South African Cycling

Stars flock to SA's richest race

2014-11-20 15:30
Chris Froome (Getty)

Cape Town - On Saturday some of the biggest names in international and local cycling will take to the streets of Pretoria to show unity for Nelson Mandela. None other than South African President Jacob Zuma will be firing the start gun to signal the start of what is to be an iconic example of what can be achieved through unity in memory of Nelson Mandela.

In addition to passing by nearly all the landmarks in Pretoria the event can boast that it is by far the richest race on the African continent. It is no wonder that the Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), originally from Kenya and with his cycling roots in SA, will be in the mix together with first ever South African Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge). On the women’s cycling front multiple world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) and top SA export Ashleigh Moolman (Momentum) make for an equally impressive line-up.

The international cycling stars will be joined by a plethora of top local talent including the likes of Louis Meintjes (MTN Qhubeka) and Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Giant Shimano) who have burst onto the international road cycling scene with their recent performances. Local professional outfits like Team Bonitas, Team Abantu, Europcar SA and Lights by Linea will be looking to make their presence felt in the classy field.

Widely hailed because of the equal prize money for both men and women the event also attracted an exceptionally strong contingent of female cyclist. The likes of Cherise Stander (RECM), Heidi Dalton (Lotto) and Lise Olivier (TimeFreight VeloLife) will be pitting themselves against some of the best in the world in a desperate dash for cash.

The relatively hilly short course is bound to produce some fireworks in both races where riders will put everything on the line for the substantial prize purse at the finish. The 2014 Unite 2.0 campaign, an initiative of the Department of Sport & Recreation South Africa and the Department of Arts and Culture, will this year include Athletics (road running and walking) in addition to the cycling.

On the day over R2m in prizes will be handed out. As if that’s not enough, the public will be treated to a free mega feast when a cultural program full of 67 artists ranging from craftsmen/women, artisans to musicians and comedians unites the nation in remembrance of Madiba at the foot of the iconic Union Buildings.


And if competing for this wonderful cause wasn’t enough, there are some unbelievable cash prizes for competitors on the day, with more R2 million on offer.

The 67km cycling race winners, in both male and female categories, will receive an unprecedented R250 000; second-placed riders will receive R150 000, while third-place riders will pocket R100 000. The main running event is the 27km road race, and the winners of the race will pocket R150 000, with second getting R100 000 and third R50 000. The winner of the 9.4km run will receive R40 000, while the 9.4km walk winner will get R20 000.

Read more on:    cycling

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