep or whether he was drunk,” commented Labuschagne, who is chairman of the Bestmed TBC Cycling Club, Pretoria’s largest cycling club.
Police are still looking for the driver after he fled the scene.
Tshwane Diamond Classic event committee chairman, Mauritz Meyer, said they believe the race presents a platform to pay tribute to the memory of Randall. “He took part in our events regularly and we were shocked to learn of his death. It truly was a tragic day for the sport.
Meyer is also the founder of the big Tshwane Classic, which started in 2017, and signalled the revival of road cycling in the city. “We are vigilant to create as much awareness as possible to establish a safe cycling environment in Pretoria,” he said.
With more than 10 000 cyclists expected at the start line on 3 November this year, the Tshwane Classic, presented by Office National and Jacaranda FM, is the capital’s flagship event. Meyer has ensured that cyclists’ safety is at the centre of every decision and logistical detail in the lead-up to the event.
Hectic Promotions is a non-profit company that also organises the Bestmed Cycle4CANSA Championship, presented by the Optimum Group, as well as the Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge, Africa’s largest track cycling meeting.
Picture caption: Bestmed TBC Club chairman, David Labuschagne (left), pictured with Tshwane Diamond Classic founder Mauritz Meyer. The 2019 Diamond Classic will be dedicated to the memory of Andrew Randall.
Picture: Wynand de Villiers
RELEASED BY DE VILLIERS CYCLING EVENTS, ON BEHALF OF THE TSHWANE DIAMOND CLASSIC.
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