Tshwane Classic Route ‘Quite Simply Amazing’
“The Tshwane Classic route is quite simply amazing!”
That was the crystal-clear message from seasoned veteran cyclist Chris van Rooyen following his team’s recent training ride on the route.
Van Rooyen heads up the strong Bestmed Veterans team, one of the longest running veteran outfits in South Africa, and he is a Pretoria resident. “This race is special, very special and I’m not surprised it’s growing so dramatically.
“For us as Pretoria cyclists it’s been a long wait for a proper mass participation city event on a suitable totally closed route and it’s finally here. We took part in the event last year and the route, venue and organisation were brilliant,” he said.
The second edition of the Tshwane Classic, presented in association with Jacaranda FM and Sun Time Square on a totally closed circuit, takes place on 4 November 2018 at the Voortrekker Monument and the capital city is set to attract close to 10 000 cyclists this year.
“The new finish on the Freedom Park ascent is a nice feature of the route. It provides a final platform for attack. It’s steep enough and if you power on the pedals you’ll be able to create a gap.”
Van Rooyen and his squad have completed two training rides on the course in preparation of the big day. “A win here is very important to us because it’s our home town event. Our sponsor, Bestmed, is nestled in Pretoria, so we really want to do well,” he said.
The Tshwane Classic route presents the famous Tom Jenkins ascent 12km from the finish and it provides a sublime platform for the climbers to pile on the pressure to try and create a lead going into the city centre and past Church Square.
Thereafter it’s a gentle drag Southwards through the city and then into Freedom Park and the final climb to the finish right at the top.
South Africa’s capital last year finally joined the country’s other major centres in presenting a signature mass participation cycling event on totally closed roads, which took cyclists past several historical landmarks in Pretoria.
Entries close in two weeks (on 23 October 2018) and the 98km entry fee is R330 per rider. Entry fees for all the other distance options have also been pinned at an affordable rate.
“With entry numbers in all cycling races declining consistently over the past two years we are hearing punch drunk consumers loud and clear. Statistics show the number of cyclists in South Africa keep increasing, yet participation totals in events are decreasing in many cases,” said Tshwane Classic organiser Mauritz Meyer.
Although the Tshwane Classic was the exception to the rule in its inaugural edition last year with more than 5000 cyclists taking part, Meyer is very conscious of the economic climate.
“Our economy is under pressure and we would like to break down the financial barrier to entry and make the race as accessible as possible to everyone who rides a bicycle.
“The reduced entry fees have been made a reality by delightful support from a host of sponsors and the Tshwane Metro, and we can’t thank them enough for their contribution,” said Meyer.
Courtesy of the Tshwane Metro, a total of 342 metro police officers, 250 marshals and more than 20km of barricading will be deployed to ensure total road closure for cyclists.
“The Tshwane Metro is serious about the event and its positioning alongside the two other big city road races, and it’s wonderful for us to be a part of the process,” said Meyer.